After the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Continental forces had gathered in large numbers at Cambridge Common, General Washington soon realized that these soldiers desperately needed formal training if they were to stand a chance against the professional British military. As a part of their training and to protect from future British attacks, Washington launched a large-scale earthworks project around the Town of Cambridge.
One of these fortifications was named Fort Washington. Fort Washington was a relatively small palisade consisting of two half moon batteries designed to fit fifty or sixty men. At the time of its construction, General Washington used this project as a means of training the soldiers to build larger-scale fortifications like the one at Dorchester Heights in Boston.
Today, Fort Washington is a fenced-in park housing three cannons. These cannons were not originally on this site during the American Revolution. They were contributed in 1858 from Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. Fort Washington stands at the country’s oldest surviving fortification from the Revolutionary War.
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