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Department 1

Civil War Institute


This post is the final one of a series featuring behind-the-scenes dispatches from our Pohanka Interns on the front lines of history this summer as interpreters, archivists, and preservationists. See here for the introduction to the series.

This summer, I had the privilege of interning at the Civil War Defenses of Washington, in Washington D.C. The Civil War Defenses of Washington is unique within the National Park system. Unlike most historical and military parks, the Civil War Defenses of Washington has no central location or site. Rather, the park is made up of nineteen different fort sites used in defense of the city of Washington during the Civil War. What also makes this park unique is its relationship with the land and local terrain. Most of these forts were constructed through the strategic manipulation of land. Civil War soldiers molded the land to build earthen trenches, mounds, and hills. At many of the forts, these earthworks are the only structures that link these places to the Civil War. [excerpt]


This blog post originally appeared in The Gettysburg Compiler and was created by students at Gettysburg College.