Fort Ward is a former Union Army installation now located in the city of Alexandria in the U.S. state of Virginia. It was the fifth largest fort built to defend Washington, D.C. in the American Civil War. It is currently well-preserved with 90-95% of its earthen walls intact.
Liberated slaves, also known as “contrabands”, helped build the defenses to protect Washington from invasion by Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Fort was named for the first Union naval officer to die in the war. Fort Ward never saw any attacks, and was dismantled in November 1865, though many African- Americans continued to live there into the 1900s.
The fort is now a part of the City of Alexandria's 45-acre (18-ha) Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site adjacent to Braddock Road, and the museum offers rotating exhibits on American Civil War subjects and a Civil War library. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and hosts Civil War and Revolutionary War reenactments. The historic area now includes a museum, an Officer’s Hut, Ceremonial Gate, and reconstructed northwest bastion. The site can be found at 4301 West Braddock in Alexandria, Virginia.