American Forts: East

DELAWARE

Fort Altena | Camp Andrews | Camp Battery Point | Bethany Beach Radar Station
Camp Bethany Beach | Camp Brandywine (1) | Camp Brandywine (2) | Camp Brandywine (3)
Camp Cape Henlopen | Cape Henlopen Res. | Fort Casimir | Fort Christina | Clow's Fort
Fort Delaware | Delaware City Battery | Camp DuPont (1) | Camp DuPont (2)
Camp DuPont (3) | Fort DuPont | Camp Hare's Corner | Fort Hoarkill | Hokessin Encampment
Jordan Branch Fort | Lewes Battery | Liston Front Range Res. | Fort Miles
Naaman Blockhouse | Fort New Amstel | New Castle Arsenal | New Castle Battery
Fort Ogleton | Fort Oplandt | Camp Reynolds | Fort Reynolds | Fort Saulsbury
Fort Sekonnessink | Shell Pot Hill Camp | Fort Sikeomess | Camp Smithers | Fort Swanendael
Talbot's Fort | Camp Townsend | Fort Trefalddighet | Fort Trinity | Camp Tunnell
Fort Union | Fort Whorekill | Wilmington Arsenal | Wilmington Fort | Fort Zwaanandael

Last Update: 04/SEPTEMBER/2010
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2010 American Forts Network

Naaman Blockhouse
(Claymont Historical Society)
(1654 - unknown), Claymont
A two-story stone blockhouse built by Swedish authorities to guard the mills and farms on Naaman's Creek. It was captured by the Dutch in September 1655. It was attacked by Indians in 1671. It may have been captured or used by British troops in 1777. It is located adjacent to the Robinson House, a 1723 tavern. (NOTE: new archaeological information suggests that the stone structure here is not the blockhouse from the historical records, but was actually built sometime after the main house was constructed, and was later used as the tavern cook's residence.) The blockhouse marker on US 13 has been removed.

Fort Christina (Park)
(1638 - 1680's ?), Wilmington
This is the site of the state's first permanent settlement where the Swedes landed in 1638. The colony became known as New Sweden. When the Dutch took over from 1655 to 1665 they renamed it Fort Altena. Dutch seige batteries were located across the Christina River on Tennaconck's Land (a four-gun earthwork); a six-gun logwork south of the fort (Mosquitoburg); a six-gun logwork west of the fort in Christinaham (Ratburg); and a four-gun logwork on Timber Island northwest of the fort (Flyburg). The Dutch named the batteries according to the local pests. The British then took control of the area in 1664 and stationed troops at the fort. The Swedish settlers stayed and swore allegiance to the British. The fort was eventually abandoned and fell into ruin. Site now marked by a black granite monument.
Of interest nearby is the Kalmar Nyckel, a working replica of the Swedish ship that brought the first permanent settlers to the region.

Fort at Wilmington
(1794), Wilmington
A Federal fort was planned and surveyed for Wilmington, but was never actually built. Possibly at or near the site of Fort Christina.

A Federal arsenal, or Gun House, was built in 1809 (location ?).

Fort Union
(1813 - 1814), Wilmington
A state militia fort built on the site of Fort Christina.

Located outside of town were Camp DuPont (1) and Camp Brandywine (1), temporary state militia camps in 1814. Camp Brandywine lasted for only nine days before it was moved to Camp DuPont two miles west. Shell Pot Hill Camp (1813) was located north of town (location ?).

Wilmington Civil War Camps
(1861 - 1864), near Wilmington
Camp Smithers (1862 - 1863) was located at "Brandywine Hundred" (location ?). Camp DuPont (2) (1861 - 1864) was located at the present-day golf club (or on University of Delaware grounds) at 11th Street and Greenhill Ave. Camp Brandywine (2) (1861) was located on the Kennett Pike at Brandywine Springs. Camp DuPont (3) / Brandywine (3) (1862 - 1864) was located on the Kennett Pike near Greenville, near the Buck Tavern (marker at Kennett Pike and Buck Rd.), to provide protection for the DuPont gunpowder mills.

Hokessin Encampment
(1777), Hokessin
A British encampment on Lancaster Road, before Philadelphia was captured.

Fort Casimir
(1651 - 1680's ?), New Castle
The Swedish captured this Dutch fort in 1654 and named it Fort Trefalddighet (Trinity). The Dutch recaptured it and also captured all of New Sweden in 1655. The fort was rebuilt in 1658 and renamed Fort New Amstel. The British controlled the region beginning in 1664. The Dutch briefly regained the colony in 1673 - 1674. Site was located on Sand Hook, now long washed away, at the end of Chestnut Street. New Castle, previously called New Amstel, served as Delaware's colonial capital from 1704 to 1777. See also A Brief History of New Castle, Delaware from University of Delaware

New Castle Battery
(1813), New Castle
A state militia fort located at Battery Park at the end of Delaware Street. Earthworks remain.

New Castle Arsenal
(1809 - 1852), New Castle
A Federal arsenal, or Gun House, located at Market Street and The Green. It housed troops from Fort Delaware in 1831 after a fire. It became a school in 1852, with the addition of the second floor and cupola. It was remodeled again in 1936. It still exists, now a restaurant since 1963.

Camp Townsend
(1916 ?), near New Castle
A DE National Guard summer encampment located two miles south of town.

Camp Andrews
(1861), Hares Corner
A Civil War training camp. It may have been known as Camp Hare's Corner.

Fort Ogleton
(1684 - 1686), Christiana
Maryland once claimed this area during a dispute with William Penn over the northern boundary. Maryland troops garrisoned the fort for only two years and Lord Baltimore's Charter was overturned in 1689. Also known as Gov. Talbot's Fort.

Delaware City Battery
(1814), Delaware City
A state militia earthwork fort once located at Battery Park at the foot of Clinton Street on Newbold's Point. No remains.

Camp Tunnell
(1898), Middletown
A Spanish-American War muster and training camp located on the eastern side of town, south of "Ingleside", about one-quarter mile southeast of Main and Catherine Streets, north of Silver Lake.

Cheney Clow's Fort
(1777 - 1778), Kenton
A Loyalist fort on a nearby bluff, built when the British Army occupied Philadelphia. Occupied by several hundred Tories, it was abandoned when the British abandoned the city.

Located nearby to the west on the Jordan Branch (or possibly the same fort ?) was Jordan Branch Fort, another Tory fortification. Occupied by one thousand or so Tories at one time or another, it was also later abandoned when the British left Philadelphia.


HARBOR DEFENSES of DELAWARE BAY (partial) (see also Fort Mott, NJ)
Harbor Defense of the Delaware - FORT WIKI

Fort Delaware (State Park)
(Fort Delaware Society)
(1847 - 1944), Pea Patch Island
An earthwork fort was erected in 1813 and dismantled in 1821. A masonry fort was built next but it was destroyed by fire in 1832. Construction on the third fort was started in 1836 but halted in 1838 because New Jersey claimed the island. The work was resumed in 1848. A water moat was built around the current fort in 1859. Although armed with 131 guns, the fort was used as a POW prison during the Civil War. A POW barracks has been reconstructed outside the fort. Endicott batteries here are Battery Torbert (1901 - 1942), Battery Dodd (1899 - 1918), Battery Hentig (1901 - 1942), Battery Alburtis (1901 - 1920), and Battery Allen (1901 - 1920). A Mine Casemate was built nearby in 1893 (still exists along walking trail). Observation towers were built during World War I.
The "Three Forts Ferry" (fee) carries passengers from Delaware City to Fort Delaware and Fort Mott in New Jersey. Bad weather may preclude or delay ferry service.

Fort DuPont (State Park)
(1861 - 1865, 1871 - 1945), Delaware City
Camp Battery Point, a subpost of Fort Delaware, was originally located here in 1861, across the old Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. It was renamed Camp Reynolds in 1863. Renamed Fort Reynolds in 1871 upon Federal ownership. The earthwork Ten Gun Battery was built here in 1864, rebuilt in 1872 - 1876. A small portion of the battery still exists, the remainder was destroyed. A mine casemate was built in 1876 at the end of the battery. It was reused for the Endicott period, and still exists. Troops were garrisoned here in 1898. Renamed again in 1899. Endicott batteries here are the combined Battery Rodney (1900 - 1942) and Battery Best (1900 - 1942), the combined Battery Read (1899 - 1918) and Battery Gibson (1899 - 1917), Battery Ritchie (1900 - 1917) destroyed, and Battery Elder (1904 - 1942). A two-gun AA battery was built in 1918 near the old 10-gun battery. One old 1900's fire-control tower that served Fort Mott is still here, another old tower was demolished years ago. The C&D Canal was rerouted and enlarged in 1925 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This was the Harbor Defense headquarters until 1942, when transferred to Fort Miles. German POWs were held here during World War II. The post garrison area became the Governor Bacon Health Center in 1948. The state park opened in 1992, consisting of the gun battery area.

Liston Front Range Light Military Reservation
(1942), Bay View Beach
Located adjacent to the lighthouse was AMTB New Battery Elder (aka Battery Liston), which was relocated from Fort DuPont in order to better protect the boom defense at Reedy Island. The concrete emplacements and magazines still exist. Private property.

Fort Saulsbury
(1917 - 1946), Slaughter Beach
Batteries here are Battery Hall (1924 - 1945), and Battery Haslet (1924 - 1942, guns transferred to Fort Miles' Battery 519). The entire site is now private property.
Fort Saulsbury history from State of Delaware || Another website - FortSaulsbury.org
Delaware's Forgotten Fort by Russ Pickett || Delaware's Forgotten Fort by Everett Bennett

A 1920's era fire-control tower at the Mispillion River Lighthouse was the only one built for this defense until WWII. It no longer exists. The lighthouse itself also no longer exists, having been struck by lightning and burned down in 2002. In 1942 steel-frame fire-control towers were built along the shoreline at South Bowers (gone), Big Stone Beach (still exists), and Fowler Beach (foundation ruins). The towers at Broadkill Beach (only cable hut remains) and West Cape Henlopen (still exists near the present-day ferry terminal) were shared with Fort Miles.

Fort Miles
(Cape Henlopen State Park)
Fort Miles.org by Michael Rogers
Fort Miles Historical Association
(1918 - 1919, 1941 - 1948/1996), Lewes
Camp Cape Henlopen (1918 - 1919) was located here during World War I, with a temporary battery of one 6-inch gun. Site was known thereafter as the Cape Henlopen Military Reservation until renamed in 1941. World War II batteries built here were Battery Smith / 118 (1943 - 1948), now part of the Biden Center (1998), Battery 519 (1944 - 1948) replaced #119, Battery Herring / 221 (1944 - 1948) modified and uncovered, Battery Hunter / 222 (1943 - 1947), Examination Battery (1942 - 1946) mostly buried, Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Batteries 5A, mostly buried, and 5B, partially covered by a parking lot (both 1943 - 1946). There were three unnamed batteries; one was a four gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts (by bathhouse) (1942 - 1944), the other two were four-gun 8-inch railway batteries (1942 - 1944) (one set of four emplacements still exists). Battery 119 was planned but never built, except for the Plotting Room casemate, which was incorporated as part of Battery 519. After closing, part of the base was turned over to the U.S. Navy for use as a Naval Radio Station (1963 - 1976) and SOSUS Facility (to 1996). The State Park was formed in 1963 on a portion of the land. The rest of the former base became the Fort Miles Army Recreation Area (1961 - 1991). The State Park gained control of all remaining parcels by 1996.
The U.S. Navy on Cape Henlopen, Lewes, Delaware, 1898-1996

Eleven concrete fire-control towers still remain throughout the area, and one is open to the public. Two towers in the southern portion of the state park are accessible from Henlopen Acres. They are now in the surf. Towers located outside of the state park are located in the northern portion of what is now Fenwick Island State Park (one here), at Indian River Villas in the southern portion of Delaware Seashore State Park (one here), and in the northern portion of Delaware Seashore State Park on Tower Road (two here). (See also WWII Towers of Cape Henlopen)

ALSO: A two-gun anti-aircraft battery was installed at the Wilmington Engineer Depot in 1917 - 1918.


Fort Zwaanandael
(1631 - 1632), Lewes
Also spelled Swanendael. This was the first Dutch settlement in the state. Also known as Fort Oplandt (Upland), Fort Hoarkill, and Fort Whorekill. Lenni Lenape Indians massacred the settlers and burned the fort due to a dispute over the display of the Dutch coat-of-arms. The site is marked by the De Vries Monument (1931), located on Pilottown Road near the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies, along the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, opposite Newport Ave.. The southern bastion was excavated in 1964.
Of interest nearby is the Zwaanendael Museum, built in 1931, located at Savannah Road and King's Highway.

Fort Sikeomess
(1659 - 1664 ?), Lewes
A Dutch fort. Also known as Fort Sekonnessink. Undetermined location.

Lewes Battery
(1812 Memorial Park)
(1813), Lewes
Located at Front and Bank Streets, this battery defended the town from British bombardment in April 1813. Six guns are on display. This may or may not be the exact actual site of the original battery, long held by local tradition. (The town's name is pronounced "LOO-ISS".)

Camp Bethany Beach (State Military Reservation)
(Bethany Beach Training Site)
(1927 - present), Bethany Beach
Originally a DE National Guard summer training camp site and artillery firing range. Now the home station of the 193rd Regiment Regional Training Institute and the Delaware Officer Candidate School (formerly the Delaware Military Academy from 1957 until 1997). See also Delaware Journal of Military History

Bethany Beach Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), Ocean View
A WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning air defense radar. Later the site of an Air Force AN/FPS-14 Gap-Filler radar (Site P-56B) from 1957 to 1968. No remains except for a small concrete block pump house, located at the Village at Bear Trap Dunes, about 2.5 miles southwest of Bethany Beach. A state marker was erected in 2004.


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