Baltimore Harbor

Fort Armistead | Fort Babcock | Baltimore Shot Tower | Fort Carroll | City Battery
Fort Covington | Fort Davis | Fort Dix | Fort Federal Hill | Fells Point Battery
Ferry Point Redoubt | Camp Holabird | Fort Holabird | Fort Howard | Lazaretto Battery (1)
Battery at Lazaretto Point (2) | Camp Look-Out | Fort Marshall | Fort McHenry | Naval Camp
Patapsco Battery | Fort Patterson | Rogers' Bastion | Fort Rosehill | Sailor's Battery
Fort Smallwood | Fort at Soller's Point | Spring Garden Battery | Fort Whetstone
Camp Wilmer | Fort Wood | Fort Worthington

Baltimore's Civil War Forts and Camps

Baltimore's Cold War AAA Defenses

Eastern Maryland - page 1 | Western Maryland - page 3

Last Update: 15/NOVEMBER/2009
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2009 American Forts Network

Early Baltimore Defenses

Fort McHenry (National Monument and Historic Shrine)
(The Friends of Fort McHenry)
(1798 - 1923), Baltimore FORT WIKI
Fort Whetstone, a five-pointed star-shaped earthwork fort (eight, then 13 guns), was first here in 1776 - 1783, replacing an Upper and Lower Battery (18 guns) from 1776. Along with Fell's Point Battery, they were the city's only defenses during the American Revolution. It was repaired in 1794. Fort McHenry was built in 1798 with 30 guns and a ten-gun water battery, and was the site of the major British bombardment in 1814 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner". The fort was rebuilt in 1829 - 1836 to the present layout. The coverface or ditch battery was armed with 15-inch Rodmans in 1866. A new 25-gun exterior battery was begun in 1873 - 1876, but was never completed beyond three magazines and about eight gun platforms. It was finally demolished during the 1930's. All the pre-Civil War cannon in the fort were removed by 1895. The Rodmans were last fired in 1903. The fort was abandoned in 1912, but the military used it as a hospital from 1917 - 1923. All the hospital buildings were later removed. Some buildings still exist as part of the Naval Supply base adjacent to the fort. From 1942 - 1945 a Coast Guard Training Station was outside the fort. These buildings also no longer exist. Became a National Park in 1925, administered by the Army until 1933. Admission fee. Maryland National Register Listing
PHOTOS by John Hamill

Fell's Point Battery (1776 - 1783), a Patriot battery located at Fell's Point, across the channel from Fort McHenry.

Battery (or Fort) Babcock (1813 - 1815), a six-gun earthwork semi-circular redoubt with a rear powder magazine, also known as the Sailor's Battery or City Battery. A granite monument (1918) marks the site one and one-half miles west of Fort McHenry on Gould Street at McComas Street.

Fort Covington (1813 - 1832), a V-shaped ten-gun brick fort with barracks, guardhouse, and magazine located one-half mile west of Fort Babcock. It was originally called Patapsco Battery. It remained as an outpost of Fort McHenry. Site was still shown on 1870's and 1890's period street maps. Site now occupied by the Baltimore Sun newspaper headquarters.

Camp (or Fort) Look-Out (1813 - 1819), a circular earthwork battery with a central magazine that protected the landward approach to Forts Babcock and Covington. It was renamed Fort Wood in 1814. The ruins still existed as late as 1853, the site is now Riverside City Park.

Lazaretto Battery (1) (1813 - 1815), a three-gun redoubt across the channel from Fort McHenry, built adjacent to the Lazaretto Quarantine Station (1801 - 1959). The site is now a concrete factory. A lighthouse once stood on Lazaretto Point from 1831 to 1926. A faithful replica (1956) stands there now.

The "Fourth System" Battery at Lazaretto Point (2) (six guns) was planned here in 1872, but was never built.

Rogers' Bastion (1814 - 1815), aka Naval Camp, one mile of fortified earthworks with seven artillery redoubts, located east of Fell's Point on Hampstead Hill and in Patterson Park.

Spring Garden Battery (1813 - 1815), a small battery located north of Fort Covington at the head of the Middle Branch in the Camden Yards section of the city. Interstate 395 now runs through the site.

Ferry Point Redoubt (1813 - 1815), a small work located at Ferry Point, probably located at present-day Ferry Bar Park. It protected a log boom across the Middle (Ferry) Branch.

Baltimore Shot Tower
(1828 - 1892), Baltimore
Located near the Little Italy area on East Fayette and Front Streets. Originally known as the Phoenix Shot Tower, later the Merchants' Shot Tower. Became a museum in 1977. Operated by Carroll Museums, Inc.. Tours by appointment. Maryland National Register Listing. It is only one of six remaining historic shot towers left standing in the United States. The others are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wytheville, Virginia, Columbus, Ohio, Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Dubuque, Iowa.

Civil War Defenses of Baltimore
(1861 - 1865), Baltimore area
During the Civil War, Baltimore had 44 forts, batteries, redoubts, and armed camps, and about 20 unarmed camps (hospitals, POW, etc.) as the first southern city occupied by the Union Army. The earthworks were removed by 1869. In addition to Forts McHenry and Carroll, these included:
Fort #1/2 (1864) at West Baltimore and Smallwood Streets.
Fort #1 (1863 - 64) aka Fort Davis at West Baltimore and Smallwood Streets.
Battery A (1864) at Monroe and Ramsey Streets.
Fort #1 1/2 (1861 - 64) aka Camp Andrew, Camp Reynolds, Camp Creager, Camp Wool, Camp Simpson at West Baltimore Street and Fulton Ave., now present-day Bon Secours Hospital. A military hospital was built adjacent in 1862.
Fort #2 (1864) at Franklin Street and Kirby's Lane.
Fort #3 (1864) at Gilmor and Townsend Streets (or Franklin Street and Kirby's Lane ?).
Fort #4 (1864) at Gilmor Street and Winsor Mill Road (or Townsend Street and Kirby's Lane ?).
Fort #4 1/2 (1864) at Gilmor and Baker Streets.
Fort #5 (1861 - 64) aka Camp Druid Hill Park at Druid Hill Park on Madison Ave..
Fort #6 (1864) at Druid Hill Park.
Fort #7 (1864) near Mount Royal Reservoir by the railroad (North and Madison Aves ?).
Fort #7 1/2 (1864) opposite Camp Bradford at North Charles Street.
Fort #8 (1861 - 64) aka Camp McKim or Camp McClelland south of Greenmount Cemetery at Preston, Chase, Homewood, and Valley Streets. Renamed McKim Barracks. The barracks became a military hospital in 1862 - 1865.
Fort #9 (1864) at Harford Rd. and North Ave..
Fort #9 1/2 (1864) at Caroline Street in Fell's Point.
Fort #10 (1864) at Caroline St. in Fell's Point.
Fort #11 (1864) aka Fort Rosehill at East Monument Street near the present-day Johns Hopkins Hospital (or Chester and Elderry Streets ?).
Fort #12 (1861 - 62) aka Camp Washburn, Camp Patterson, Fort Patterson on Hampstead Hill at Patterson Park. Became a military hospital in 1863 - 65. Also known as Patterson Park Barracks.
Fort #13 (1864) aka Fort Worthington at Kenwood and Preston Streets, south of Baltimore Cemetery.
Fort #14 (1861 - 64) aka Fort Marshall on Snake Hill in the Highlandtown area, in the block bound by Highland Ave., Foster Ave., Conkling Street, and Fleet Street. Became site of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in 1873 (rebuilt 1908). The Fort Marshall Brewery (aka Weissner Brewery) was located at Eastern and Highland Aves. (206 Eastern Ave.) from 1869 to 1899.
Fort #15 (1861 - 64) aka Fort Federal Hill on Federal Hill. It was the first temporary fort built at start of the war because of riots in April of 1861. All 50 guns faced downtown to suppress anti-federal riots and pro-southern sympathies. State marker on Henry Street.
Fort Dix (1861 - 65) at Thomas Viaduct Bridge within present-day Patapsco State Park.

Camp Belger (1862 - 64) aka Camp Birney at Madison and North Aves.. Also known as Belger Barracks after 1862.
Camp Bradford (1861 - 64) aka Camp Cattlegrounds, Camp Tyler at Charles and 26th Streets, the site of the former state fairgrounds. It became a military hospital in 1864 - 65.
Camp Cadwalader (1861) adjacent to Fort McHenry.
Camp Carroll (1861 - 64) aka Camp Chesebrough at Carroll Park.
Camp Chapin (1862) in Druid Hill Park.
Camp Emory (1862) near Camp Millington ?
Camp Essex (1861 - 65) at Thomas Viaduct Bridge within present-day Patapsco State Park.
Camp Glory (1861 - 62) at Long Bridge on the Ferry Branch of the Patapsco River.
Camp Hoffman (1) (1861 - 64) aka Camp Lafayette Square at Lafayette Square, at Arlington Ave. and Lanvale Street. Also known as Lafayette Barracks after 1862.
Camp Meade (1) (1863) at North Charles Street.
Camp Melvale (1861 - 62) aka Camp Small on Cold Spring Lane at Jones Falls in the Cross Keys area.
Camp Millington (1862) east of Gwynn's Falls in the Mill Hill area between Brunswick Street and Millington Ave..
Camp Morgan (1861 - 65) at Thomas Viaduct Bridge within present-day Patapsco State Park.
Camp Mount Clare (1861) at West Fayette St, Fulton Ave., West Baltimore and Smallwood Streets, adjacent to Camp Andrew. Became a military hospital in 1862 - 65.
Camp Cram (1862) at Liberty Road near Powhattan Dam in Baltimore County.
Camp Hay (1861 - 62) aka Camp Beaver at York and Sherwood Roads in Cockeysville.
Camp Stansbury (1861) at the Back River railroad bridge in Rosedale.
Camp Seward (1861 - 62) on York Road at the Little Falls railroad bridge in Parkton.
Camp Donaldson (1863) unknown location.
Camp Newport unknown date and location.

Camp Wilmer
(1898), Baltimore
A Spanish-American War state muster camp located at the Pimlico Racetrack in the Pimlico area.

Fort Holabird
(1917 - 1974/1995), Baltimore
Originally named Camp Holabird, established on 96 acres of marshland as an Army motor transport training center and depot. Became the Holabird Quartermaster Depot after the war until 1942 when it was renamed the Holabird Ordnance Depot. By WWII the post grew to 350 acres and 286 buildings. Renamed the Holabird Signal Depot in 1943. Renamed back to Camp Holabird in 1947. Renamed as a fort later. The U.S. Army Intelligence School and Counter Intelligence Records Facility was here until closed and transferred to Fort Huachuca, AZ in 1971. The Fort Holabird Industrial Park was developed by the city between 1974 - 1979 on most of the former post. Most of the former military buildings were razed. The Crime Records Center was located here in 1941, moved to Fort Belvoir, VA in 1993. The Defense Investigative Service was the last tenant to leave in 1995. Both of the latter sites were transferred to the city in 2002 after EPA cleanup. The last remaining original military building is the former Officers' Club, which is now the local Vietnam Veterans of America Post #451. See also What happened to Fort Holabird ? by Hugh Cox

Harbor Defense of Baltimore - FORT WIKI

Fort Carroll
(Fort Carroll Lighthouse)
(1847 - 1921), Dundalk
Located on a man-made island in the Patapsco River adjacent to the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The construction was once supervised by Robert E. Lee. It is hexagonal and includes three modern coastal batteries. They are Battery Towson (1900 - 1918), Battery Heart (1900 - 1917), and Battery Augustin (1900 - 1920). The single story fort was originally intended to have four tiers. The casemates became flooded in 1864, with all powder and ammunition transferred to Fort McHenry. The fort was a subpost of Fort McHenry from 1908 to 1911, and then was a subpost of Fort Howard until 1914. Several guns were removed in 1917, and the fort was abandoned in 1921. The Army used the fort in WWII as a small-arms range, and the Coast Guard also briefly used the fort in 1955 for the same purpose. A lighthouse was added in 1854 and rebuilt in 1898. The lighthouse was automated in 1920, but was abandoned in 1945. The fort was originally known as Fort at Soller's Point until 1850. During the Civil War Fort Carroll had only five gun platforms ready in April 1861, and only two were armed with guns, out of a planned 225 gun emplacements. Privately owned since 1959, and with no public access, it is overgrown and deteriorating. The best views from land are from Fort Armistead Park.
See also Fort Carroll by Brian Hawley || Interesting Site Visit by Gene Carl Feldman

Fort Armistead (park)
(1896 - 1928), Baltimore
Located at Hawkins Point next to the Key Bridge. Batteries here are Battery Winchester (1900 - 1918), Battery McFarland (1900 - 1917), Battery Irons (1900 - 1913), and Battery Mudge (1901 - 1920), which is partially destroyed. A mine casemate is located behind Battery Mudge. The reservation was used as an ammunition dump by the U.S. Navy in WWII. A four-gun 90mm AA battery was located here in 1952 - 1954. PHOTOS by Stu of Doom

Fort Howard (park)
(Fort Howard Development LLC)
(Fort Howard V.A. Clinic)
(1896 - 1940/1971 ?), Fort Howard
Located on North Point. Batteries here are Battery Key (1900 - 1927), Battery Stricker (1899 - 1918), Battery Nicholson (1900 - 1927), Battery Harris (1900 - 1917), Battery Clagett (1901 - 1920), and Battery Lazear (1900 - 1920), which was destroyed. This was the chief defense and harbor headquarters for Baltimore, known as the "Bulldog at Baltimore's Gate". Two mine towers still remain, and two fire-control towers still existed until 1980. A V.A. hospital occupied the post garrison area of the fort from 1940 - 2002. The battery area of the fort remained under military control until the Vietnam War era, used mainly for intelligence operations training for the Fort Holabird Intelligence School. The former V.A. Hospital campus is now a veterans' retirement community. An out-patient clinic still operates here. State marker on post.

War of 1812 state markers located on the former post or in the general vicinity include: North Point Beachhead on post || North Point Battlefield on MD 20 in Edgemere || North Point on North Point Road in Edgemere || Battle Acre on MD 20 near Eastpoint.

Fort Smallwood (park)
(1896 - 1928, 1955 - 1974), Venice-on-the-Bay
Located on Rock Point. Batteries here were Battery Hartshorne (1900 - 1927), and Battery Sykes (1905 - 1927), which is destroyed. The post was later used as a NIKE missile battery headquarters post in 1955 - 1974 (no missiles). One original barracks building still remains and has been restored. The park is owned by the city of Baltimore, but is physically located in and managed by (since 2006) Anne Arundel County.

ALSO: Additional fire-control towers associated with the Baltimore defenses were once located at Gibson Island, Black Marsh, Bodkins Neck, 65-foot Hill, and Stony Creek (Riviera Beach). None remain.

Cold War AAA Defenses of Baltimore
(1952 - 1959), Baltimore area
Several permanent sites were established for the Army's Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Site Program, the precursor to the NIKE missile defense program. Four 90mm AA guns were positioned at each site, with troop barracks and other support buildings. Known sites include:
Curtis Bay (1952 - 1957): undetermined.
Fort Armistead (1952 - 1954): on post.
Dundalk (? - 1959): at Soller's Point (BA-41).
Eastpoint (1953 - 1959): at North Point Road and Eastern Ave. (near Oaklawn Cemetery or Colgate Elementary School).
Essex (1953 - 1959): at Golden Ring Road and Northern Ave. (BA-22).
Parkville (? - 1959): at Moore Ave. and Oakleigh Road (near Perring Parkway Shopping Center).
Towson (1952 - 1959): at York Road near I-695 (near Central Vocational Tech Center).
Pikesville (? - 1959): at Smith Ave. and Old Pimlico Road.
Woodlawn (? - 1959): at Gwynn Oaks Park.
Catonsville (1952 - 1959): at Rolling Road and US 40 (St. Timothy's School for Girls) (BA-66).
Linthicum (? - 1957): at Friendship Park near BWI Airport (BA-51).
Glen Burnie (1954 - 1957): undetermined (BA-50).
Other area sites included:
Edgewood (1953 - 1955): at the Army Chemical Center (Edgewood Arsenal) (BA-16 H).
Fort Meade (1951 - 1954): battery headquarters only, on post (BA-62 H).

NIKE missile defense sites (1954 - 1974) are beyond the scope of this website.

See also NIKE missile info from the Fort Meade Museum
See also Army Air Defense Installations in Anne Arundel County by Merle T. Cole

Eastern Maryland - page 1 | Western Maryland - page 3

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