Fort Hamilton (1)

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Fort Hamilton (1) (1825-Current) - Originally designed as a Third System Coastal Defense fort constructed 1825-1831 to protect the New York Narrows from the Brooklyn side of the river in Kings County, New York. Named after Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Active military post.

Loading 10" Gun, 1908
Rear of 10" Battery, 1908
Fort Hamilton 1924 Aerial View

Fort Hamilton (1) History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Southern New York. Originally established to protect the Narrows entrance to New York Harbor.

Fort Hamilton was built as a small dual purpose fort providing seaward and landward defenses at the New York Narrows, the site of present day Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Construction was started 11 Jun 1825 with the laying of the cornerstone by the French engineer, Simon Bernard. The Fort was completed in 1831 and first garrisoned 1 Nov 1831 by Battery F, 4th U.S. Artillery.

Some distinguished military men served at the Fort including Captain Robert E. Lee, post engineer from 1841 to 1846 and Captain Abner Doubleday, post commander in 1861.

U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)

Fort Hamilton's garrison expanded during the U.S. Civil War and in 1863 it was called upon to help put down the New York City draft riots.

Endicott Period (1890-1910)

Between 1893 and 1905 eleven reinforced concrete Endicott Period gun batteries were built on the Fort Hamilton reservation. In June of 1908 the batteries of Fort Hamilton, Fort Wadsworth, Fort Schuyler (1) and Fort Hancock (2) participated in a mock battle against an invading force that saw most of the gun batteries firing at towed targets with reduced charges. The first day of the exercise saw the batteries firing full charges for calibration of the weapons. The Regular Army Coast Artillery units were paired up with National Guard units to maximize the training experience. In addition to the damage done to on-post and off-post buildings and property caused by concussion, two members of the 9th Coast Artillery were killed by "blowback" from one of the guns of Battery Dix at Fort Wadsworth. The pictures above and those in the gallery below show Fort Hamilton's participation in that event.

Fort Hamilton Endicott Period Batteries (edit list)
Battery
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Notes
Battery Piper 8 12" Mortar 1901-1942
Battery Harvey Brown 2 12" Disappearing 1902-19??
Battery Doubleday 2 12" Disappearing 1900-1943
Battery Neary 2 12" Barbette 1900-1937
Battery Gillmore 4 10" Disappearing 1899-1942 Orig 7 Guns, 3 designated as Spear
Battery Spear 3 10" Disappearing 1898-1917
Battery Burke 4 6" Pedestal 1903-1917 2 guns to Fort Tilden, Battery Fergusson
Battery Livingston (2) 2 6" Disappearing 1905-1920? Guns to West Point
Battery Livingston (2) 2 6" Pedestal 1905-1948
Battery Johnston 2 6" Pedestal 1902-1943
Battery Mendenhall 4 6" Disappearing 1905-1917
Battery Griffin 2 4.7" Pedestal 1899-1913 British Armstrong Guns
Battery Griffin 2 3" Masking Parapet 1902-1920
Battery Griffin 2 3" Pedestal 1903-1946
Source: CDSG
Fort Hamilton Plan 1935


World War I (1917-1918)

During World War I Fort Hamilton was a processing center for hundreds of thousands of American troops shipping out to France.

World War II (1941-1945)

Fort Familton (1) World War II Batteries (edit list)
Battery
Click on Battery links below
No. Caliber Type Mount Service Years Notes
Battery AMTB 18 - Norton Point 4 3" Fixed Pedestal 1943-1943-1943-1946 Norton Point
Guns & carriages from
Fort Wadsworth, Battery Catlin
Battery AMTB 19 - Norton Point 2
2
90mm
90mm
Fixed Pedestal
Mobile
1943-1943-1943-1946 Norton Point
Source: CDSG


During World War II Fort Hamilton served as a processed center for 3 million troops headed for Europe. At the end of the war it processed and discharged the returning veterans. After the war the building of the Verrazano Bridge in 1959 resulted in the destruction of the parade ground and most the brick barracks.

Current Status

Fort Hamilton is an active duty Army post with 5000 full time active duty personnel serving 126 Army Reserve units, 100,000 military retirees and numerous Department of the Defense agencies throughout the greater New York City metropolitan area. A part of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.


Location: East side of the Verrazano Narrows at the base of the Verrazano Bridge, Kings County, New York.

Maps & Images

Lat: 40.6086584 Long: -74.0325308

Sources:

Links:

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Fort Hamilton (1) Picture Gallery

Click on the picture to see a larger version. Contribute additional pictures - the more the better!

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