2. Castle Clinton Never Actually Saw Any Action

Canons on display at Castle Clinton today

As we previously mentioned, Castle Clinton (originally known as the Southwest or West Battery) was one of four forts constructed to defend New York City from British forces during a period of increasing tensions that would eventually culminate to the War of 1812. Along with Castle Clinton, the other three fortifications — Castle Williams on Governors Island, Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island (known today as Liberty Island) and Fort Gibson on Ellis Island — were intended to keep the British Navy at bay.

Castle Clinton was fully equipped with 28 cannons that could shoot 32-pound balls up to 1.5 miles away. However, it never actually had the opportunity to fire upon the enemy in any war. In 1817, it was renamed from the Southwest Battery to Castle Clinton, in honor of Dewitt Clinton, Mayor and later Governor of New York.