Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fort Monroe and Other Forts

15 May 2013

Today is going to be a long day of visiting at least 5 fort sites so we are taking Destiny with us.

We visited Fort Monroe in 2010 when it was still under military control. It was deactivated in 2011 and is now under private management except for the historical buildings and casemate museum. Many of the old quarters and homes are now private residences. The famous Chamberlain Hotel is now apartments and condos.
As it was

Design of the Fort
Just a small side of the fort

The NPS for now has control of the batteries, fort and museum. I urge you to visit the Casemate Museum. It has some interesting displays and it was here that Jefferson Davis was imprisoned following the Civil War. The Robert E Lee home is now a private residence across from the museum.
He was assigned here in 1831 as a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and helped in completing the fort. While here he was married to Mary Custis and his son was born.
Jefferson Davis Landed Here

Wharf where Davis landed

Casemate Museum 
Flag that hung In Davis' Cell

jefferson Davis Cell

Signage for Lee's Home

Lee's Residence..now private

The construction of Fort Monroe as a 3rd system fort was designed to protect the Hampton Roads waterway from enemy attack. It is the largest stone fortification in the US and enclosing 63 acres of land.It continued to serve as a bastion of defense and one of the longest active military bases until 2011.
Below are pictures of exhibits in the Casemate Museum.

We then drove in the tunnel to Norfolk to visit Fort Norfolk which is on the grounds of the Corps of Engineers and near the Naval base. Not much here except for a few buildings. Not very well maintained. Refer to signage for info on the fort.
Signage for Fort Norfolk

Fort Norfolk

Our next stop was Fort Boykin located along the James River in Isle of Wight. During the Revolutionary War it defended the James River against the British. In the was of 1812 once again the British were defeated. During the Civil War the Confederates rebuilt the fort; however, they were overwhelmed by the Union gunboats and the fort was abandoned. There is very little left except the earthworks.
Diagram of Fort Boykin

Remains of Fort

On to Fort Huger located in the northern section of Isle of Wight County. I opted to stay in the car with Destiny as she simply cannot walk the long distances anymore and the mosquitoes were in full force. John had to put on his mosquito suit. The fort was constructed in 1861. Thirteen guns were mounted,a shot furnace, powder magazine and shell house were no match for the Union forces and after heavy Union shelling from the gunboats, the Confederates were convinced that these forts were untenable and they were abandoned in 1862.
Fort Huger

Pathway to Fort

Too Many Mosquitoes

We made a brief stop stop at Bacon's Castle which was closed.It is supposed to be Virginia's oldest documented brick dwelling. At one time it was occupied as a fort by the followers of Nathaniel Bacon during his rebellion in 1676. He never lived in the house or known to have visited. It is also known as Arthur Allen House and Allen's Brick House.
Bacon's Castle

Another View

We are going to take the ferry from Surrey to Jamestown. It runs frequently and is free.
Ferry Boarding at Surrey

Passing Historic Jamestown

The weather is getting hot and humid.

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