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Men of the third Massachusetts heavy artillery in Fort Stevens Fort Stevens, on the north line of the defenses of Washington, bore the brunt of the Confederate attack in the action of July 12, 1864, when Early threatened Washington. The smooth-bore guns in its armament were two 8-inch siege-howitzers en embrasure, six 24-pounder siege-guns en embrasure, two 24-pounder seacoast guns en barbette. It was also armed with five 30-pounder Parrott rifled guns, one 10-inch siege-mortar and one 24-pounder Coehorn mortar. Three of the platforms for siege-guns remained vacant.

Company K, third Massachusetts heavy artillery, in Fort Stevens, 1865 Washington was no longer in danger when this photograph was taken, and the company is taking its ease with small arms stacked--three rifles held together by engaging the shanks of the bayonets. This is the usual way of disposing of rifles when the company is temporarily dismissed for any purpose. If the men are to leave the immediate vicinity of the stacks, a sentinel is detailed to guard the arms. The Third Massachusetts Heavy Artillery was organized for one year in August, 1864, and remained in the defenses of Washington throughout their service, except for Company I, which went to the siege of Petersburg and maintained the pontoon bridges.

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