Fort Warren

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Reading about Fort Warren tonight and thought I might share some of the information.
fort_warren.jpg

Construction on the fort began in 1833 and was finished in 1861. The fort is named for Maj. General Joseph Warren who was a prominent doctor in Boston and fought early in the American Revolution before being killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. During the war the fortress was used as a prison however its reputation was rather good compared to other ACW POW camps. According to one website around 2200 prisoners were kept at Fort Warren during the course of the war but only 13 died of disease during its time as a prison. One of my favorite stories of the fort is about how the commanding officer's son was leaving to go to the front and some of the Confederate officers sent a letter along with him asking Confederates to treat him well in case he was captured. Some of the more famous prisoners at Fort Warren included:
  • James Mason & John Slidell - Of Trent Affair fame
  • Francis Key Howard - Grandson of Francis Scott Key
  • Alexander Stephens - CSA Vice President
  • John Henninger Reagan - CSA Postmaster General
  • General Richard Ewell
  • General Simon Bolivar Buckner
  • General Issac Trimble
  • General John Gregg
  • Col. Adam Johnson AKA "Stovepipe"
However the fort apparently was not escape proof. Here is an account I found of an escape from Fort Warren.
http://civilwarsources.blogspot.com/2008/01/escape-from-fort-warren.html

Today the fort is still open to the public. I had the chance to visit it in my younger years and remember it being very neat as a youngster.

http://fortwiki.com/Fort_Warren_(2)
http://home.comcast.net/~jay.schmidt/ft.warren/

Seacoast Fortifications of the United States: An Introductory History
Lewis, E. R.
Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1970
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
The fort, and Georges Island are a quick boat ride from Boston, maybe twenty minutes. The boats leave several times during the day. Our school has a picnic/cookout each June on the island. Lately the fort, which has always been kept up very well, is being promoted for visitors much more, and exhibit space created, tours given etc. by the NPS and state Department of Environmental Management. Worth a visit for the view of Boston Harbor alone. There are other Civil War and World War era fortifications in Boston Harbor in varying states of decay, some accessible, others not.
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
Duty at Ft. Warren was apparently well to the taste of some men. I have one man whose Militia Company was temporarily assigned there (30 days) in 1863. Three days after discharge, he enlisted for a year in the garrison's infantry regiment. Then, four days after discharge, he enlisted for a third time, now for three years, in the First Battalion, Mass. Heavy Artillery, also stationed there.

Sightings of the ghost of the "Lady in Black" wandering the battlements on foggy nights, searching for her imprisoned lover are still occasionally reported ... usually about the time tourist season begins.

Cheers!

jno
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
The fort, and Georges Island are a quick boat ride from Boston, maybe twenty minutes. The boats leave several times during the day. Our school has a picnic/cookout each June on the island. Lately the fort, which has always been kept up very well, is being promoted for visitors much more, and exhibit space created, tours given etc. by the NPS and state Department of Environmental Management. Worth a visit for the view of Boston Harbor alone. There are other Civil War and World War era fortifications in Boston Harbor in varying states of decay, some accessible, others not.

Also visited Fort Independence in Boston Harbor, another site worth visiting.
 
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