The fort was built as the people of Harrisburg braced for an invasion.
These earthworks are all that remain of the defenses built as Confederate troops moved north in 1863.
Learn more about the history behind the fort with Cooper Wingert's book, The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg
Backstory and Context
On June 28, General Albert G.Jenkins' Confederate Calvary occupied Mechanicsburg. They advanced out of Trundle Spring road to Peace Church. While a portion of his brigade moved east along Carlisle Pike. They bivouacked near the Rupp house after skirmishing. The next day they again skirmished with Yankee militia stationed at Oyster Point. They created a diversion which allowed Jenkins to investigate Union defences of Harrisburg.
General Richard S. Dwell ordered commander Robert E. Rodes to March toward Harrisburg, overwhelm defenses, and capture the city. His troops would have assailed Hummel Heights, but the infantry attack never materialized. General Robert Rodes learnt of the Union army's advances in Pennsylvania, and told his ment to fall back and concentrate west of Gettysburg at Cashtown. After the battle of Gettysburg Fort Couch and Washington were abandoned and forgotten as the years passed. Today only a portion of the fort remains to remind locals of Rodes planned attack on the capital of Pennsylvania in June 1863.