Fort Wool

Fort Wool (HM1M4M)

Location: Norfolk, VA 23503
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 59.21', W 76° 18.128'

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Robert E. Lee

In the summer of 1834, having supervised Fort Monroe's completion, engineer Robert E. Lee took up residence in Fort Calhoun's officer's quarters. Three years earlier, ominous fissures had materialized in the citadel's stone piers and arches. Unexpectedly, the weight added by the fort's walls was causing a renewed settling of the Rip Raps, and all construction was halted until the settling subsided. Lee was assigned responsibility for the placement of load stone and sand on the fort's exterior and interior to hasten the island's settling process. Lee began to sense that to finish the fort might be "too great a labor even for a Hercules."

President Andrew Jackson contemplated fundamental changes to the bastion and apparently ordered alterations in its design. A frustrated Lee complained that "the President has played the devil with the plan for Fort Calhoun."

Lee's other duties were light and routine. He dealt with captains of vessels carrying stone to the island, which required examining the material for quality, size, and weight, followed by the filing of repetitious reports. He was also subjected to a bevy of bothersome inspections. During sweltering July temperatures, the Inspector General of the Army, Col. John E. Wool, arrived for yet another visit. Nettled by this redundancy, Lee hoped that Wool would enjoy his "dose of heated granite."

After two months at Fort Calhoun, and because of his good work, Lee was reassigned to Washington, where he was promoted to be assistant to the U.S. Army's Chief of Engineers.
HM NumberHM1M4M
Placed and Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 at 2:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 384118 N 4094204
Decimal Degrees36.98683333, -76.30213333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 59.21', W 76° 18.128'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 59' 12.6" N, 76° 18' 7.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near I-64, Norfolk VA 23503, US
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