Military history in NYC and the Battle of Brooklyn2006-03-14



Right under the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge are 2 interesting historical sites from a military point of view.††† Fort Hamilton, which dates back to 1825, is near the site where the Battle of Brooklyn (also known as the Battle of Long Island) started during the revolution.†† The fort was built in the wake of the War of 1812.††† Nearby (Ft. Hamilton Parkway and 99th St.) is St.John's Church (nicknamed "Church of the Generals") that Gens. Jackson and Lee attended, and later on General Ridgway of WW 2 fame.††† Inside of Fort Hamilton still exists part of the old fortifications, which is now the Officer's Club and the Harbor Defense Museum.


Below is a more detailed description from the Fort Hamilton website ...


"On July 4, 1776, a small American battery on the site of present-day Fort Hamilton fired into the British Man-of-War ships convoying troops to suppress the American Revolution. H.M.S. Asia suffered damage and casualties, but opposition to the immense fleet could be little more then symbolic. In August, British and Hessian troops, many of whom had landed on what is now Fort Hamilton, outflanked and defeated Washington's Army in the Battle of Long Island.


Washington's brilliant retreat--and a timely fog--helped save his army for its eventual triumph. British troops occupied Brooklyn throughout the war, leaving at the end of 1783.


Without ever firing a shot, a new generation of forts at the Narrows held the British fleet at bay during the war of 1812 and perhaps saved New York City from the fate of the nation's capital, which was burned by the invaders. On the Brooklyn side stood Fort Lewis, an earth and timber work, while offshore Fort Diamond (later called Fort Lafayette) was the first stone defense on the eastern shore of the Narrows. Begun in 1812 and finished in 1818, the island fort survived for another century and a half, finally giving way to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.


The war of 1812 highlighted the importance of coastal defense and helped promote a new round of fort building. The cornerstone of a granite replacement for Fort Lewis went into place June 11, 1825.Six years and a half million dollars later, the fort was ready to receive its garrison. Though references to the structure as "Fort Hamilton" occur as early as 1826, it was not officially named for the first Secretary of the Treasury until the 20th century. In June 1832 the cornerstone was laid for the defensive fortification, which is now the Community Club.


Ten years after the garrisoning, Captain Robert E. Lee arrived as Fort Hamiltonís post engineer to strengthen and waterproof the defensive works at the Narrows. Lieutenant Thomas Jackson (who would one day be called "Stonewall") also served at Hamilton. Both were members of St. Johns Episcopal congregation which still exists off post. Lee's five years at Fort Hamilton ended with the outbreak of the Mexican War in which he attained his earliest fame."




Now into Fort Hamilton, and the Harbor Defense Museum.



Commie gun:


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