Written by Sonja Ingram, Associate Director of Preservation Field Services
Preservation Virginia staff was able to get a glimpse of Fort Wool this summer. Fort Wool, a 15-acre, human-made, fort island, located near the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, was one of more than forty forts started after the War of 1812 as part of an elaborate coastal fortification project. Closely aligned with nearby Fort Monroe, the fort’s history spans three centuries and was used during three US wars. It was held and used extensively by the Union during the Civil War, notably during the sea battle of the Merrimack and the Monitor. Similar to Fort Monroe, Fort Wool was also a gateway for people escaping slavery to freedom.