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165, A Bill making an appropriation for completing the defences of Washington,"
December 20, 1861
the Civil War, Washington, DC, was in a dangerous location. Just to the
south was Virginia, which claimed to have seceded. To the north was Maryland,
a border state with many Confederate sympathizers. Several major battles
were fought near the city. To meet this threat, Congress funded an impressive
defense system that ringed the city. This bill, which was approved on
February 13, 1862, was an early step toward completing that plan. Eventually,
fortifying Washington, DC, would cost $1.4 million.