Fort Monroe

Fort Monroe, SE Va., commanding the entrance to Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads; named for President James Monroe. The fortress (80 acres/32 hectares) was built (1819–34) by the U.S. government on the site of English fortifications erected in 1609 and 1727. Completely surrounded by a moat, the six-sided fort is the only one of its kind left in the United States. Fort Monroe was held by Union forces throughout the Civil War; Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, was imprisoned there from 1865 until 1867. Long a U.S. army coast-artillery post and school, the fort was headquarters of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) from 1973 to 2011. Fort Monroe was designated a national historic landmark in 1960 and a national monument in 2011.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History