With the start of the Civil War, the Washington Navy Yard become an important player in the defense of the Nation's Capital. Commandant Franklin Buchanan resigned his commission to join the Confederacy, leaving the Yard to Commander John Dahlgren, who assumed command on April 22, 1861.  President Abraham Lincoln became a frequent visitor to the Navy Yard. Dahlgren's long attachment to the Yard and his role in its development were recognized in 1863 by the naming of the new foundry in his honor and the burial in its wall of the leg lost by his son, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, following the Battle of Gettysburg.  Learn about these and other interesting Civil War era facts during the tour.

Your tour guide will be museum educator and historian, Mike Galloway and lasts approximately 90 minutes.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.  Washington Navy Yard Tours will be offered on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, May through November.

Note: The Washington Navy Yard is a U.S. military base.  Due to security requirements you will need to be escorted through base security if you do not possess a federal government issued I.D. card.  If taking metro, get on the Green Line and exit the Navy Yard/Ballpark stop, then walk to the entrance at 11th and O Street SE (about 15 minutes). Plan to arrive at the entrance gate by 10:00 AM. Please be prompt.   A museum educator will be at the entrance gate to bring you onto the base and to start the tour.  The last gate pickup will occur at 10:20 AM with the tour starting from inside the museum at 10:30 AM.   If you need to contact the museum on the day of your tour, call our front desk at 202.685.0589.  It is recommended you wear comfortable shoes for walking, and bring a bottle of water.  Head coverings are optional depending on the weather.

Mask Guidelines:  Masks are not required on the Navy Yard or inside any of its facilities.

Parking Option: Harris Teeters underground parking garage (401 M Street SE). Parking is free for 90 minutes.  Once you park, you will need to go into the store and validate your ticket.  After validating your ticket, exit the store and walk to the Navy Yard entrance at 11th and O Street SE.  Keep your ticket.  You will need it to exit the garage.

Register through Eventbrite or email Mike Galloway at michael.m.galloway.civ@us.navy.mil


Images of John A. Dahlgren, President Abraham Lincoln, and the Washington Navy Yard, courtesy of the Library of Congress and the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Images of John A. Dahlgren, President Abraham Lincoln, and the Washington Navy Yard, courtesy of the Library of Congress and the Naval History and Heritage Command.