Discussion Replacing Historic Fort Wayne cedar facing of earthen ramparts with bricks in 1863.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Historic Fort Wayne is located in Detroit. Once built in 1845 it was never occupied except for a single caretaker who lived there until the start of the Civil War. Many Michigan Civil regiments mustered in at Fort Wayne.

ft w.jpg
The fort was built with earthen walls lined with cedar. Starting in 1863 the cedar was replaced with bricks and concrete (seem image above). Other than ease of maintenance was there any real military advantage of the bricks over the cedar lining? Artillery in 1863 could have penetrated the bricks The real strength of the fort was the earthen wall.

The federal government s giving some thoughts of having the National Park Service take over the site, perhaps adding it to the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.

The site of the fort is historic with Native American occupied the site starting in 1000 A.D. When the fort was built 18 of the Native American burial mounds located there were lost, but one large mound still exists. Unique pottery has been found there and is known as Wayne Ware.
 

jrweaver

Corporal
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
When the brick façade was added to the fort, the design of the scarp was changed completely. It was built with a semi-detached scarp, a modification of the Carnot concept of a sacrificial scarp that would prevent a coup de main, with an earthen rampart holding the artillery and providing defense in case of a siege. This was one of the predominant concepts embraced by Joseph Totten, one step removed from the fully detached scarp design used at Fort Clinch and Fort Gaines.
The sketch below shows the cross-section of the ramparts of the fort, from the design drawings in NARA. Colorized by me.

Wayne Section sketch.jpg
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
When the brick façade was added to the fort, the design of the scarp was changed completely. It was built with a semi-detached scarp, a modification of the Carnot concept of a sacrificial scarp that would prevent a coup de main, with an earthen rampart holding the artillery and providing defense in case of a siege. This was one of the predominant concepts embraced by Joseph Totten, one step removed from the fully detached scarp design used at Fort Clinch and Fort Gaines.
The sketch below shows the cross-section of the ramparts of the fort, from the design drawings in NARA. Colorized by me.

View attachment 384746
Thank you for the very informative answer.
 

jrweaver

Corporal
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
I'm a volunteer at Fort Wayne. It has a direct family connection for me. My father went up to Fort Wayne to enlist immediately following Pearl Harbor. His enlistment was refused, as he owned a truck line (Weaver Trucking) that was considered vital to national security. Being the stubborn individual that he was, he went back to Monroe, sold the truck line, and returned to Fort Wayne. This time he was successful, and ultimately became an ordnance officer in the 9th Armored Division!
He used to take me up to the fort and show me around when I was a kid.
 

jrweaver

Corporal
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
We had a fair number of events there prior to the COVID pandemic. We had to cancel all events this summer, fall, and winter. We are hoping to reinstate those events in 2021.
 
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