"Aerial View of Fort Monroe" by NPS Photo , public domain

Fort Monroe

National Monument - Virginia

Fort Monroe is a decommissioned military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula, United States. Along with Fort Wool, Fort Monroe guarded the navigation channel between the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads—the natural roadstead at the confluence of the Elizabeth, the Nansemond and the James rivers. Surrounded by a moat, the seven-sided star fort is the largest stone fort ever built in the United States.

maps

Official visitor map of Fort Monroe National Monument (NM) in South Carolina. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Fort Monroe - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Fort Monroe National Monument (NM) in South Carolina. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/fomr/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Monroe Fort Monroe is a decommissioned military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula, United States. Along with Fort Wool, Fort Monroe guarded the navigation channel between the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads—the natural roadstead at the confluence of the Elizabeth, the Nansemond and the James rivers. Surrounded by a moat, the seven-sided star fort is the largest stone fort ever built in the United States. Fort Monroe National Monument has a diverse history spanning the American story from American Indian presence, Captain John Smith's journeys, first arrival of enslaved Africans in English North America, a safe haven for freedom seekers during the American Civil War, and a bastion of defense for the Chesapeake Bay through the 21st Century. Visit and witness the on-going preservation work in action. From I-64 East or West take Exit 268 (169 East Mallory St/Ft. Monroe) (Going East: Last Exit prior to Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, going West: first Exit after it.) Top of Exit Left at light onto S Mallory St (0.1 mile). Right at 2nd light onto E Mellen St. Continue crossing a small bridge (0.6 mile). Continue straight at light (Left fork) onto Ingalls Rd (0.5 mile). Left onto Ruckman Rd towards fort Main Gate, pass through fort walls Right onto Bernard Rd, angled parking on Left (0.2 mile). Casemate Museum This partner-operated museum presenting the complex history of Old Point Comfort and Fort Monroe across more than four centuries. Access to the museum is by time reservation entry through the visitor center. One can also call 757-690-8181 or visit: https://bit.ly/3icOzD4 to make a reservation online. From I-64 East or West take Exit 268 (169 East Mallory St/Ft. Monroe) (Going East: Last Exit prior to Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, going West: first Exit after it.) Top of Exit Left at light onto S Mallory St (0.1 mile). Right at 2nd light onto E Mellen St. Continue crossing a small bridge (0.6 mile). Continue straight at light (Left fork) onto Ingalls Rd (0.5 mile). Left onto Ruckman Rd towards fort Main Gate, pass through fort walls Right onto Bernard Rd, angled parking on Left (0.2 mile). Fort Monroe Visitor and Education Center Great start to any Fort Monroe visit. Accessible visitor center provides orientation, exhibits, park store, brochures, passport stamps, junior ranger and B.A.R.K. ranger programs, restrooms, water filling station. Casemate Museum timed reservations made here. Admission is free. Parking in the rear of the building. For information or schedule guided tours email visit@fortmonroe.org or call 757-690-8181. All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult. Face coverings are optional. From I-64 East or West take Exit 268 (169 East Mallory St/Ft. Monroe) (Going East: Last Exit prior to Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, going West: first Exit after it.) Top of Exit Left at light onto S Mallory St (0.1 mile). Right at 2nd light onto E Mellen St. Continue crossing a small bridge (0.6 mile). Continue straight at light (Left fork) onto Ingalls Rd (0.5 mile). Visitor center is (0.65 mile) on the Left. Parking on the street or behind the visitor center. The Colonies RV and Travel Park With 47 campsites, 22 with full hookups, the Colonies RV and Travel Park is a great place to experience all Fort Monroe and the surrounding area have to offer. Amenities include a country store, clubhouse with kitchen, game room, and TV room. Aerial view of Colonies RV and Travel Park Aerial view of Colonies RV and Travel Park Aerial view of Colonies RV and Travel Park Colonies RV Park Map Map of RV sites Map of the Colonies RV and Travel Park Campsite Maryland Campsite image Afternoon picture of the campsite Tent-Only Site Shaded tent-only site Well shaded tent-only site allows for relaxing afternoons taking in the on-shore breeze. Fort Monroe Aerial View Aerial View of Fort Monroe A unique perspective only available from the air brings the entire scope of Fort Monroe into focus in one image. Fort Monroe with USS Kearsarge Fort Monroe in foreground with USS Kearsarge in background. Fort Monroe's Flagstaff is the first US flag the sailors of the USS Kearsage see when returning to the waters of Hampton Roads. Fort Monroe Flagstaff Bastion sun setting over the moat of Fort Monroe Brilliant colors of the setting sun offer unique views of the largest stone fortification ever built in the United States. Algernourne Oak: Standing Sentinel sunrise over the Parade Ground illuminates Algernourne Oak. The rising sun illuminates Algernourne Oak as it stands sentinel over the Parade Ground as it has done for almost 500 years. Osprey Perches on Live Oak an Osprey dries its wings perched on a live oak. An Osprey, once endangered, dries its wings in the on-shore breeze while perched on a live oak. Repairing History, Rebuilding Lives: HOPE Crew Celebrates 100th Project at Fort Monroe National Monument On Monday, June 19, Fort Monroe National Monument will host the celebration of the 100th project by Hands-On Preservation Experience, or HOPE Crew. This initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with The Corps Network, engages youth in the historic preservation trades under the guidance of experts in the field. Men and women work on a post. Preserving Places of Captivity: Civil War Military Prisons in the National Parks During the Civil War, over 400,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were held prisoner at more than 150 diff erent prison sites. Approximately 56,000 of these died in captivity. Although Andersonville is the most famous Civil War prison, it is only one of many Civil War military prisons that are preserved by the National Park Service. Fort Monroe and the "Contrabands of War" In the early months of the Civil War, slaves were fleeing to Union lines seeking freedom but emancipation was not yet a stated war aim of President Lincoln. At Fort Monroe, General Benjamin Butler came up with a creative solution to this difficult situation. Wartime print of Fort Monroe National Park Getaway: Fort Monroe National Monument Located in southeastern Virginia, Fort Monroe National Monument stands at the heart of Hampton Roads on the Chesapeake Bay. Whether your interest lies in history, culture, the natural world, or recreational activities, Fort Monroe and the surrounding area provide much to experience! Fort moat and flagstaff bastion Third System of Coastal Forts How should a country protect its borders? The United States had to consider this question when the War of 1812 ended in 1815. One year later, the federal government believed it had an answer. The nation created a broad national defense strategy that included a new generation of waterfront defenses called the Third System of Coastal Fortifications. Seacoast Ordnance Cannon manufactured for use in Third System forts are called seacoast ordnance. These were some of the largest and heaviest cannon available at the time. Cannon at forts Pickens, McRee, Barrancas, Massachusetts, and Advanced Redoubt fell into three categories: guns, howitzers, and mortars. Each had a specific purpose. A cannon is mounted over a brick wall, an American flag is flying to the left. The Civilian Experience in the Civil War After being mere spectators at the war's early battles, civilians both near and far from the battlefields became unwilling participants and victims of the war as its toll of blood and treasure grew year after year. In response to the hardships imposed upon their fellow citizens by the war, civilians on both sides mobilized to provide comfort, encouragement, and material, and began to expect that their government should do the same. Painting of civilians under fire during the Siege of Vicksburg Freedom's Fortress Fort Monroe National Monument, at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, preserves the landscape associated with both the beginning of slavery in England's American Colonies and the end of slavery in the United States. Within the moated walls of the fort, a large parade ground is bordered by historic buildings and a collection of mature live oak trees. One of these is estimated to be almost 500 year old, making it a living witness to events that shaped the nation. A broad, leafy oak partially obscures a two-story red brick house with a porch. The Changing War Begun as a purely military effort with the limited political objectives of reunification (North) or independence (South), the Civil War transformed into a social, economic and political revolution with unforeseen consequences. As the war progressed, the Union war effort steadily transformed from a limited to a hard war; it targeted not just Southern armies, but the heart of the Confederacy's economy, morale, and social order-the institution of slavery. Woodcut of spectators watching a train station set fire by Sherman's troops Beyond beautiful places, the National Park Service protects our nation's emancipation sites and stories As we celebrate Juneteenth, it is equally important to recognize the role that the enslaved had in their own emancipation. The National Park Service has the honor of protecting sacred places and histories for the American people, many of which explore enslavement, emancipation, and the fight for equality that are integral to the American experience.
Freedom's Fortress An 1862 lithograph of Fort Monroe showcases its strategic lo cati on for marit ime defense and commerce. Under constructio n from 1819-1834, t he fort is named after U.S. President James Monroe. It rema ined a Un ion stronghold throughout the entire Civil War, earn ing the name the "Gibraltar of the Chesapeake." Library of congress. E. Sachse & co. Abundant natural resources made this small piece of land attractive to the American Indian for centuries before Captain John Smith and the Virginia Company identified its strategic importance for the defense of the Chesapeake Bay. In 1609 the first fortification, Fort Algernourne, was built here along the bay. Arriving ten years later were the first "20 and odd" reported Africans brought to the English colonies. The defense of the nation and the quest for freedom converged at Fort Monroe in 1861, barely one month after the first shots of the United States Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Three enslaved men, known to us today as Frank Baker, James Townsend, and Sheppard Mallory, escaped and sought freedom with the Union Army at Fort Monroe. Under provisions of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act these men had to be returned. The fort's commander Major General Benjamin Butler, a lawyer by profession, reasoned that since Virginia had seceded, stating it was no longer part of the United States, the Fugitive Slave Act did not apply. Further, because the Confederates considered enslaved persons as property and were using these enslaved men in their war efforts against the United States, Butler argued these freedom seekers should be considered "contraband of war." Like seized goods, LEFT Major General Benjamin Butler supported education, train ing, and enlistment of able bodied members of the "Contraband Camp" surrounding Fort Monroe. Mary S. Peake taught former enslaved people encamped for protect ion near Fort Monroe. She worked for the American M issionary Associat ion (AMA). Library of Congress. Courtesy of Hampton University Archives RIGHT Hampton University, pictured here in 1899, sti ll thrives as a Historically Black College and University, an d traces its existen ce to the AMA. Library of Congress these men would not be returned to bondage, giving rise to communities of men, women, and children known as "Contraband Camps" near Union forces. This landmark decision to consider these freedom seekers as "contraband" forever changed the legal status of enslaved people in the United States, influencing thousands to seek sanctuary behind Union lines. This decision ultimately led to President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which finally abolished slavery in the United States in 1865. The fort became known as "Freedom's Fortress," and has remained a national symbol for protection and freedom. Fort Monroe continued as a bastion of defense and training until it was deactivated in September of 201t. ABOVE Robe rt E. Lee, a 24 year-o ld West Point-tra ined engineer, post ed in 1831 to oversee const ruct ion at Fort M o nroe and at t he Ri p-Raps in Ham pton Roads for Fort Ca lhoun, now Fort W ool. Courtesy of Washington and Lee University LEFT Fo llowing the "Co ntra band decision " in 1861, thousa nds of freedom seekers risked thei r lives t o f ind sanctuary at Fort Monroe. Library of Congress Brown Pelican North Beach Area Fort moat Alan D. Wiison, Fort Monroe Authority, NPS, NPS Fort Monroe Points of Interest Building #1, Quarters No. 1: Major General Benjam in Butler occupied these quarters in 1861 where he made the pivotal Contraband decision. These quarters were also President Lincoln's residence while planning the attack on Norfolk in 1862. also served as living quart ers and a holding cell for Confederate President Jefferson Davis. /1 /1 Building #SO: Constructed in 1834 as quarters and office space for engineers posted to Fort Monroe, the building has seen many arch itectural changes during its transformation to the set of three houses seen today. Chapel of the Centurion: Dedicated in 1858 in honor of t he Roman centurion Cornelius and designed in the style of noted arch itect Richard Upjohn this chapel fea tures many impressive arch itectural details includ ing three Tiffany stained-glass windows. Gated A Autf) rea Wildlife Parade Ground: This open area, surrounded Or/zed Access 0 Observation ··············· '17/y Platform • ................. o n three sides by mature live oaks includ ing t he 500 year old Algernourne Oak," was historically used as much for recreation as military exercises and ceremonies. /1 Building #17, Lee's Quarters: While on leave from Fort Monroe, Robert E. Lee married Mary Custis, great granddaughter of Martha Washington, at Arlington House in present day Arlington, Virgi nia and occupied these quarters from 183 1-34. The Lee's first child, a son, Custis Lee, was born here in 1832. I I I I I

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