Thursday, February 7, 2008

High Point

Fort Reno Park--Washington's highest point and first line of defense during the Civil War

Washington, D.C., is a relatively flat city, but as you move northward from the downtown area, you rise in elevation from river level up to 429 feet above sea level. The highest point in the city is Fort Reno, which lies just east of Wisconsin Avenue and a few blocks north of Washington National Cathedral, the second highest point in the city.

During the U.S. Civil War, Fort Reno was the city's first line of defense against the Confederate Army. It was involved in the only Civil War battle to take place within the borders of the Capital City. In July 1864, CSA General Robert E. Lee sent Confederate troops to the city to take advantage of its low troop levels. Led by General Jubal A. Early, 22,000 Rebs of the 2nd Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia marched from Maryland. Federal troops noted Confederate troop movement and alerted troops stationed at Fort Stevens, four miles to the east on the other side of Rock Creek. The battle was known as "The Battle of Fort Stevens."*

Fortunately, Federal troops under the command of Major General Horatio D. Wright arrived in Washington at the same time as General Early's troops. The two forces skirmished for almost three days before Early realized the city couldn't be taken without heavy losses and the Confederate troops retreated.

Today, Fort Reno is home to one of D.C.'s several water storage and pumping stations. This photo was the closest I could get as the facility is surrounded by a fence. Nonetheless, there is a large park surrounding the facility and it is a popular gathering spot on July 4th for watching the fireworks downtown.

Here's an interesting tidbit. The actual highest physical point in Washington, D.C., is the Washington Monument, which stands at 555 feet. In terms of topography, though, Fort Reno is the high point in this fair city!

* Fort Stevens is a few blocks from where I live. I'll head over in the next couple of days and take pictures.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 2/08


Lisa Sarsfield said...

OMG! Absolutely postcard perfect! Remember us when you are a famous photographer DC!
I would have picked it for Scotland or somewhere if this was on another blog...stunning photo.
Running short on time, madly trying to keep up with full time study at mo....will not linger. Thanks though for the words to the ant song, I have that in my head now too! A replacement to the Starry, Starry night song that's been there all day...hurrah, hurrah!
Will be posting my 2 things photo tomorrow:)
Love your night shots belwo, the window mosaics too. I remember the turret, still love that pic. Nice framing on your blue sky pic too. Your gettting very arty:)

Ok, really not lingering any longer! lol

Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

Very nice photo, DC. Lovely pattern on that sky.

You know, I thought you were a member of the CDPB world already.

D.C. Confidential said...

Lisa: I have another picture of the turret/tower at Fort Reno that I'll post one day. You'll love it. Sounds like you're breathlessly busy; hope the Ants song provides a fun accompaniment for your activities. Looking forward to your 2 Things!

Fenix: Thank you! As for CDPB, nope, not a member. My one concern is, I want to maintain a certain level of photo and information quality and daily posting can be a lot of work. Is it okay to only post every other day? (Am I thinking this through too thoroughly?)

Lara said...

wheat: just any variety, we buy it from the market. photo: what a sky! simply amazing!

Bobbie said...

Gosh, so interesting. I had no ideal this place even existed. My internet has been down and I've missed all these great posts, so I'm playing catch up!

D.C. Confidential said...

Lara: Noted! And thank you. The sky is nice in this one, isn't it?

Bobbie: Glad you're back on the internet! As for Fort Reno, I had no idea either until I went up there! That's the fun part of this blog: I keep learning so much interesting stuff!

Fabrizio - ikol22 said...

It's a great photo !

D.C. Confidential said...

Fabrizio: Benvenuto! Thank you for your compliment.