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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Battery Kemble; Earthworks
Structure Number:
521-01
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
No records.
Park:
Rock Creek Park
Park District:
ROCR Fort Circle Park - North
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
Defenses of Washington-Circle Forts
Structure State:
District of Columbia
Structure County:
Washington
Region:
National Capital
Administrative Unit:
Rock Creek Park
LCS ID:
005362
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
09/13/1978
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Contributing
Short Significance Description:
Part of the defense circle built to defend the Nation's Capital during the Civil War. Battery Kemble was built to provide support to Fort Stevens and Fort Slocum and to guard northern approaches to the city.
Long Significance Description:
During the American Civil War, Union Forces protected the Capital city by building a ring of forts around it. Because of their deterrent value, the fortifications freed Union forces for offensive purposes. Fort Stevens was the target of the only serious Confederate move against the Capital. General Early's attack occurred on July 11-12,1864, and was repulsed.

Battery Kemble, completed during the Autumn of 1861, was named after Governor Kemble of Cold Spring, New York, former president of West Point Foundry, where most of the heavy Army and Navy guns were made during the Civil War. Battery Kemble is on the high point of land, 387 feet above mean low level of the Potomac, where it’s guns could protect both Chain Bridge and Aqueduct Bridge. The earthwork remains of the battery are distinct and well preserved.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1861
AD


Union Army Corp of Engineers
Engineer
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Battery (Defense)
Primary Current Use:
Interpretative Landscape
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
No records.
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Fortification
Volume:
20,000 - 2,000,000 cubic feet
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Superstructure
Earth
2. 
Substructure
Earth
Short Physical Description:
The earthworks are located across from 3020 Chain Bridge Rd. at the western end of the park. They consist of a 75' semicircular battery with two barbettes and an outlying powder magazine, located to the NE of the main works. The earthwork is currently capped by boundary markers.
Long Physical Description:
Battery Kemble is located in Battery Kemble Park directly across from 3020 Chain Bridge Road. The remains of Battery Kemble consist of earthworks only, and are located in the western-most section of the park in Reservation 521. It is entirely within this reservation that we find the historic remains of Battery Kemble. The earthworks consist of a 75' semicircular battery with two barbettes and an outlying powder magazine. The earthwork originally mounted 2 parrott 100-lber guns and is currently capped by boundary markers. The remains of the powder magazine are located northeast of the main earthwork along Chain Bridge Road.