Fort Monroe

Fort Monroe

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Fort Monroe

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Fort Monroe (also known as Fortress Monroe) is a military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula. Along with Fort Wool, Fort Monroe guarded the navigational channel between the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads—the natural roadstead at the confluence of the Elizabeth, the Nansemond and the James rivers. Completely surrounded by a moat, the six-sided stone fort is the only remaining fort in the United States still active as an Army post—though it is now scheduled for decommissioning.

During the initial exploration by the mission headed by Captain Christopher Newport in the earliest days of the Colony of Virginia, the site was identified as a strategic defensive location. In May of 1607, they established the first permanent English settlement in the present-day United States about 25 miles further inland from the Bay along the James River at Jamestown. The land area where Fort Monroe is located became part of Elizabeth Cittie in 1619, Elizabeth River Shire in 1634, and was included in Elizabeth City County when it was formed in 1643. Over 300 years later, in 1952, Elizabeth City County and the nearby Town of Phoebus agreed to consolidate with the smaller independent city of Hampton, which became one of the larger cities of Hampton Roads.

Beginning by 1609, defensive fortifications were built at Old Point Comfort during Virginia's first two centuries. However, the much more substantial facility of stone to become...
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