Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring Southern Early American Forts

Picture of Fort Ward

Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site
4301 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22304
Phone: 703-838-4848
Fax: 703-671-7350

Construction of Fort Ward began in July 1861, immediately after the Union Army's defeat at the Battle of First Bull Run (First Manassas). The fort was completed in September 1861 and was named for Commander James H. Ward, the first Union naval officer to die in the Civil War. The initial earthwork fort had a perimeter of 540 yards and emplacements for 24 guns. After the Battle of Second Bull Run, Fort Ward was scheduled for rebuilding beginning in 1863. When the war ended in April 1865, the enlarged fort had a perimeter of 818 yards and emplacements for 36 guns. Throughout the Civil War Fort Ward served as a deterrent and never came under Confederate attack. It was abandoned in December 1865, and salvageable materials were sold at auction.

Museum Hours

Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
Monday: Closed
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
Office Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9am to 5pm by appointment.
(Please call for changes regarding weather related conditions.)

Park Hours

Daily: 9 a.m. to sunset.


Free. Donations welcome.

Communities and Related Links
Alexandria Visitor Information
Washington, DC, Official Tourism

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