Association Battery |
Atwood's Wharf Battery |
Camp Ballier |
Camp Banks |
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 Barracks
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
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
(1814), Kennett Square
A PA state militia camp.
Camp Wayne (1)
(1861), West Chester
A Civil War training camp.
A PA state militia camp, originally known as Camp Marcus Hook. It was renamed Fort Snyder before it was abandoned.
(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
A Patriot battery at the mouth of Darby Creek.
(1917 - 1918, 1942 - 1946), Essington
A U.S. Army Signal Corps aviation training facility, mainly for the use of seaplanes/floatplanes, or so-called "flying boats", as there was no actual runway on dry land. The seaplane base was actually first established in 1915 as the civilian Philadelphia School of Aviation, or Essington Flying School. Taken over by the Army before April 1917, and was one of the first three Army Air Service training facilities prior to the U.S. entry into World War I (Langley Field in Hampton, Virginia and Rockwell Field in San Diego, California were the other two). Closed in January 1918 after the Delaware River froze for the winter, rendering seaplane operations useless. The planes and pilots had already transferred to Lake Charles, Louisiana in November 1917. Re-opened in 1919 as a civilian training facility, and still used as such today. The U.S. Navy briefly took over seaplane operations here during WWII. Located on the Delaware River just west of the present-day Philadelphia International Airport, and just south of the town's central business district, within Tinicum Township of Delaware County, adjacent to the 1799 Lazaretto quarantine hospital, which has been restored as the Township's Town Hall and Museum (at 99 Wanamaker Ave.). The seaplane base was purchased by the Township in 2006 and began renovations to the buildings, ramp, and docks.
* This entry is listed here for historical interest only. *
(Fort Mifflin on the Delaware Official Website)
(Olde Fort Mifflin Historical Society)
(1772 - 1962, intermittent), Philadelphia FORT WIKI
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; an upper line between Hog Island and a sandbar in the middle channel, and a 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 in official reports until the name "Fort Mifflin" became official again 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. A Naval Ammunition Depot (1918-1960) was built nearby in WWI, in use until transferred to the state with the old fort. 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 still exist, and are the best remaining examples of the type on the East Coast that are publicly accessible. Admission fee.
See also The Seige of Fort Mifflin from US History.org || PA state marker
During World War I (1918), three two-gun anti-aircraft battery emplacements (3-inch) were located at Marcus Hook (exact site undetermined); at the American International Ship Building Company property on Hog Island; and another on a site across the Schuylkill River from the Schuylkill Arsenal (no guns were actually mounted). Another two-gun AA battery emplacement (3-inch) was also built at the Cities Services Oil Company (CITGO) property on Petty (Petty's) Island in Camden, NJ, but no guns were ever mounted there either. Troops from Fort Mott, NJ, were 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 2
A temporary six-gun battery built on the Middle Bank sandbar, about 400 yards upriver from Fort Mifflin's wharf. Also known as Battery on (W. Thomas) Davis' Pier. Site was destroyed during dredging operations 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.
(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) in the immediate vicinity of the Dutch fort in 1648 to intimidate them.
(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.
(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 1926 replica of the Wicaco Blockhouse was once located on grounds, built for the Sesquicentennial International Exposition by the Swedish Colonial Society of Philadelphia.
(1757 - 1783), Philadelphia
A large British 1400-man garrison post located in the Northern Liberties area, bounded by Vine, Race, North Third, and North Fourth Streets. British troops left in late 1774 for Boston, MA, but returned to occupy the city in September 1777. Local militia and Patriot troops were quartered here intermittently between late 1775 to mid 1777, and again after 1778. Later converted to other uses, the complex was torn down in 1880. Site now bisected by the modern US 30/I-676 Highway corridor for the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The historic St. George's United Methodist Church was built nearby (at 235 North Fourth Street) in 1769.
(1748 - 1762 ?), Philadelphia
Located on the Delaware River at the foot of Wicaco Lane (later Prime Street or present Washington Ave.), between Swanson Street and Wharton Street, built by Benjamin Franklin's "Associators" volunteer militia. Also known as Fort at Wicaco (2) or the Grand Battery. The massive earth and timber battery 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, although it was no longer actively used as such by that date. The site was later known as the "Battery Grounds" until the U.S. Navy Yard (Southwark) was established here in 1801. Marker located at 1143 South Columbus Blvd..
At the foot of Society Hill, on the old Penn Street (present-day I-95) between Pine and Lombard Streets, was the 13-gun Battery at (Anthony) Atwood's Wharf (1748), another "Associator" defense work. Marker erected at the Penn's Landing south parking lot, near Lombard Circle, in 1997.
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. Undetermined site, possibly refers to one of the redoubts along 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, located on the Schuylkill River at the "Middle Ferry", near the present-day Market Street Bridge and South 24th Street. Supported by three small redoubts (#12, #13, #14 ?) on the western side of the river, covering the west road to Marshall.
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 ferry 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)
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
(1799 - 1958/1999), Philadelphia FORT WIKI
Originally built as a U.S. Navy powder magazine. A new compound was completed by the Army in 1806 with four buildings on eight acres. It served originally as an ordnance and small arms munitions depot until it became a military textile depot (uniforms and flags) 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. Located at South 26th Street and Grays Ferry Ave., and Peltz Street and Washington Ave.. See also PA state marker || Flag Making at the Philadelphia QM Depot from the U.S. Army Quartermaster Foundation
The new post-WWII complex evolved into the Defense Supply Center - Philadelphia, serving all branches of the military. The facility was closed in 1999 when the DSCP relocated and merged with the Defense Industrial Supply Center at the former Naval Aviation Supply Depot in North Philadelphia. The DSCP was renamed Defense Logistics Agency - Troop Support in 2010.
A two-gun 3-inch anti-aircraft emplacement was built across the Schuylkill River from the Arsenal 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 at 131 (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 the city's Shot Tower Recreation Center and public playground. The interior of the structure is closed to the public. This is one of only six historic shot towers still in existence in the country (the others are located at Baltimore, MD, Wytheville, VA, Columbus, OH, Spring Green, WI, and Dubuque, IA). See also Sparks Shot Tower from US History.org || From Musket Balls to Basketballs from Philly History.org
Philadelphia Civil War Camps and Forts
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 U.S.C.T. camps in the country. Lumber from the barracks was later 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.. The camp was originally located about one-half mile away centered at the present-day intersection of Church Road and Washington Lane, on the grounds of the then Jay Cooke estate, but there was not enough level ground and the camp was moved after a week or two to the Sycamore Ave. location. There are no remains or markers at the Church Road site.
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 (July 1863). The names and locations for other defense works have not been determined, but most likely all located west of the Schuylkill River.
(1816 - 1977), Philadelphia FORT WIKI
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 arms munitions. The complex was sold for redevelopment in 1983. Now the Arsenal Business Center at 2275 Bridge Street, at Tacony Street (public access restricted); and The Shopping Center at the Arsenal (currently under development).
Camp Anthony Wayne (3)
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 the 6400 or 6500 block of 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)
(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, where General Washington had his headquarters.
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)
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. (2030 Shearer Road)
Pennypacker Mills Encampment
(Pennypacker Mills Historic Site)
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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"Updates" at NorthAmericanForts.com