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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site
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Page updated Jan 16, 2014 2:26 PM

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Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the system of Union forts and batteries built to protect Washington, DC during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Fort Ward Museum interprets the site's history and offers exhibits on Civil War topics, education and interpretive programs, tours, lecture and video series, bus tours, and living history activities throughout the year. The Museum and Historic Site also interpret Alexandria, Virginia as an occupied city, the city's role as a vital Union Army crossroads, life within the Defenses of Washington, and the everyday life of Civil War soldiers and civilians.

The historic fort provides visitors with an excellent understanding of Civil War-era military engineering. About 90% of the fort's earthwork walls are preserved and the Northwest Bastion has been restored and reconstructed to its original condition.

  Reenactment at Fort Ward, Northwest Bastion 
Reenactment of the Battle of Fort Stevens, at Fort Ward's Northwest Bastion. Photo, Nina Tisara, Tisara Photography. 

CIvil War Sesquicentennial Events and Information 

To help tell the story of the City's Civil War past, the Office of Historic Alexandria is holding many special events and exhibitions throughout the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Witness to war and reunion, Alexandria's place in Civil War history is truly unique. Learn more about Alexandria during the war with a wide range of historic resources.

  • Battle of Fort Stevens Reenactment Weekend at Fort Ward, July 12-13, 2014. Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens, with a Living History event and skirmish. Download event flyer and Information for Reenactors.
  • Civil  War Lecture Series, 2013-2014: A free series of films and lectures highlighting the impact of the American Civil War on Alexandria and the Northern Virginia region. All lectures will be held at the Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington Street. View the brochure (PDF) for more information on the following lectures:
    • Discovery and Archaeology of the Freedmen's Cemetery, Thursday, February 20, 2014
    • Women in Civil War Alexandria, Wednesday, March 19, 2014
    • An Examination of the Causes of the Civil War, Wednesday, April 16
    • A Look at Alexandria's General Samuel Cooper, the Highest Ranking Officer of the Confederacy, Thursday, May 16
    • Significant Confederates Buried in Alexandria's Ivy Hill Cemetery, Thursday, June 19
  • Exhibitions at Fort Ward Museum include The Marshall House Incident, which tells of the dramatic events that led to the first Civil War casualties.


Other News and Information 

  • The Office of Historic Alexandria is engaged in an effort to study and preserve the post-Civil War historic resources of Fort Ward Park. Learn more about recent archaeological excavations in the Park, the Stakeholder Advisory Group, and relevant archaeological and historical information. Visit the Park to see new historic signage highlighting the post-Civil War African American community known as "The Fort."
  • Alexandria, surrounding jurisdictions and the National Park Service have created the Alexandria Civil War Defenses of Washington Bike Trail as part of the Civil War Sesquicentennial commemorations.


For Civil War Reenactors

For Civil War Reenactors For Civil War Reenactors: The Fort Ward Museum enlists the talents and knowledge of reenactors to offer numerous living history programs interpreting Civil War soldier and civilian life. Programs contribute to the public’s understanding of the period and enhance the Museum’s educational mission.

  • Battle of Fort Stevens Reenactment Weekend at Fort Ward 2014. Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens, with a Living History event and skirmish. Download event flyer and Information for Reenactors.


American Alliance of Museums logo 

American Alliance of Museums
Accredited Museum




Fort Ward Museum 
& Historic Site
4301 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22304
Fax: 703.671.7350

Museum Hours
Tuesday - Saturday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.
Monday, Closed

Park Hours
Daily, 9 a.m. to sunset

Office Hours
Tuesday - Saturday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.