Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hampton - We provision and see Ft.Monroe

Our guide (in red) explaining the history of Ft. Monroe
In the morning we went to the nearest Walmart and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the store. We'll certainly stop by again on the way north in the spring. So with our chores done we looked around for something to do in the afternoon using the car. The Maritime Museum is closed on Tuesdays but Ft Monroe was open and it was free.

The room where Jefferson Davis was kept - notice the number of stars in the flag
It guards the entrance to Hampton Roads and was upgraded over the years to cover all of the approaches to Chesapeake Bay as well as Norfolk. We arrived just as a tour was starting so we tagged along as the host provided details of the fort. The arches inside were not very high and we were told they were built for the inhabitants at the time. When the first settlers arrived (John Smith and company) the average height was only 5' 5". Even as late as the Civil War the average height was only 5' 7". So the arches between batteries were built to accommodate the heights at the time and we all had to duck. It is impossible to imagine the magnitude of the sound inside one of those chambers when the cannon went off! I asked whether they had any ear protection - with the answer that they did not.

Robert E. Lee served at the fort as well as Edgar Allen Poe (made Sergeant Major at the age of 20). It was also where they imprisoned Jefferson Davis, the former President of the Confederacy.  The fort was never defeated, not even during the Civil War. It was a Northern stronghold in the depths of the Confederacy. If you ever get the chance, I would recommend you tour the fort.

The Lincoln Gun - imagine being near this gun when it went off!
Wednesday is clean up day to get the boat ready for our new crew. Don and Liz Bunch are due to arrived late in the evening for the trip back to their home in Washington, NC on Fleetwing. We have to put away our  "explosion" into the aft cabin.