Fort Lesley J. McNair
is a United States Army
post located on the tip of a peninsula
) that lies at the confluence of the Potomac River
and the Anacostia River
in Washington, D.C.
To its west is the Washington Channel
, while the Anacostia River is on its south side. It has been an Army post for more than 200 years, third only to West Point
and Carlisle Barracks
in length of service.
The military reservation was established in 1791 on about at the tip of Greenleaf Point. Maj. Pierre Charles L'Enfant
included it in his plans for Washington, the Federal City, as a major site for the defense of the capital.L'Enfant identified himself as "Peter Charles L'Enfant" during most of his life, while residing in the United States. He wrote this name on his (Washington, D.C.) and on other legal documents. However, during the early 1900's, a French ambassador to the U.S., Jean Jules Jusserand
, popularized the use of L'Enfant's birth name, "Pierre Charles L'Enfant". (See: Bowling (2002).) The National Park Service
identifies L'Enfant as
on its website. The United States Code states in : "(a) In General.—The purposes of this chapter shall be carried out in the District of Columbia as nearly as may be practicable in harmony with the plan of Peter Charles L'Enfant."
An arsenal first occupied the site and defenses were built in 1794. The fortifications did not halt the invading British in 1814.... Read More