Fort DuPont (1)
Fort DuPont (1) (1864-1945) - An Endicott Period coastal fort established on the site of previous fortifications known as the Battery at Delaware City that were removed in 1897. Named in G.O. 134, 22 Jul 1899, for Rear Admiral Samuel Francis duPont, a U.S. Civil War naval hero. Deactivated 31 Dec 1945.
The original fortification was established in 1864 during the U.S. Civil War as a ten gun battery to protect the entrance to the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. The battery was shaped like a pentagon pointed toward the river with the three land facing sides protected by a moat and a wooden stockade. The river facing sides were earthen parapets also protected by a moat. The internal structures included a central magazine, officer and enlisted quarters, a kitchen, two privies and a guardhouse. The battery was supported from Fort Delaware.
A twenty gun battery was built in the 1870s replacing the earlier fortification. The new battery was rectangular with two flanking parapets. This battery was designed to mount both coastal mortars and large-bore cannon but was never fully armed.
Part of the Harbor Defense of the Delaware.
Construction on the Endicott Period batteries began in 1897 after the remains of the older fortifications were cleared. There are still some remains of the 1872 mortar battery and the earthworks battery built in 1864. Six Endicott Period reinforced concrete gun batteries were built between 1897 and 1904.
Click on Battery links below
|No.||Caliber||Type Mount||Service Years||Battery Cost||Notes|
|Battery Rodney||8||12"||Mortar||1897-1899-1900-1941||$ 217,721*||4 Mortars shipped to|
Battery White (2), Fort Rosecrans
by Jul 1918
|Battery Best||8||12"||Mortar||1897-1899-1900-1941||$ 217,721*||4 Mortars shipped to|
Honolulu May 1914
|Battery Read||2||12"||Barbette||1898-1898-1899-1918||$ 80,830||Guns to Fort Hamilton|
Battery Doubleday 1918
|Battery Gibson||2||8"||Disappearing||1898-1898-1899-1917||$ 67,956||Guns to Watervliet 1917|
|Battery Ritchie||2||5"||Pedestal||1900-1900-1900-1917||$ 16,703||Destroyed|
|Battery Elder||2||3"||Pedestal||1903-1904-1904-1942||$ 18,383||Guns Mounted Mar 1910|
Relocated to Delaware Beach 1922
Guns moved to Battery Liston 1942
Battery Elder II
|2||3"||Pedestal||1942-1942||$ ?||Reedy Island|
Liston front range light
The construction of the fort itself began in ernest after the purchase of an additional 111 acres of land in 1900. The additional purchase brought the size of the reservation to 177 acres, enough for a full scale, open plan, coastal fort. Many of the Colonial Revival buildings were completed in the initial phase between 1899 and 1902. Between 1906 and 1922 additional land was acquired and more support buildings were constructed. The reservation was 321 acres up until 1945.
German POWs were held at Fort DuPont during World War II. The guns from Battery Elder were moved to Battery Liston in 1942. Fort DuPont was expanded during World War II as an Army Aviation Engineering Base and many temporary buildings were built. The post closed 31 Dec 1945 and was given to the State of Delaware for use as the Governor Bacon Health Center which opened 28 Oct 1948.
Fort DuPont Delaware State Park, no period guns or carriages remain.
Location: On Reedy Point just east of Delaware city, New Castle County, Delaware.
Maps & Images
Lat: 39.5705321 Long: -75.5833626
Recent Blog Posts:
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 130
- U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of The Delaware, (HDDEL-AN-45), 1 Jul 1945, CDSG
- North American Forts - Fort DuPont
- Wikipedia - Fort DuPont
- Coast Defense Study Group, CDSG Press, CDSG Digital Library
Visited: 6 Aug 2010