Fort DuPont - Delaware City, DE
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member 94RedRover
N 39° 34.348 W 075° 35.031
18S E 449853 N 4380469
Quick Description: At the time of the Guide Series writing, Fort DuPont was still in service, and visitors weren't permitted in most areas. Now, the buildings are used for hospitals and historical organization headquarters.
Location: Delaware, United States
Date Posted: 6/28/2009 5:59:15 PM
Waymark Code: WM6NX7
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 1

Long Description:

"At 10.1 m. on the River Rd. is the entrance (L) to FORT DU PONT. (Guard mount at 1 p.m. Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.; parade at 4:30 Man. and Thurs,; regimental review at 9:30 Sat,; retreat at sunset daily; football games m jail at 2:30 Sun,, adm, 25$; baseball games in spring and summer at 2:30 Sat. or Sun,; d.s.t. when in effect in Wilmington.)

Fort Du Pont is the headquarters of the harbor defenses of the Delaware River and Bay, and the only regularly garrisoned fort in the area. Other fortifications under its authority are Fort Delaware and Fort Saulsbury (see Tour 2C), where detachments are posted. The ayo-acre reservation of Fort Du Pont, fronting the river, comprises a parade ground, officers' quarters, a hospital, large brick and frame barracks for enlisted men, stables, a moving picture theater (open to public nightly and Sun. at 2:30, adm. 20$), and the other usual buildings of an Army post. (Visitors are not permitted to see the gun emplacements.^

Long garrisoned solely by Coast Artillery regiments, Fort Du Pont has been predominantly an engineer post since 1922 when the First Engineers arrived for permanent station. This unit has had an honored record in four wars since its nucleus was organized as Company A at West Point in 1846.

They served first in the Mexican War, took part in many engagements in the Civil War, participated in the capture of Santiago in the Spanish War, and for active battle service in the World War the entire regiment was twice decorated by France."

---- Delaware: A Guide to the First State, 1938

During the Civil War, Fort Dupont, along with Fort Delaware and Fort Mott formed the "Three Forts" coastal defense system to protect the ports and ship building sites in Wilmington, Chester and Philadelphia from enemy attack along the river. The three forts stretched across the Delaware River, essentially creating a wall of coastal forts.

Originally called Battery Point, it was renamed to Camp Reynolds in 1863 in honor of John Fulton Reynolds, a Union officer killed at Gettysburg. With the onset of the Spanish-American War in 1897, the fort was further fortified with additional batteries. The fort then changed its name again to Fort DuPont, in honor of Admiral Samuel DuPont, a Delaware naval hero, whose forces were successful at gaining possesion of Port Royal Harbor in 1861, and defeating a fleet of ironclads that attacked Fort Sumter in 1863. A couple of years later, additional mortar and rifle batteries were added, as well as buildings including a hospital, post office, ordnance storehouses, stbles and wooden framed officer's quarters.

From 1906 until 1915, Fort DuPont served as the headquarters of the Middle Atlantic Coast Artillery District. In 1922, the function of the fort changed from coastal defense to headquarters for the First Engineering Battalion until World War II. The guns were removed fro the site during this change. The First Engineers built permanent brick buildings, shaping how the fort looks today. In 1931, the First Enginers moved to another location.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Fort DuPont major role was in the training and preparation of US Army Reserve units for World War II. German and Italian in Romml's Afrika Corps captured in 1943 were sent to the POW camp set up at Fort DuPont. The temporary wooden barracks that housed the POWs no longer stands, the last collapsing from age just four years ago.

Decmber 31, 1945, Fort DuPont was decommissioned and turned over to the State of Delaware. The Division of Health and Social Services opened the Governor Bacon Health Center on the site.

In 1992, a large portion of the site along the Delaware River was turned overto the Division of Parks and Recreation, becoming For DuPont State Park. Over 127 acres of this state park allows visitors to stroll through the history here, and the marshes along the river are great for birdwatchng.

Book: Delaware

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 471-472

Year Originally Published: 1938

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muffy53 visited Fort DuPont - Delaware City, DE 9/2/2010 muffy53 visited it