After damaging British coastal attacks during the War of 1812, Pres. James Madison recognized the need to improve the nation’s coastal defense and naval power. In 1816, Congress created the Board of Engineers for Fortifications and in 1818, former Napoleon aide Gen. Simon Bernard became its chief. Bernard planned a series of masonry fortifications, later known as the Third System, to defend every major U.S. harbor. Fort Monroe was the first of these forts to be constructed, beginning in 1819. Named for Pres. James Monroe, it protected the entrance to Hampton Roads and the forerunner of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, the Gosport Navy Yard.
Date Installed-Dedicated: 07/09/2013
Year On Marker: 2011
Original Sponsor: War of 1812 Commission - Department of Historic Resources
Geographic Location: Hampton
Physical Description of Location: Marker is located in the Phoebus Waterfront Park on Virginia 143, Hampton, VA 23663. The Marker is not located in Fort Monroe. It is on the right when exiting Fort Monroe on the bridge to Phoebus.
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