When the Civil War broke out in the United States, the position of Prince George’s was a tenuous one. Though sentiments were split, the presence and impact of the war were universal in the state — and that can be seen in the historical sites that have been preserved throughout the region. Today, you can find remnants of the war, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, across the area. Search for meaning at the region’s military forts, historic homes, memorial parks, and museums.


Visit one of these 10 sites in Prince George’s to better understand its place in the Civil War:


  1. The Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood was chartered in 1912 and currently covers 178 acres. The land was named after Fort Lincoln, which strategically protected the nation’s capital city during the Civil War — and President Abraham Lincoln is said to have met there to discuss army strategy.
  2. Visit Fort Foote park in Fort Washington, constructed in 1863 on Rozier’s Bluff. The site strengthened the fortification of Washington, D.C. during the Civil War, and the remains of two of the guns that helped with the protection are still on site.
  3. Learn about the efforts Elizabeth Keckly made to support newly emancipated people at the Elizabeth Keckly Burial Site. She worked hard to assist previously enslaved people who sought refuge in the Washington, D.C., area — and she raised funds and collected donations to benefit the community.
  4. Head to Fort Washington park, a space built to defend the river approach to Washington, D.C., and protect it during the Civil War. The fort was first built out of brick and stone — and it served as the only true defense of the capital city. Now, visitors can walk the three-mile trail, look for wildlife, watch for birds, and have a picnic.
  5. At the Northampton Plantation and Slave Quarters in Bowie, visitors will discover more about the Sprigg family, who lived there from 1800 to 1830. The site has since been rebuilt to show the foundations of two slave quarters, and visitors will find detailed information about the lives of the enslaved people who lived on the land for nearly 200 years, the many people who escaped from the plantation, and the free descendants who lived on it through 1940.
  6. The Charles Duckett Cabin was built in the 1880s, presumably by Charles Duckett, a former slave and landsman in the Union Navy during the Civil War. The hand-hewn log cabin sits in the Patuxent Rural Life Museums complex, also home to the Duvall Tool Museum.
  7. In Glenn Dale, the Marietta House Museum showcases a replica of the home and land where multiple generations of free and enslaved families lived and labored. The 600-acre property shows how these families lived through the Federal Era, the Antebellum years, the Civil War period, Jim Crow, and Reconstruction.
  8. Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm are the home of the historic Berry Farm, where strenuous labor was done by enslaved workers to cultivate crops. At least one person is known to have escaped from the farm, and the owner placed advertisements to attempt to find the person.
  9. Visit the Surratt House Museum and Research Center to uncover the region’s historical legacy of enslavement and the long-lasting struggle for racial justice. Not only does this space honor the past journeys of this effort, but it also highlights the push toward a more just future. Take a guided tour of the house every half hour.
  10. Visit National Harmony Memorial Park in Hyattsville, which was first established in 1825 and then later moved after falling into disrepair. Notably, Osborne Perry Anderson, an abolitionist who fought as a Union soldier during the Civil War, is buried at the cemetery.


Learn more about the region’s past at the museums and historic sites in Prince George’s