The U.S. Government authorized funding for fortifications in New York's inner harbor beginning in 1807. They also recognized the importance of Staten Island but did not fund construction at the Narrows.
The state of New York built fortifications on Staten Island on land that later became today's Fort Wadsworth. These were 2nd system fortifications.
Forts constructed on Staten Island during this system:
Fort Richmond was a semi-circular shaped water battery completed in 1810. It was located along the shore, at the bottom of Flag Staff Hill. A masonry work, it was built of red sandstone blocks. During the War of 1812, it was armed with with twenty-seven 32-pounder cannon.
Fort Tompkins constructed atop Flag Staff Hill, was designed as a casemated, pentagonal-shaped work. It featured five circular tower bastions. The fort was intended to mount 76 heavy caliber guns and 26 howitzers. Though construction began in 1814, the fort was not completed after the War of 1812.
Fort Smith was a squared, timber and earthern redoubt located southwest of Fort Tompkins. During the War of 1812, four 18-pounder cannon were emplaced at the redoubt.
Fort Hudson was an L-shaped gun battery, completed in 1810. It comprised two earth and timber platforms, with one located behind and above the other. This work was located south of the Fort Tompkins site, designed for eighty guns. At least fifty-four 24-pounders during the War of 1812.
Fort Morton was a curved earthern battery, located between Forts Tompkins and Hudson. It was completed in 1810 and built to hold twelve cannon. Only nine 24-pounders were emplaced there during the War of 1812.
None of the 2nd system forts exist today. Fort Tompkins and Fort Richmond, were demolished and replaced with new 3rd system fortifications.
Last updated: February 26, 2015