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Fort Monroe: The Key to the South (VA) (Civil War History Series) Paperback – January 4, 2000
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About the Author
John V. Quarstein, director of the Virginia War Museum, and Dennis Mroczkowski, director of Fort Monroe's Casemate Museum, created this volume along with photographic editors Sarah Goldberger, Dave Johnson, J. Michael Moore, and Tim Smith. Together they have documented, with word and image, Fort Monroe's meaningful Civil War legacy.
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Top customer reviews
"Fort Monroe, The Key to the South" is absolutely packed full of timeless information, maps and photos of a particularly important strategic spit of land that Capt John Smith called an "Isle fit for a Castle". Located off the coast of Hampton and Newport News Virginia, Old Point Comfort was immediately recognized for its strategic importance. Several forts were built on Old Point Comfort in the earliest times of American history (when America was still a colony of England) but were destroyed by the Dutch or fell into disrepair. As late as the War of 1812 there were still no useful defensive fortifications on Old Point Comfort. Congress finally acted and the construction of Fort Monroe (and a strategic man made Island initially called Fort Calhoun, later Fort Wool but commonly known as the "Rip-Raps" across the James River) was commenced in March of 1819.
Fort Monroe (named after President James Monroe) was the dominant staging ground for Union Forces in the Battle of the Virginia Peninsula and witness (and participant) to the Battle of the Ironclads. Its importance was indisputable to Union forces. After the Civil War, Fort Monroe was Jefferson Davis' prison and has served the US Army until just recently. The BRAC commission called for it to be closed and developement plans for the Fort are in the works.
Mr Quarstein, more than just writing about Fort Monroe (of which he loves) is working with a group of local leaders considering how to use the land. In this writer's opinion, Old Point Comfort and Fort Monroe are in good hands.