|Part of Harbor Defenses of Eastern New York 1898–1934|
|Throgs Neck at East River and Long Island Sound, New York, New York|
Southern main gate
|Type||Garrison fort, training camp|
NYC Landmark #0124
|Area||17 acres (6.9 ha)|
|Architect||Capt. I.L. Smith (probably John Lind Smith (died 1858) of the US Army Corps of Engineers)|
|Architectural style||Third system of US fortifications|
|NRHP reference #||76001206|
|Added to NRHP||June 29, 1976|
|Designated NYCL||April 19, 1966|
|Built by||United States Army Corps of Engineers|
|Battles/wars|| American Civil War |
World War I
Fort Schuyler is a preserved 19th century fortification in the New York City borough of the Bronx. It houses a museum, the Stephen B. Luce Library, and the Marine Transportation Department and Administrative offices of the State University of New York Maritime College. It is considered one of the finest examples of early 19th century fortifications. The fort was named in honor of Major General Philip Schuyler of the Continental Army.
Fort Schuyler was one of many forts built along the east coast of the United States under the third system of US fortifications in the aftermath of the War of 1812, when it became apparent that the U.S. coast was poorly defended against foreign invasion. Fort Schuyler was begun in 1833 and dedicated in 1856 after 75% completion, though not garrisoned until 1861. The fort was strategically positioned to protect New York City from naval attack through Long Island Sound, guarding the eastern entrance to New York Harbor. It is located on Throggs Neck, the southeastern tip of the Bronx, where the East River meets Long Island Sound. Fort Totten, built during the Civil War and largely incomplete, faces it on the opposite side of the river. Their interlocking batteries created a bottleneck of defenses against ships attempting to approach New York City.
Fort Schuyler, at its peak, boasted 312 gunsand could accommodate a garrison of 1,250 men. It was designed and built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Its position on Throggs Neck allowed four of its five sides to cover the water approach to New York City. Each of the four seacoast fronts had three tiers of cannon; ten guns per tier except on the north front, which had fourteen guns per tier. The bottom two tiers inside the fort were casemated, while the third tier on the roof had barbette mounts. Relatively small "tower bastions" of a type developed by US Army engineer Joseph G. Totten were at the three points where the seacoast fronts met. Each of these had twelve flank howitzers to protect the curtain walls of the fronts against assault, along with three heavy seacoast guns. Behind the fort were an extensive hornwork (unique in the third system) and an advanced redoubt (later demolished) to defend against a land attack. The hornwork had two demi-bastions protecting its face against a direct assault, along with a large ravelin extending northwest along the peninsula to break up an attack. Two additional demi-bastions protected the gap between the hornwork and the main fort. The demi-bastions and redoubt were armed with several flank howitzers each.
During the American Civil War, Fort Schuyler held as many as 500 prisoners of warfrom the Confederate States Army and military convicts from the Union Army. It also included the MacDougall Hospital, which had a capacity of 2,000 beds. The fort was well designed for its time, it is said to have had one of the most effective waste removal systems ever seen in a fort from this time period.
Fort Schuyler was also a mobilization and training center. Units trained at the fort before heading to combat included the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry "Duryee's Zouaves", and the 69th and 88th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiments (the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Meagher's "Irish Brigade"). From January 1863 until March 1864, the fort itself was garrisoned by the 20th Independent Battery, New York Volunteer Artillery, a unit originally recruited to fight in the war as part of the Anthon Battalion of Volunteer Light Artillery.
Duty at the fort was reported to be a dull assignment as the men took the roles of guards and hospital stewards, not artillerymen.From July until August 1865 the fort was garrisoned by companies A, B, C, F, G, H and I of the Anderson Zouaves (companies D and E being assigned to Fort Wood on Bedloes Island), upon their return from service with the VI Corps of the Army of the Potomac and duty in the defenses of Washington, D.C. The Anderson Zouaves finally mustered out from Fort Schuyler on August 30, 1865.
A ten-gun battery was built 1873–1876 as part of a general fort improvement program, along with a mine casemate (bunker) for a controlled minefield in the river, Fort Totten being an experimental station for coast defense minefields.Later, Fort Schuyler received several modern coastal artillery gun batteries under the Endicott Program, completed 1898-1900 as part of the Coast Defenses of Eastern New York, which also included new batteries at Fort Totten and Fort Slocum on Davids' Island. These included Battery Gansevoort with two 12-inch guns on disappearing carriages, Battery Hazzard with two 10-inch disappearing guns, Battery Bell with two 5-inch guns on retractable balanced pillar carriages, and Battery Beecher with two 3-inch guns on retractable masking parapet carriages. The forts were initially garrisoned by heavy artillery companies, which became coast artillery companies in 1901, and part of the United States Army Coast Artillery Corps in 1907, including US regular army, New York State Militia, and New York National Guard units. However, soon after completion the defenses of the East River were largely superseded by the Coast Defenses of Long Island Sound on islands east of Long Island, including Fort H. G. Wright on Fishers Island.
After the American entry into World War I in 1917, Battery Bell's 5-inch guns were removed for potential service in France as field guns on wheeled carriages. Most of the 5-inch guns removed under this program were sent to France with the 69th Artillery Regiment of the Coast Artillery Corps. However, the regiment did not complete training before the Armistice and did not see action.The 5-inch guns were never returned to the forts and were scrapped circa 1920. Prior to 1922 one 12-inch gun at Battery Gansevoort was dismounted; this may have been in 1917–18 as potential railway artillery. At some time, probably in 1918-1920, a battery of two 3-inch antiaircraft guns was built at the fort. In 1920, with the war over, Battery Beecher's 3-inch guns were scrapped as part of a general removal from service of the M1898 3-inch gun. The 10-inch guns of Battery Hazzard followed in 1930; the reason for this is unclear. In 1934 the fort was disarmed and turned over to the state. All of the Endicott-era batteries were demolished in the 1950s.
In the late 1920s Fort Schuyler was placed on the abandoned list by the U.S. Army. When this was done, it was targeted for acquisition by Robert Moses for conversion to a state park as well as a permanent shore base for the New York State Merchant Marine Academy (now SUNY Maritime College). A protracted political struggle ensued, but eventually the academy forces prevailed. The site was transferred to the state of New York in 1934 during the Great Depression, then rehabilitated by the Works Progress Administration and dedicated to the school in 1938.The college, which was founded in 1874, still occupies the site, and in 1948 was one of the original 29 founding schools to be incorporated into the State University of New York as the State University of New York Maritime College. The fort has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976.
In 1986, a portion of Fort Schuyler was dedicated as the Maritime Industry Museum. The museum houses exhibits on the history of the United States maritime industry, including commercial shipping, the merchant marine, and the port of New York, as well as exhibits on the history of Fort Schuyler. It is open to the public on weekdays.
Fort Moultrie is a series of fortifications on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, built to protect the city of Charleston, South Carolina. The first fort, formerly named Fort Sullivan, built of palmetto logs, inspired the flag and nickname of South Carolina, as "The Palmetto State". The fort was renamed for the U.S. patriot commander in the Battle of Sullivan's Island, General William Moultrie. During British occupation, in 1780–1782, the fort was known as Fort Arbuthnot.
Fort Hamilton is a United States Army installation in the southwestern corner of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, surrounded by the communities of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. It is one of several posts that are part of the region which is headquartered by the Military District of Washington. Its mission is to provide the New York metropolitan area with military installation support for the Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserve. The original fort was completed in 1831, with major additions made in the 1870s and 1900s. However, all defenses except about half of the original fort have been demolished or buried.
Fort Slocum, New York was a US military post which occupied Davids' Island in the western end of Long Island Sound in the city of New Rochelle, New York from 1867 to 1965. The fort was named for Major General Henry W. Slocum, a Union corps commander in the American Civil War.
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 originally 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. Until disarmament in 1946, the areas protected by the fort were the entire Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River regions, including the water approaches to the cities of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, along with important shipyards and naval bases in the Hampton Roads area. Surrounded by a moat, the six-sided bastion fort is the largest fort by area ever built in the United States.
Fort Wadsworth is a former United States military installation on Staten Island in New York City, situated on The Narrows which divide New York Bay into Upper and Lower halves, a natural point for defense of the Upper Bay and Manhattan beyond. Prior to closing in 1994 it claimed to be the longest continually garrisoned military installation in the United States. Divided into several smaller units, including Fort Tompkins and Fort Richmond, its present name was adopted in 1865 to honor Brigadier General James Wadsworth, who had been killed in the Battle of the Wilderness during the Civil War. Fort Wadsworth is now part of the Staten Island Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area, maintained by the National Park Service.
Fort Totten is a former active United States Army installation in the New York City borough of Queens. It is located on the Willets Point peninsula on the north shore of Long Island. Fort Totten is at the head of Little Neck Bay, where the East River widens to become Long Island Sound. While the U.S. Army Reserve continues to maintain a presence at the fort, the property is now owned by the City of New York.
Fort Delaware is a former harbor defense facility, designed by chief engineer Joseph Gilbert Totten and located on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River. During the American Civil War, the Union used Fort Delaware as a prison for Confederate prisoners of war, political prisoners, federal convicts, and privateer officers. A three-gun concrete battery of 12-inch guns, later named Battery Torbert, was designed by Maj. Charles W. Raymond and built inside the fort in the 1890s. By 1900, the fort was part of a three fort concept, the first forts of the Coast Defenses of the Delaware, working closely with Fort Mott in Pennsville, New Jersey and Fort DuPont in Delaware City, Delaware. The fort and the island currently belong to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and encompass a living history museum, located in Fort Delaware State Park.
Fort Warren is a historic fort on the 28-acre (110,000 m2) Georges Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor. The fort is named for Revolutionary War hero Dr. Joseph Warren, who sent Paul Revere on his famous ride, and was later killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The name was transferred in 1833 from the first Fort Warren – built in 1808 – which was renamed Fort Winthrop.
Fort Adams is a former United States Army post in Newport, Rhode Island that was established on July 4, 1799 as a First System coastal fortification, named for President John Adams who was in office at the time. Its first commander was Captain John Henry who was later instrumental in starting the War of 1812. The current Fort Adams was built 1824–57 under the Third System of coastal forts; it is part of Fort Adams State Park today.
Fort Hancock is a former United States Army fort at Sandy Hook in Middletown Township New Jersey. The coastal artillery base defended the Atlantic coast and the entrance to New York Harbor, with its first gun batteries operational in 1896. Between 1874 and 1919, the adjacent US Army Sandy Hook Proving Ground was operated in conjunction with Fort Hancock. It is now part of Fort Hancock Memorial Park. It was preceded by the Fort at Sandy Hook, built 1857–1867 and demolished beginning in 1885.
Fort Michie was a United States Army coastal defense site on Great Gull Island, New York. Along with Fort H. G. Wright, Fort Terry, and Camp Hero, it defended the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound as part of the Harbor Defenses of Long Island Sound, thus defending Connecticut's ports and the north shore of Long Island.
Seacoast defense was a major concern for the United States from its independence until World War II. Before airplanes, many of America's enemies could only reach it from the sea, making coastal forts an economical alternative to standing armies or a large navy. After the 1940s, it was recognized that fixed fortifications were obsolete and ineffective against aircraft and missiles. However, in prior eras foreign fleets were a realistic threat, and substantial fortifications were built at key locations, especially protecting major harbors.
Fort Taber District or the Fort at Clark's Point is a historic American Civil War-era military fort on Wharf Road within the former Fort Rodman Military Reservation in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The fort is now part of Fort Taber Park, a 47-acre town park located at Clark's Point. Fort Taber was an earthwork built nearby with city resources and garrisoned 1861-1863 until Fort Rodman was ready for service.
Fort Standish was a coastal fort completed in 1907 and located on Lovell's Island in Massachusetts. Named after Myles Standish, the fort would serve to host up to 7 batteries until it was disarmed and deactivated in 1947. It was also named Lovell's Island Military Reservation during the early part of its existence. It was part of the Coast Defenses of Boston.
Fort Stark is a former military fortification in New Castle, New Hampshire, United States. Located at Jerry's Point on the southeastern tip of New Castle Island, most of the surviving fort was developed in the early 20th century, following the Spanish–American War, although there were several earlier fortifications on the site, portions of which survive. The fort was named for John Stark, a New Hampshire officer who distinguished himself at the Battle of Bennington in the American Revolution. The purpose of Fort Stark was to defend the harbor of nearby Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The fort remained in active use through the Second World War, after which it was used for reserve training by the US Navy. The property was partially turned over to the state of New Hampshire in 1979, which established Fort Stark Historic Site, and the remainder of the property was turned over in 1983. The grounds are open to the public during daylight hours.
Fort Victoria is a disused British Army fort, built to house coastal artillery atop Retreat Hill at the North-East of St. George's Island, in the British colony of Bermuda.
The Harbor Defenses of Portsmouth was a United States Army Coast Artillery Corps harbor defense command. It coordinated the coast defenses of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the nearby Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine from 1900 to 1950, both on the Piscataqua River, beginning with the Endicott program. These included both coast artillery forts and underwater minefields. The command originated circa 1900 as the Portsmouth Artillery District, was renamed Coast Defenses of Portsmouth in 1913, and again renamed Harbor Defenses of Portsmouth in 1925.
The Harbor Defenses of Long Island Sound was a United States Army Coast Artillery Corps harbor defense command. It coordinated the coast defenses of Long Island Sound and Connecticut from 1895 to 1950, beginning with the Endicott program. These included both coast artillery forts and underwater minefields. The area defended included the approach via the Sound to New York City, the port cities and manufacturing centers of New London, New Haven, and Bridgeport, and eventually included the submarine base and shipyard in Groton. The command originated circa 1900 as an Artillery District, was renamed Coast Defenses of Long Island Sound in 1913, and again renamed Harbor Defenses of Long Island Sound in 1925.
The Harbor Defenses of New York was a United States Army Coast Artillery Corps harbor defense command. It coordinated the coast defenses of New York City from 1895 to 1950, beginning with the Endicott program, some of which were located in New Jersey. These included both coast artillery forts and underwater minefields. The command originated circa 1895 as an Artillery District(s) and became the Coast Defenses of Eastern New York and Coast Defenses of Southern New York in 1913. Circa 1915 the Coast Defenses of Sandy Hook separated from the latter command. In 1925 the commands were renamed as Harbor Defense Commands, and in 1935 the Harbor Defenses of Eastern New York was almost entirely disarmed, although possibly retaining the minefield capability. The New York and Sandy Hook commands and the Harbor Defenses of Long Island Sound were unified as the Harbor Defenses of New York on 9 May 1942.
The Harbor Defenses of the Delaware was a United States Army Coast Artillery Corps harbor defense command. It coordinated the coast defenses of the Delaware River estuary from 1897 to 1950, beginning with the Endicott program. These included both coast artillery forts and underwater minefields. The areas protected included the cities of Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington along with the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. The command originated circa 1896 as an Artillery District and became the Coast Defenses of the Delaware in 1913, with defenses initially at and near Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island near Delaware City. In 1925 the command was renamed as a Harbor Defense Command. During World War II the defenses were relocated to Fort Miles on Cape Henlopen at the mouth of the Delaware Bay.
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