In the early morning hours of May 24, 1861, Union soldiers in Arlington began a construction project that would last the entirety of the war and dominate the local landscape: the Arlington Line fortifications. While many of the Line’s physical remains have been lost to time and development, the legacy of the Arlington Line can still be felt across the county. In this program, we will explore the origin, layout, and construction of these important Civil War defenses, as well as the people who made them possible.

Our speaker is John McNair, the Park Historian at Arlington County’s Fort C.F. Smith Park. He is responsible for educational programing across various historic sites within the Arlington County Parks system. He holds a BA in History from the University of Mary Washington, and a MA in History from George Mason University. He began his career in public history as an intern for the National Park Service at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park and has since worked as a Certified Interpretive Guide for the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation.

This event is part of a series of free monthly public events provided by the Arlington Historical Society. Since the pandemic curtailed live events, AHS has provided them to the public via Zoom.