Fort Monroe: The Key to the South is a powerful pictorial portraying the exciting history of the only fort in the Upper South to remain under Union control throughout the Civil War. Strategically located on Old Point Comfort guarding the entrance to Hampton Roads and dominating the lower Chesapeake Bay, Fort Monroe quickly became a Federal bastion within the Confederacy and influenced many of the Civil War's greatest events. Known as "Freedom's Fortress" following Ben Butler's May 1861 decision to consider slaves escaping into Union lines as "contraband of war," Fort Monroe quickly became a symbol of freedom and helped to define the wartime objective to end slavery. Soldiers on Fort Monroe's ramparts witnessed first-hand several new technologies, including the first balloon launching to observe enemy operations and the first battle between ironclad warships. Fort Monroe also played a critical role in the eventual Union victory, serving as a base for amphibious operations against Southern ports as well as staging campaigns against the nearby Confederate capital in Richmond. The drama played along the parapets of Fort Monroe during the Civil War has been brought to life by this comprehensive visual history. Fort Monroe: The Key to the South features over 175 images documenting this massive fort and its role in pivotal events like the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, Monitor-Virginia (Merrimack) engagement, and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference. Whether views of famous men like Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and Jefferson Davis or scenes of the many soldiers and civilians serving on Old Point Comfort, this pictorial vividly chronicles Fort Monroe's tremendous Civil War heritage.
About the Author
John V. Quarstein, director of the Virginia War Museum, and Dennis Mroczkowski, director of Fort Monroe's Casemate Museum, created this volume along with photographic editors Sarah Goldberger, Dave Johnson, J. Michael Moore, and Tim Smith. Together they have documented, with word and image, Fort Monroe's meaningful Civil War legacy.