Monday, February 2, 2009

The World Around Me...This week

Sunday my husband and I took a tour of Fort Monroe in Hampton Virginia.
Built 1819–1834, it is the largest moat-encircled masonry fortification in the United States

The oldest remaining structure at the fort is the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse built in 1802 and restore in the early 1900's. The house was where the lighhouse keeper stayed.

Fort Monroe is also home to the famous Chamberland Hotel

The first hotel built on Fort Monroe was built in 1820. Called the Hygeia, the resort drew a steady stream of well-heeled visitors. One of them was Edgar Allen Poe, who recited "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee" on the Hygeia's porch one September night in 1849, a month before he died.

After serving as a hospital during the Civil War, the Hygeia was torn down. Another hotel sprang up in its place, followed shortly by the first Chamberlin establishment. When it burned down in 1920, the present edifice was erected.

Notable People Associated with Fort Monroe's Military History

* Edgar Allan Poe served the last part of his brief Army enlistment (1827-29) at Fort Monroe . In 1849, a month before his death, he recited "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee" on the porch of the Hygeia, the first hotel to be built on the post.

* President Andrew Jackson visited Fort Monroe and the "Rip Raps," the artificial island where Fort Calhoun was under construction, several times in the early 1830s. He witnessed target firing at the Artillery School and reviewed the troops. He enjoyed vacationing at the Rip Raps, which was essentially the first summer white house or "Camp David".

* Black Hawk, taken prisoner in the Black Hawk War of 1832, was briefly kept at the fort-along with Whirling Thunder and the Prophet--before being returned to Illinois. Of his stay there, the chief said, "The war chief (Colonel Eustis) met us on our arrival, and shook hands, and appeared glad to see me. He treated me with great friendship, and talked to me frequently." (Previously, Second Lieutenant Jefferson Davis had escorted the captives to St Louis.)

* Robert E. Lee served at Fort Monroe from 1831-1834, overseeing work on the fort and, for two months, doing the same at the Rip Raps. He was a Second Lieutenant at the time, and his bride, who accompanied him to his post, gave birth to their first son there. His residence still stands at Fort Monroe.

* President Abraham Lincoln visited Fort Monroe several times. In 1862, primarily to prod into action General McClellan's forces, stationed at Yorktown, he watched from Fort Wool as several union ships shelled the Confederate batteries at Sewell's Point, and he ordered the successful attack on Norfolk and the Navy Yard. Old Quarters 1, where he stayed, is often called the "Lincoln House" and still stands at Fort Monroe.

* Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, was captured in Georgia after the fall of Richmond and confined at Fort Monroe for two years. He spent a short time in a casemate and was then relocated to other quarters for health reasons.

I will post more photos from this trip in a day or two..I haven't had time to finish up this post but wanted to get this much on the blog since I haven't updated in a few days.



Blogger City Mouse said...

What a neat tour! The Fort and Hotel and the other places you pictured are just gorgeous. I love the lightkeepers house especially. I adore Poe, and actually wrote a play about him that toured the East Coast a bit - I've visited most of the "Poe Cities," but I had never seen Ft. Monroe. Thanks!

February 3, 2009 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great post, Patty. My husband is REALLY into Civil War history --especially Robert E. Lee, so he was interested in seeing this. He says that he's always wanted to visit Fort Monroe.

We did visit Fort Pulaski near Savannah when we were down there this past June. Robert E. Lee helped built the fort there also.

I love seeing the moats. Did you see any gators??? We saw one at Fort Pulaski...

Thanks again!!! One day--we'll get there.

February 3, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Oh! Oh! Is that the lighthouse that you sent me a picture of?

February 3, 2009 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Thank you so much for sharing this part of your world with us! I wish that I had sites like this to see close by but the closest I'm going to get to anything like this is a long drive down to Gettysburg (which I really wouldn't mind at all to be honest!).

My daughter is a bit of a Poe fan so she would find it quite fascinating that he was there just a month before his death.

February 9, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

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