A trip around the defenses of Washington-Fort Lyon This photograph is the first of a series illustrating the thirty-seven miles of forts and batteries which surrounded Washington. After Fort Lyon, in this series, one of the farthest forts to the southwest, comes Battery Rodgers, south of Alexandria; then the entrance to Long Bridge; Forts Corcoran and Woodbury, defending the Aqueduct Bridge; Fort Marcy, the farthest north across the Potomac from Washington; Fort Sumner, the farthest north on the other side of the Potomac; Fort Stevens, farther east; Fort Totten, east of Fort Stevens; Fort Lincoln, still farther south; and finally Fort C. F. Smith, to show the type of construction of the later forts. Thus the reader completely encircles Washington, and beholds varied types of sixty-eight forts and batteries. These mounted 807 guns and ninety-eight mortars, with emplacements for 1,120 guns more. There were also 35,711 yards of rifle-trenches and three blockhouses. Fort Lyon, above pictured, lay across Hunting Creek from Alexandria. The Parrott guns were rifled cannon of cast-iron, strengthened at the breech by shrinking a band of wrought-iron over the section which contained the powder charge. The body of the larger Parrott guns was cast hollow and cooled by the Rodman process — a stream of water or air flowing through the interior. About 1,700 of these guns were purchased by the Federal Ordnance Department during the war and used in the defense of Washington and in the great sieges.
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