Virginia Eastern Shore

Accomack Plantation Fort | Fort Albion | Cherrystone Point Battery | Camp Chessenessix
Camp Chincoteague | Fort John Custis | Eastville Barracks | Fisherman's Island Camp
Fisherman's Island Res. | Gargatha Fort | Onancock Barracks | Camp Oyster | Parramore Island Fort
Pungoteague Battery | Town Fields Barracks | Fort Winslow

Northern Virginia - page 1 | Northern Virginia II - page 2 | Central Virginia I - page 3
Central Virginia II - page 4 | Richmond Area - page 5 | Tidewater Virginia - page 6
James River Area - page 7 | Hampton Roads Area - page 8 | Northwestern Virginia - page 9
Southwestern Virginia - page 10

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

HARBOR DEFENSES of CHESAPEAKE BAY (partial - see also page 8)
Harbor Defense of Chesapeake Bay - FORT WIKI

Fort John Custis
(Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge)
(1940 - 1949/1981), Kiptopeke, E.S.
Previous names include Fort Winslow and Fort Custis (1942). The name was formally revised in October 1942 to avoid confusion with Fort Eustis in Newport News. Batteries here were Battery Winslow / 122 (1943 - 1948), Battery 228 (1943) buried, and a railway battery (1942 - 1943) for eight 8-inch railguns (site at the US 13 toll booth). Battery 123 was planned but never built. One concrete fire-control tower still remains, near the later-built Air Force runway. Three steel-frame fire-control towers were once located on Wise Point, but were demolished sometime after the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel complex was completed in 1964. See also Roads to the Future by Scott Kozel. The U.S. Air Force took over the post as the Cape Charles Air Force Station (1950 - 1981). Became a Federal Wildlife Refuge in 1984. Battery 228 and the PSR for Battery 122 remain completely buried. Interpretive displays at Battery 122.

Nearby, Kiptopeke State Park features a row of nine World War II concrete ships that now form a breakwater. This was the ferry terminal location from 1950 until the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was completed in 1964. The ferry was originally located in the town of Cape Charles before 1950. There is an extant steel-frame fire-control tower located north of Kiptopeke State Park at Prickett's Harbor (Cheapside). There are possible (?) concrete remains of a proposed observation station (Battery 124 - Fort Monroe) in the town of Cape Charles, several miles north.

Three steel-frame fire-control towers next to the Cape Charles Lighthouse on nearby Smith Island still remain. The present lighthouse was built in 1894, replacing earlier lighthouses from 1828 and 1864. Smith Island is a part of the Virginia Coastal Reserve owned by The Nature Conservancy. There are also two steel-frame fire-control towers extant on nearby Mockhorn Island (a Virginia State Wildlife Management Area). See also Virginia Seaside Water Trail

Fisherman's Island Military Reservation
(Fisherman's Island National Wildlife Refuge)
(1917 - 1919, 1942 - 1949/1969), Fisherman's Island
Originally here was a U.S. Marine Hospital / Public Health Service Quarantine Station (1890 - 1919). Two two-gun 5-inch gun batteries (Batteries L and M) were built 1917 - 1919 (no remains). The Army post was then called Fisherman's Island Camp. The military reservation was officially established in 1919 in a land swap with the U.S. Treasury Department (for Craney Island, Portsmouth). The reservation later became a sub-unit of Fort John Custis from 1942 - 1949. New batteries built were Battery 227 (1943 - 1965), Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Battery 20 (aka New Battery Lee) (1942 - 1944), and Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Battery 24 (1943 - 1946). A mine casemate was also here, now buried. The U.S. Navy took control of the island from 1949 - 1969. The remaining abandoned guns were finally removed in 1976, and the steel-frame BC stations and searchlight towers were knocked down in place in 1986. The two six-inch guns from Battery 227 were sent to Fort Pickens, FL, one 90mm AMTB gun went to Battery Parrott at Fort Monroe, and one 90mm AMTB gun went to Fort Moultrie, SC. Became a National Wildlife Refuge in 1969. Public access to the island, including beach access, is restricted. Inquire at the Eastern Shore of VA NWR visitors center for periodic guided tours.


Accomack Plantation Fort
(1619 ? - unknown), near Dalbys, E.S.
A fort and palisaded settlement along Old Plantation Creek, near the former Accowmack Indian town.

Town Fields Barracks
(1770's), near Cheriton, E.S.
A local militia barracks and shore battery was once located here, two and one-half miles west of town.

Cherrystone Point Battery
(1814), Cherrystone, E.S.
A local militia work on the Eastern Shore. It was not attacked by the British during actions in May 1814.

Camp Oyster
(1942 - 1944), Oyster
A coastal defense shore patrol subpost of Camp Somerset, MD. Posted here from January 1942 to October 1943 was "C" Company, 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment. Replaced after that by "C" Troop, 116th Cavalry Recon Squad (Mech), until June 1944.

Eastville Barracks
(1770's), Eastville, E.S.
A local militia barracks was once here at the courthouse. State marker on US 13.

Parramore Island Fort
(1770's), Parramore Island
A local militia fort and shore battery was located on the northern end of the island at Wachapreague Inlet.

Pungoteague Battery
(1814), Pungoteague, E.S.
A local militia work on Pungoteague Creek. It was attacked and destroyed by the British in May 1814. State marker on Rt. 626 near Melfa.

Onancock Barracks
(1770's), Onancock, E.S.
A local militia barracks was located here. State marker on US 13 at VA 179 in Onley.

Gargatha Fort
(1668), Gargatha, E.S.
A colonial militia fort built during troubles with the Pocomoke Indians along the recently disputed border with Maryland. The border was not defined until 1667. Maryland state marker located on US 13.

Camp Chincoteague
(1942 - 1944), Chincoteague
A coastal defense shore patrol subpost of Camp Somerset, MD. Posted here from January 1942 to October 1943 was one platoon of "A" Company, 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment. Replaced after that by "B" Troop, 116th Cavalry Recon Squad (Mech), until June 1944.

Fort Albion
(1813 - 1815), Tangier Island
A British eight-gun fort located on the south side of the island, with two strong redoubts 300-yards apart, Officers' quarters and enlisted men's huts around a parade ground, and a hospital for 100 men. Also known as Camp Chessenessix. Beginning in March 1813 it was garrisoned with the "Colonial Marines", former slaves that were armed by the British with promises of freedom. It was the British fleet's main base of operations in the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. It was not evacuated until February 1815. State marker on island near the airport.


Northern Virginia - page 1 | Northern Virginia II - page 2 | Central Virginia I - page 3
Central Virginia II - page 4 | Richmond Area - page 5 | Tidewater Virginia - page 6
James River Area - page 7 | Hampton Roads Area - page 8 | Northwestern Virginia - page 9
Southwestern Virginia - page 10

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