fortifying the entire length of the crest between the Anacostia and Oxen Run
, a distance of about six miles. This was done, and toward the end of the year 1861 these works were well toward completion.
Likewise were the works along the entire perimeter of the defensive line encircling the capital, on both sides of the Potomac
By the spring of 1862 there were, surrounding Washington
, twenty-three forts on the Virginia
side of the Potomac
, fourteen forts and three batteries from the Potomac
around by the north and east of the city to the Anacostia
, and eleven forts south of the Anacostia
, with the right of the line resting on the Potomac
Of these, Fort Runyon, already noted as covering Long Bridge
on the Virginia
side, was the largest, with a perimenter of one thousand five hundred yards, but the size of the remainder varied to a minimum of one hundred and fifty-four yards. Most of them were enclosed works, and some were lunettes, or partially closed works, with the unclosed side occupied by stockades.
The armament was principally 24-and 32-pounders, some smooth-bore and some rifled, with a few lighter field-guns.
Magazines were provided that had a capacity each of about one hundred rounds of ammunition, and some of the most important works had bomb-proof shelters, where about one-third of the garrison could sleep secure from artillery fire.
The curious fluctuation of public feeling toward the fortifications can be seen when we remember that, before the Manassas
campaign, they were very lightly regarded; immediately after that campaign and the defeat of Bull Run
, there was a fever heat of apprehension and demand for protection.
When General McClellan
's splendidly organized army took the field against the foe, there was a certainty that the war was about to be ended, and a corresponding decrease of regard for the defenses; and we shall see later how the ebb of the tide again caught the public and sent it scurrying behind the forts.
for the front, the act