Fort Gibson: Defending the Approaches

Fort Gibson: Defending the Approaches (HMX9V)

Location: Jersey City, NY 07305 Hudson County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 41.934', W 74° 2.324'

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The fort that stood here on Ellis Island was part of two defensive triangles which made it almost impossible for enemy ships to approach New York City. Any ship entering the upper harbor first had to pass the guns of Fort Wood on Liberty Island and then pass through the crossfire from Fort Gibson on the west and from Castle Williams on Governor's Island to the east. In the unlikely event that a ship was able to slip through this gauntlet, it would then face an even greater challenge - passing through the second triangle, formed by Ellis Island, Governor's Island, and the Battery of lower Manhattan. Within this second triangle, the farthest a ship could be at any time from the guns of one of these harbor defenses would be 1,000 yards. No enemy ever tried to penetrate this extraordinary defense system.

"It would be difficult to go into either the North or East River, without passing within point blank shot . . . of some one of them . . . it is not a very bold assertion to say that no ship that sails on the Ocean would engage on such terms."
- Col. Jonathan Williams
HM NumberHMX9V
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 12:05pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 581211 N 4505777
Decimal Degrees40.69890000, -74.03873333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 41.934', W 74° 2.324'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 41' 56.04" N, 74° 2' 19.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)201
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1 Liberty Island - Ellis Island, Jersey City NY 07305, US
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