President George Washington authorized the construction of 19 coastal defense fortifications in 1794. Nearby Fort Norfolk, which mounted 37 guns, and Fort Nelson, armed with 10 cannon, were constructed by 1810 to guard the Elizabeth River approaches to Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Gosport Navy Yard. Additional defensive works, Forts Barbour and Tar, were later added and a blockhouse was built on Craney Island. Because Craney Island was successfully defended against the British on 22 June 1813, Forts Norfolk and Nelson never fired their guns during the war. Only Fort Norfolk survived as a relic of this conflict.
Geographic Location: Norfolk
Physical Description of Location: Proposed Location - Norfolk
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