|Monument for Fort Couch, Lemoyne|
|Existing entrenchments that were|
A part of Fort Couch
The Federal Government responded to the northward movement of Lee's army by creating two new departments within the Department of War: the Department of the Susquehanna and the Department of the Monongahela. On June 9, 1863, these were created to protect the industries within the borders of Pennsylvania.
|On top of the breastwork of Fort Couch|
Between June 14 and 19 of 1863 a hastily erected fort was built on the western bank of the Susquehanna River to protect the railroad and toll bridges that crossed the river. If the Confederate invaders captured this piece of high ground, Harrisburg would be at the mercy of the Confederate Army.
After the completion of Fort Couch, it was decided that more breastworks were needed to be built to help defend Harrisburg. These breastworks were located on Haldeman's Hill to the southwest of Fort Couch.
Both Forts Washington and Couch and the connecting breastworks were manned by volunteers from Pennsylvania and New York. From the beginning there were major issues between the volunteers and the citizens of Harrisburg. The New York volunteers thought that the residents of Harrisburg were lazy and had no motivation to defend themselves. And, they did have a valid point: only a handful of volunteers came out of Harrisburg to help erect the forts and breastworks. Most of the citizens claimed they would help build defenses for their city only if they were paid. Thanks to the African American community and the Pennsylvania Railroad the breastworks were erected.
|Pennsylvania Historical Marker|
For Fort Coouch
The New York Volunteers blamed the thefts on the Pennsylvania Volunteers. The Pennsylvanians denied the thefts and blamed the New Yorkers. Despite the volunteers fighting among themselves, they were united by their hatred of the citizens of Harrisburg.
|Pennsylvania Historical Marker for Fort Couch|
A note about the location of Fort Washington: The fort was located in the area of Cumberland Road. Nothing remains of the fort and the area where it existed is all privately owned.