Monday, March 26, 2012

Fort Wool: Star-Spangled Banner Rising

“The Star Spangled Banner rising in majestic grandeur, through a dense canopy of smoke that o’er hung the island, proclaimed to the world the birthday of another bulwark of liberty.” – From the September 17, 1826, dedication of what would become Fort Wool, as quoted in Fort Wool: Star-Spangled Banner Rising, by J. Michael Cobb.

On Wednesday, April 18, at 11:30 a.m., J. Michael Cobb will speak about the development of Fort Wool during a luncheon lecture hosted by the Hampton Roads Naval Museum at the Crowne Plaza, Norfolk. The cost for lunch is $15 for Hampton Roads Naval Historical Foundation members and $20 for non-members. Reservations are required by April 13. Please call 757-322-3108 to reserve your seat today.

Fort Wool, now a quiet historical landmark, has been witness to some of the most influential figures and events in American history. Originally called Fort Calhoun, this 15-acre artificial island was built in 1817 as a companion to Fort Monroe. Its mission was to guard Hampton Roads against seafaring threats. Despite its modest size, some of America’s most famous 19th-century leaders walked the fort’s ramparts. As president, Andrew Jackson used the fort to escape from the pressures of Washington, D.C. A few decades later, the fort found President Abraham Lincoln on hand to direct the shelling and invasion of Norfolk. Fort Wool remained useful to the defense of our region through World War II.

J. Michael Cobb is the curator at the Hampton History Museum.

For all public questions and inquiries, please contact Laura Orr at or 757-322-3108, or visit HRNM’s Facebook page at The event is co-sponsored by the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial Commemoration.

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