American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
An Expanding Nation
  The Struggle for Western Territory (1825-1890)

Fort Point National Historic Site
We defended our western shore.

Fort Point National Historic Site
San Francisco, California

  In 1853, the War Department decided to build a fort in San Francisco Bay as a western defense against attacks from the sea. Carpenters, teamsters and laborers worked hard to reduce the rocky site from ninety-seven feet to sixteen feet above sea level. Then they constructed the barracks, mess hall, stables, powder magazine, and blacksmith shop.

  By 1859, a visitor to the site said the fort was "four tiers in height, the topmost of which is 64 feet above low tide; and capable of mounting 150 guns..." Fort Point stood ready to defend the harbor entrance from attack during the Civil War, but no battle was ever fought here.Its powerful cannons would fire salutes whenever news of Union victories arrived! Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Artillery, 9th U.S. Infantry, and 8th California Volunteers Infantry regiments occupied the fort. The largest garrison--456 enlisted men and 15 officers--was present in June, 1865.

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