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President Designates Fort Monroe as National Monument

U.S. Army - November 4, 2011, By Gary Sheftick

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 4, 2011) -- President Barack Obama Tuesday signed a proclamation designating historic Fort Monroe, Va., as a national monument under the National Park Service.

President Obama signed a proclamation designating historic Fort Monroe, Va., as a national monument
under the National Park Service, Nov. 1, 2011.

Under the plan, the National Park Service will operate 57 percent of the installation's land, including a moat-encircled fortress with casemate walls and gun batteries along Chesapeake Bay. Other buildings on the 565 acres will be leased as warehouses, offices or shops while 174 housing units on post will be rented to both military and civilian families.

It's all part of the reuse plan designed by the Fort Monroe Authority, a state of Virginia entity designated to develop the property under 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation.

"Today isn't just about preserving a national landmark, it's about helping to create jobs and grow the local economy," said the president as he signed the proclamation designating Fort Monroe a national monument.

U.S. national monuments include the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, Fort Sumter and dozens of other historic landmarks.

Fort Monroe was built in 1819, after the British sailed up Chesapeake Bay and burned the nation's capitol during the War of 1812. The unique seven-sided casemate fortress was designed by Gen. Simon Bernard, once aide to Napoleon Bonaparte. Lt. Robert E. Lee was among the young engineers who eventually worked on the project and personally supervised construction of the moat.

Later, the fort played a prominent part in the Civil war, helping keep much of the coast under Union control. President Abraham Lincoln personally launched the Union's attack on Norfolk from inside Fort Monroe's walls.

During the course of the war, more than 10,000 escaped slaves were temporarily sheltered on Fort Monroe, and it became the site of a Freeman's Cemetery.


To view the full document at the source publication, go to http://www.army.mil/article/68793/President_designates_Fort_Monroe_as_national_monument/.

The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.

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