6. Fort Gibson/Ellis Island

Photo by James and Karla Murray

After purchasing the formerly private Ellis Island, the United States government proceeded to fortify it and had a role in various wars. First, a twenty-gun battery, magazine, and barracks were built after acquisition in 1808, known as Fort Gibson. During the War of 1812, the island served as a garrison and POW camp. By 1861, the fort was decommissioned and replaced with a naval magazine. During the Civil War, it served as an ammunition supply depot. Remnants of the fort can be seen today.

War of 1812 Era

In  preparation for, and during the course of the War of 1812, New York City sought to protect its many waterways to ensure that the British would not be able to sail inland as they had during the Revolutionary War. A number of forts from the War of 1812 remain, though they never ended up being used during the War.