City of Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Archaeology Announces Findings on Graves at Fort Ward Park
The City of Alexandria, Virginia, has recently completed three stages of an archaeological investigation at Fort Ward Park, located at 3601 West Braddock Road. The goal of the City’s work was to identify unmarked graves and cultural resources associated with Native American habitation of the area, an American Civil War fortification, and a post-Civil War African American community known as “The Fort,” that was present until the 1960s. During the more than two-year investigation, 43 graves were identified within the park, only three of which were marked by headstones. Significant findings include:
Fencing will be installed to protect the burial areas from adjacent park activities, and all graves will be marked by blank signposts until each identity can be confirmed. In addition to graves, archaeologists discovered several concentrations of Civil War artifacts, including Minié balls (a muzzle loading, spin-stabilizing rifle bullet, developed by French Army officer Claude-Etienne Minié, used during the Crimean and American Civil Wars), lead shot, clothing buttons, personal items, and military hardware, mostly in the northern portions of the park.