Fort Washington

Battery Decatur and Disappearing Guns
American coastal defenses were modernized from the 1890s to 191O with the development of the Endicott System. Emphasis in military tactics shifted the masonry fortifications to more effective weapons based on rifled steel guns, improved breech-loading systems, better propellants (gunpowder), and reinforced concrete gun emplacements.

Here you will see the remains of Battery Decatur, a reinforced concrete emplacement completed in 1891. It mounted two 10-inch disappearing guns similar to the Fort Monroe rifled gun shown in the photographs below. The lower rooms of the battery were for shot, shell, and powder storage with cranes and hoists that moved the heavy ammunition up to the gun platforms.

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Fort Washington Park is the site of the first permanent fort constructed between 1814-1824 to guard the Potomac River.

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