HR 165

"HR 165, A Bill making an appropriation for completing the defences of Washington," December 20, 1861

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

During 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.