Fort Adams in the Civil War

Ashton Allcock, Contributor

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Fort Adams is a fort located in Newport, Rhode Island. It was used as an Army post in the Civil War. The fort was built from 1798-1824. It was used in the civil war and between 1799-1824 and 1841-1853. This fort was the first to be designed as the first system of US fortification. It was used in the War of 1812 by Wood’s State Corps of Rhode Island militiamen. The fort was rebuilt to be much larger after the War of 1812. During the Civil War, the United States Naval Academy moved from Annapolis, Maryland to Fort Adams. Some main regiments were located at Fort Adams that helped the union in the Civil War.

Fort Adams had multiple regiments stationed there, led by generals who supported Lincoln. Many famous people from the Civil War have visited the fort. Robert Anderson visited the Fort when he was the Commander of Fort Sumter and General. John G Barnard was associated with the fort as an Army engineer before becoming a Union General. Multiple Civil War Generals came and visited the fort. Some of them include John G Foster, William S Rosecrans, Isaac Stevens, and Thomas Sherman. This fort became an important seacoast defense for the Union as it was located on the water and had a view of the Atlantic Ocean. This helped to see if any confederate ships tried to travel up to Rhode Island and try to Flank the Union. The Fort replaced some old weapons with more modernized weapons like the 15-inch rodman gun, parrot rifles. For mobile defense, the militia carried 4.5-inch siege weapons, ordinance rifles, and 8-inch converted rifles. The fort was home to the 15thInfantry Regiment. This regiment and several others created three eight-company battalions, with the third being formed in Fort Adams in 1864.

The Naval Academy moved to Fort Adams after the Civil War started since Maryland was a border state. So, on May 8th ,1861, two old ironsides moved to Newport with officers, troops, families, professors, and midshipmen from the academy. When they arrived in Newport, they were saluted with a 24-gun salute. Many came to watch the ship be disembarked with many people including Academy commandant, Captain George Blake. Some of these midshipmen were from Rhode Island, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and many other states in the north, west states like California and Oregon and the District of Colombia.  The band from the Academy always played middle, or little melodies. During this time, Rhode Island founded the Newport Naval Training Station. The founder was Lieutenant Stephen Luce, and it was founded on August 30th, 1861, with an agreement for the troops to stay at the Atlantic House Hotel. This hotel was very Fashionable at its time. Fort Adams is now a museum that people can tour to see this relic of our history. They do haunted tours for people who like scary stories. A very interesting point is that the do Civil War Reenactments from the war.