The new post was constructed by Union troops in early 1863 and named for Charles Ferguson Smith. The fortification extended the line of Arlington forts to the Potomac River. Along with Forts Strong, Morton, and Woodbury, it functioned as part of the outer perimeter of defenses that protected the Aqueduct Bridge of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
The fort consisted of lunettes facing south and west and two bastions to the north to protect it from attack up the ravines from the Potomac. The fort was entered from the east by a road that crossed Spout Run and proceeded up the hill to Fort Strong. To provide clear lines of fire for Fort C.F. Smith and adjacent forts, all of the trees for miles around were cut down. Many of the trees were used in construction of the forts and support structures.
Department of the East •Department of Washington, D.C. •Department of the Potomac •Military District of Washington •Department of the Rappahanock •Defenses of Washington, D.C. •Department of Washington