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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Westmoreland Hills Local Park – Battery Bailey

Battery Bailey hill, constructed during the Civil War, to support cannons aimed at protecting the reservoir of water for Washington, D.C. It was located between Fort Sumner and Fort Mansfield as a part of a circle of forts to protect the city.


This Civil War fortification was one of a series of forts, batteries and entrenchments constructed at half-mile intervals around Washington, DC. President Lincoln established the defensive perimeter of military works that was 34 miles in circumference. Its purpose was to defend the city from Confederate Army attacks.

Battery Bailey is Montgomery County’s only remaining fortification. The C-shaped battery sits atop a north-facing hill, overlooking Little Falls Branch. It contained six ramparts, which were earth mounds with platforms for field guns. Embrasures, or openings in the parapets (earth walls), permitted firing of the weapons. Despite these features, there was no action at Battery Bailey during the Civil War. Therefore, the battery was unarmed and unmanned for its duration.

The site was named for Col. Guilford Dudley Bailey of the First regiment New York artillery, who was killed on May 31, 1862 at the Battle of Seven Pines. Battery Bailey is located in Westmoreland Hills Local Park, which also features a playground, softball field, multi-use field and two tennis courts. The 10.1-acre park was acquired by the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) in 1951. The M-NCPPC restored the earthworks and interprets the site with a series of historical markers.