American Forts: East

PENNSYLVANIA

Association Battery | Atwood's Wharf Battery | Camp Ballier | Camp Banks | Fort Beversreede
Camp Bloomfield | Camp Cadwalader | Camp Camac Woods | Camp Chase | Camp Chestnut Hill
Fort Dana | Darby Creek Battery | Battery on Davis' Pier | Camp Discharge | Frankford Arsenal
Camp Gaines | Fort Gaines | Camp Gallagher | Grand Battery | Fort Greene | Gulph Mills Camp
Camp Hestonville | Fort Huntington | Fort Island Battery | Camp Marcus Hook | Camp McClellan
Camp McReynolds | Fort Meconopacka | Camp Meigs | Fort Mifflin | Fort Mölndal
Fort Montgomery | Mud Island Fort | Fort Muhlenberg | Fort New Gottenburg | Fort New Korsholm
Fort New Vasa | Camp Patterson | Camp William Penn | Fort Penn (2) | Pennypacker Mills Camp
Pest House Battery | Camp Philadelphia | Philadelphia Defenses | Philadelphia Powder Magazine
Philadelphia QM Depot | Philadelphia Shot Tower | Printz Stockade | Schuylkill Arsenal | Fort Snyder
Camp Spring Mill | Camp Stanton | Star Redoubt | Stirling Redoubt | Camp Stokley | Camp Union (1)
Valley Forge Encampment | Fort Vasa | Fort Wasa | Fort Washington (1) | Fort Washington (2)
Camp Wayne (1) | Camp Anthony Wayne (3) | Wentz Farm Camp | Whitemarsh Camp | Fort Wicaco (1)
Fort at Wicaco (2) | Fort Wilson (2)

Philadelphia's Cold War AAA Defenses
(NOT INDEXED)

Northeast Pennsylvania - page 2 | Central Pennsylvania - page 3
Southern Pennsylvania I - page 4 | Southern Pennsylvania II - page 5
Southwest Pennsylvania - page 6 | Northwest Pennsylvania - page 7
Greater Pittsburgh - page 8

EXPLORE PA HISTORY

Last Update: 13/MAY/2010
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2010 American Forts Network

Camp Bloomfield
(1814), Kennett Square
A PA state militia camp.

Camp Wayne (1)
(1861), West Chester
A Civil War training camp.

Camp Gaines
(1814), Trainer
A PA state militia camp, originally known as Camp Marcus Hook. It was renamed Fort Snyder before it was abandoned.

Fort Mecoponacka
(1641 - unknown), Upland
A minor Swedish defense near Chester, 14 miles from Fort Christina in Wilmington, DE.

Fort Nya (New) Gottenburg
(1643 - 1655), Essington
A four-gun log fort on Tinicum Island built by the Swedes after Fort Elfsborg in Salem, NJ. Memorial at Governor Printz Park. This was the first white settlement in the state. The fort burned down in 1645, but was rebuilt. The Swedish governor built his mansion (Printz Hall) here in 1645, and the complex was the capital of New Sweden until 1655. It was probably destroyed by the Dutch.

Darby Creek Battery
(1777), Essington
A Patriot battery at the mouth of Darby Creek.

Fort Mifflin
(Fort Mifflin on the Delaware Official Website)
(Olde Fort Mifflin Historical Society)
(1772 - 1962, intermittent), Philadelphia
Originally called Fort Island Battery, and also known as Mud Island Fort until construction was hastily finished in 1777 by Patriot forces. It was a palisaded earthen fort, roughly star-shaped, with three blockhouses and a water battery. The Patriots had built two lines of chevaux-de-frise in the Delaware River, the upper line between Hog Island and a sandbar in the middle channel, and the lower line between Billings Island and Fort Billings, NJ. The British captured the fort, and also Fort Billings, in 1777 and virtually destroyed them. The Patriots escaped to Fort Mercer, NJ across the river at Red Bank until that fort also fell. The British had built seige batteries at Webb's Ferry, Mingo Creek, and five on Province Island to subdue the fort. The British then built several new outworks on Carpenter's Island to help defend the fort from Patriot recapture. The fort was rebuilt in 1779 after the British left Philadelphia in 1778. The name "Mud Island Fort" was reused until the name "Fort Mifflin" became official in 1795, because Generals Washington and Mifflin had a falling out after the city fell to the British. Fort Mifflin had three new wooden blockhouses, barracks, Officers' quarters, magazines, surrounded by a palisade. An eight-gun Water Battery was also built. Fort Mifflin was rebuilt again from 1794 - 98 using Pierre L'Enfants plans as a 29-gun bastioned work, and repaired in 1808. It was virtually abandoned from 1815 - 1837. Fort Mifflin was used as a military prison during the Civil War. A nine-gun exterior battery (aka High Battery) was built in 1871 - 1876, probably armed in the 1880's. A six-gun Mortar Battery was built in 1872 - 1876, but was never finished or armed. In 1871 the old fort's demilune was rebuilt for three new guns and a magazine, and the fort's parapet was reworked for five new guns and two magazines. A mine casemate was built within the fort in 1875, but was never used. The fort remained armed until 1904. The old fort was partially dismantled in 1904 but was restored from the original plans in 1930. The site had then been used as a Naval Ammunitions Depot, until transferred to the state. Four anti-aircraft gunblocks (3-inch or 90mm ?) were built inside the old fort during WWII (undetermined if guns actually emplaced). The marsh islands around the area were filled in during the 1940's and 1950's to build the airport and I-95. No trace remains of the 1777 British seige batteries and outworks. The 1870's exterior batteries all still exist, and are the best remaining examples of this era on the East Coast that are publicly accessible. Admission fee.

During World War I (1918), two-gun anti-aircraft batteries (3-inch) were located at Marcus Hook, at the American International Ship Building Company on Hog Island, and on a site across the Schuylkill River from the Schuylkill Arsenal (no guns mounted). Another two-gun AA battery (3-inch) was also built at the Cities Services Oil Company (CITGO) on Petty (Petty's) Island in Camden, NJ, but no guns were ever mounted there. Troops from Fort Mott, NJ, were also assigned to guard the Cramp Ship Building yard, on Norris Street, from December 1917 to March 1918. See also Harbor Defenses of the Delaware River on NEW JERSEY page two

See also The Seige of Fort Mifflin from US History.org || PA state marker

Fort Gaines
(1814), Philadelphia
A temporary six-gun battery built on Middle Bank, about 400 yards upriver from Fort Mifflin's wharf. Also known as Battery on Davis' Pier. Site was destroyed about 1840.
(some info provided by William Gaines of the Coast Defense Study Group)

Fort Nya (New) Korsholm
(1647 - 1653), Philadelphia
A Swedish palisaded log fort located near the mouth of the Schuylkill River, probably located on Province Island, built on the site of a 1643 Dutch trading post, which was itself originally a small blockhouse built by Puritan traders from Connecticut who were ousted by the Dutch. The Swedish fort was destroyed by Indians. Site now located near the western approach of the Penrose Ave. Bridge.

Fort Beversreede
(1648 - 1650 or 1651), Philadelphia
A Dutch palisaded log fort located along the eastern-side of the Schuylkill River in the Passyunk section of town, at the bend of the river above the Penrose Ave. Bridge. It was abandoned after Swedish settlers vandalized the fort several times. The Swedes had built a 30-by-20-foot stockade (aka Printz Stockade) directly in front of the Dutch fort in 1648 to intimidate them.

Fort Vasa
(1646 - unknown), Philadelphia
A Swedish mill protected by two blockhouses, located on the west side of the Schuylkill River, at a place the Indians called Kingsessing, a short distance north of Fort New Korsholm. Also spelled Wasa.

Fort Mölndal
(1646 - unknown), Philadelphia
A Swedish water-powered gristmill protected by two blockhouses, located on the eastern-side of Cobb's Creek just above the Woodland Ave. Bridge, near Cobbs Creek Parkway and Greenway Ave. Also known as Nya Vasa. The mill itself lasted for several generations.

Fort Wicaco (1)
(1669 - 1677), Philadelphia
A Swedish settlers' log blockhouse located below Society Hill. It was later used as a church until about 1700, when the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church was built on the site at South Christopher Columbus Blvd. (Swanson Street) and Christian Street.

Of interest on Pattison Ave. in Franklin D. Roosevelt Park is the American-Swedish Historical Museum (admission fee). A 1930's replica of the Wicaco Blockhouse is located on grounds.

Association Battery
(1747 - 1760's), Philadelphia
Located on the Delaware River at the foot of Wicaco Lane (present Washington Ave.) at Swanson Street, near the later site of the former U.S. Navy Yard at Southwark, built by Ben Franklin's "Associators" volunteer militia. Also known as Fort at Wicaco (2) or the Grand Battery. It originally had 27 guns, and then 50 guns by 1750. It was garrisoned by the provincial militia in 1758 to enforce a trade embargo. At the time, this was the city's only maritime defense. The fort was still depicted on a 1776 map of the city.

At the foot of Society Hill, on the old Penn Street (present-day I-95) between Pine and Lombard Streets, was Battery at Atwood's Wharf (1750's), another "Associator" work.

Philadelphia Defenses of the American Revolution
(1777 - 1781), Philadelphia
British and Hessian forces occupied the city beginning in September 1777.
Fort Penn (2) was the main British work protecting the city from land attack. Probably refers to the line of entrenchments north of present-day downtown.

British palisaded entrenchments and redoubts ran from the mouth of Conoquonoque Creek near Willow Street on the Delaware River, to the "Upper Ferry" on the Schuylkill River, running between present-day Spring Garden Street and Callowhill Street. They were left intact by the British when they evacuated the city in June 1778. Numbered redoubts were (based on period street names and alignments):
#1 located near Green and Oak Streets on the Delaware River. Near here at the mouth of Frankford Creek a chain was placed across the river to impede Patriot naval attacks on the city.
#2 located west of North Second and Noble Streets.
#3 located between North Fifth and Sixth Streets and Noble and Buttonwood Streets.
#4 located on North Eighth Street between Noble and Buttonwood Streets.
#5 located on North Tenth Street between Buttonwood and Pleasant Streets.
#6 located on Buttonwood Street between North 13th Street and North Road (North Broad St.).
#7 located on North Schuylkill Eighth Street (North 17th ?) between Pennsylvania Ave. and Hamilton Street.
#8 located on North Schuylkill Fifth Street (North 20th ?) and Pennsylvania Ave..
#9 located on North Schuylkill Second Street (North 23nd ?) near Callowhill Street.
#10 located on the Schuylkill River at the "Upper Ferry", near present-day West River Drive and Spring Garden Street (in present-day Fairmont Park).
#11 unknown
#12 unknown
#13 unknown
#14 unknown
Upper Battery a four-gun earthwork on the river at Front Street and Girard Ave. to defend the docks against upriver attacks.
Middle Battery (1) a one-gun work at Christian and Swanson Streets.
Lower Battery a five-gun work located at the foot of Washington Ave. (Reed and Swanson Streets) to defend the docks against downriver attacks.
An unnamed British two-gun battery located at present-day Roosevelt Park covered Webb's Ferry from Patriot naval attack.

British works covering the land approches to Fort Mifflin were:
#15 (aka Right Battery) (two guns) located on Carpenter's Island.
#16 (aka Middle Battery (2)) located on Carpenter's Island 600 yards from Fort Mifflin. Originally two guns, later enlarged for six guns. A mortar battery was in front.
An unnamed British one-gun battery on Province Island, between the Middle and Left Batteries at an old fery wharf.
#17 (aka Left Battery or Pest House Battery) located on Province Island at a wharf on Mingo Creek. Originally two guns, later four guns.
#18 located on Carpenter's Island. Unfinished redoubt to cover road from Darby to Webb's Ferry.
#19 located on Carpenter's Island 1.3 miles northwest of Fort Mifflin to protect against a rear attack.
#20 (aka Emplacement of the Guards) located on Carpenter's Island. Actually two redoubts on a hill 800 yards behind the Middle and Left Batteries to protect the work crews constructing the fortifications. Carpenter's Island no longer exists as such today.

Fort Wilson (2)
(1779), Philadelphia
The house of lawyer James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, accused by some of having Loyalist sympathies during the British occupation of the city. Scene of the "Fort Wilson Riot" in October 1779, where a mob consisting of militiamen and radical Constitutionalists marched on Wilson's home. Barricading himself in the house with thirty-five supporters, Wilson prepared for a skirmish. One of the radicals, Philadelphia artist Charles Willson Peale, made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the mob to disperse, but they pushed by him to break down the doors. Shortly after, a cannon was brought up and shots rang out. When the dust cleared seven men lay dead and between fourteen and seventeen were wounded. Located at Third and Walnut Streets. See also PA state marker - James Wilson

Schuylkill Arsenal
(1799 - 1958), Philadelphia
Originally built as a U.S. Navy powder magazine. Completed in 1806 with four buildings on eight acres, it was originally an ordnance depot until it became a military textile (uniforms and flags) depot after 1818. Later expanded to 23 buildings. Renamed Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot in 1921. New buildings were built off-site in 1942, and the original complex was later closed and demolished by 1962, now the site of the Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) power generating plant. See also PA state marker. The new complex evolved into the present-day Defense Supply Center-Philadelphia, serving all branches of the military. Located at South 26th Street and Grays Ferry Ave., and Peltz Street and Washington Ave.. See also Flag Making at the Philadelphia QM Depot from the U.S. Army Quartermaster Foundation

A 3-inch AA gun emplacement was built across the Schuylkill River in 1918 by the Army, near the present-day Philadelphia Civic Center. No guns were ever mounted.

Philadelphia Powder Magazine
(1808 - 1874), Philadelphia
A stone buttressed two-story powder magazine once located on Magazine (Beggartown) Lane near Penrose Ferry Road. The ruins were torn down in 1940. It had replaced an earlier magazine located at Walnut and Ashton Streets.

Philadelphia Shot Tower
(1808 - 1903), Philadelphia
Built by Thomas Sparks, the 142-foot high brick shot tower is located on (East) Carpenter Street near South Front Street and the Delaware River. Provided lead shot for the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The extant tower is now on the grounds of a city playground and recreation center. This is one of only seven shot towers still in existence in the country (the others are located at Baltimore, MD, Wytheville, VA, Columbus, OH, Cincinnati, OH, Spring Green, WI, and Dubuque, IA).

Philadelphia Civil War Camps and Forts
(1860's), Philadelphia
Civil War training camps were (based on period street names):
Camp Ballier (1861), located west of Ridge Road (Ridge Ave.).
Camp Banks, located on the east-side of Germantown Road.
Camp Cadwalader (1861 - 1865), located on Islington Lane east of Ridge Road (Ave.).
Camp Camac Woods (1861), located at North 11th Street and Montgomery Ave., near present-day Temple University.
Camp Chase (1861), located on South 51st Street east of Darby Road (?), in the West Philly area.
Camp Chestnut Hill (1863 - 1865), the largest military hospital in the city, located between Abington and Springfield Aves., the Reading Railroad and Stenton Ave.. Renamed Mower General Hospital.
Camp Discharge (1864 - 1865), located at the present-day golf course of the Philadelphia Country Club. Originally named Camp Spring Mill.
Camp Gallagher (1861), located south of Ridge Road (Ave.).
Camp Hestonville (1861), located at Girard and Lancaster Aves., present-day Durham Park.
Camp McClellan (1861 - 1862), located in the Nicetown area below Germantown.
Camp McReynolds (1862), located near Ridge Road (Ave.) and Columbia Ave..
Camp Meigs, located north of Nicetown Lane and Old Second Street.
Camp Patterson, located at Point Breeze Park, near Penrose Ave. and South 26th Street.
Camp William Penn (1863 - 1865), a U.S. Colored Troops recruitment camp located in La Mott, the largest of only eighteen such camps in the country. Lumber from the barracks was used to build the first six houses in town. The camp's gate is all that survives, located at 7322 Sycamore Ave.. State marker and stone monument at Keenan Street and Cheltenham Ave..
Camp Philadelphia (1862), located north of Market Street in the western section of downtown.
Camp Stanton (1863), located west of North Broad Street near Girard College.
Camp Stokley (1861), located on the Schuylkill River below Wissahickon Creek, in present-day Fairmount Park.
Camp Union (1) (1861), located north of Ridge Road (Ave.) near Queen's Lane.

Fort Dana (1863), an earthwork located at the Falls of the Schuylkill River, was the largest of several redoubts to protect the city against Confederate attacks. No guns were ever mounted, as the threat receded after the Battle of Gettysburg. The names and locations for the other works have not been determined.

Frankford Arsenal
(1816 - 1977), Philadelphia
Located along the Delaware River at Frankford Creek, it originally consisted of only an Officers' quarters, commandant's house, and a stone powder magazine clustered around a parade ground on 20 acres. It remained primarily a storage depot until the Civil War. It later grew to 234 buildings on 110 acres after WWII, becoming one of the major ordnance centers of the U.S. Army, producing mostly small munitions. The complex was sold for redevelopment in 1983. Now the Arsenal Business Center at Bridge and Tacony Streets. No public access except by appointment.

Camp Anthony Wayne (3)
(1926), Philadelphia
A temporary encampment of various selected military units, guarding the Sesquicentennial International Exhibition.


Cold War AAA Defenses of Philadelphia
(1952 - 1957), Philadelphia area
Several permanent sites were established for the Army's Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Site Program, the precursor to the NIKE missile defense program. Four 90mm AA guns were positioned at each site, with troop barracks and other support buildings. Known sites include:
Philadelphia (1956 - 1957): at Philadelphia International Airport (PH-57).
Tacony (1952 - 1956): at 6400 or 6500 block Keystone Street.
Germantown (1952 - 1954): at Ardleigh Street (Logan Station) (PH-02).
Roxborough (1955 - 1956): undetermined (PH-94).
Swarthmore (1952 - 1953) battery headquarters only: undetermined.
Swarthmore (1952 - 1954): undetermined (PH-03).
Swarthmore (1952 - 1954): undetermined (PH-09).
Marple (1952 - 1954): undetermined (PH-73).
Media (1952 - 1953): undetermined.

NIKE missile defense sites (1955 - 1974) are beyond the scope of this website.

(See also NEW JERSEY page 2)


Whitemarsh Encampment
(Fort Washington State Park)
(1777), between Fort Washington and Whitemarsh
Fort Washington (1) was located on Fort Hill inside the park. It has been reconstructed. Additional earthworks were once constructed on Militia Hill and Camp Hill. This was a temporary Patriot encampment during the Whitemarsh Campaign - after the Battle of Germantown (October 1777) and before Valley Forge (December 1777). Admission fee.

Of interest nearby is the Hope Lodge Historic Site (Whitemarsh Estate Manor House) (1748) at 553 South Bethlehem Pike.

Gulph Mills Encampment
(1777), Gulph Mills
A temporary Patriot camp on the route from Whitemarsh to Valley Forge. Site located near Calvary Cemetery.

Valley Forge Encampment (National Historical Park)
(1777 - 1778), Valley Forge
The famous Patriot winter encampment of the American Revolution (Dec. 1777 - June 1778). Defensive redoubts built were Fort Greene, Fort Huntington (Redoubt #4), Fort Muhlenberg (Redoubt #2), Star Redoubt, Stirling Redoubt, and Fort Washington (2), along with trenchworks located along the southern and western sides of the encampment area.

Wentz Farm Encampment
(Peter Wentz Farmstead Society)
(1777), Worcester
This historic house (1758) and farmstead served as part of the Patriot encampment area before and after the Battle of Germantown (Oct. 1777). Located at 2100 Schultz Road.

Pennypacker Mills Encampment
(Pennypacker Mills Historic Site)
(1777), Schwenksville
This historic home (1720) and farmstead served as part of the Patriot encampment area before and after the Battle of Germantown (Oct. 1777). Located at 5 Haldeman Road.


Northeast Pennsylvania - page 2 | Central Pennsylvania - page 3 | Southern Pennsylvania I - page 4
Southern Pennsylvania II - page 5 | Southwest Pennsylvania - page 6 | Northwest Pennsylvania - page 7
Greater Pittsburgh - page 8

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