Fort Monroe (Images of America: Virginia)

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9780738567341: Fort Monroe (Images of America: Virginia)

Fort Monroe was once a powerful symbol of America’s national defense system. From 1823 to 1945, its primary military mission was to protect Hampton Roads and the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay from enemy attacks. Over the years, as military technology advanced, Fort Monroe’s defensive posture changed. To counter potential threats, American coastal defense installations such as Fort Monroe developed sophisticated steel disappearing guns, mortars, anti-aircraft weapons, and submarine mines. As the site of the army’s Coast Artillery School, Fort Monroe trained thousands of soldiers. After World War II, Fort Monroe’s role as a coastal defense installation ended, and the post took on new missions as a training headquarters facility. With more than 200 original photographs, this volume unveils the layered history of this massive stone-and-brick installation from the end of the Civil War to the present. This volume will highlight more than 140 years of images that capture Fort Monroe’s varied missions, historic buildings, the families who lived there, the resort hotels, and other aspects of this unique national landmark.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Author Paul S. Morando, director of Fort Monroe’s Casemate Museum, and coauthor David J. Johnson, the museum’s archivist, produced this fascinating volume using images primarily from the museum’s archives.

Review:

Title: Book reveals more of Fort Monroe's story

Author: Mark St. John Erickson

Publication: Daily Press

Date: 11/28/2008
When you've seen as many historic events and people as this legendary stone bastion overlooking Hampton Roads, you can expect to get a lot of ink.
Robert E. Lee. The USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia. Gen. Benjamin Butler and the contraband slaves. In the 46 years between the start of its construction and the end of the Civil War, Fort Monroe provided a pivotal stage for more than a half-dozen of the nation's most significant stories.
But when Casemate Museum Director Paul S. Morando and Archivist David J. Johnson decided to write a book on the famous citadel, it wasn't that early history or the War Between the States that attracted their attention.
Instead, the historians started at the conflict's end, when the giant fortress, made obsolete by advancing military technology, began to shape the first in a series of new identities needed to prolong its nearly two-century-long career as an Army installation.
"There's been a lot written about the Civil War period. A lot of significant events took place here. But not much has been written about what happened after the war ended," Morando said.
"Fort Monroe has always been challenged, whether by budget constraints, hurricanes or changing missions ― and it's always found a way to reinvent itself. We wanted to tell that story."
Morando and Johnson ― whose 25 years at the museum proved essential to their task ― began with a collection that boasts thousands of photographs and reaches back deep into the 1800s.
From that vast body of images, the pair winnowed their choices down to about 300 pictures. Then they cut that number by almost a third.
"It was difficult because we had so many to pick from. But we knew we wanted photographs that told a story," Morando said. "And we knew we wanted images of ordinary people doing ordinary things ― so we could give a personal feel to the book."
It took the authors nearly a year to assemble some 230 images stretching in date from about 1870 to 2007.
The picture they selected for the book's cover shows a young artilleryman posing alongside dozens of giant guns and brick arches in the Water Battery ― a once powerful Civil War bastion that was almost completely demolished in the early 1900s.
"It shows you how much firepower was actually here during that period. There are literally dozens and dozens of guns in that picture," Morando said. "But it was all becoming old technology ― and the fort had to adapt in order to survive."
Not long afterward, Fort Monroe became the home of the Army's Coast Artillery School. Hundreds of scrapped gun carriages and gun tubes from the 1800s piled up in a yard across from the original Hotel Chamberlin as the post made the transition to much more powerful, longer-range and more rapidly firing coastal defense weapons known as "disappearing guns."
Only two generations would pass, however, before the airplane and the aircraft carrier made both these guns and the fort's massive 12-inch seacoast mortars obsolete. With the end of World War II, Fort Monroe began a series of entirely new reincarnations as a center for Army operations, training and administration.
An evocative photo of an empty gun emplacement helps describe the end of the Coast Artillery School era.
But many more images of artillerymen, their weapons and their life at the post provide a vital record of this forgotten chapter in Fort Monroe's story.
"Many of these images focus on the social life at Fort Monroe," Morando said. "And there are stories there ― a real life there ― that are an important part of the history of this fort."
News to use

What: "Images of America: Fort Monroe," paperback, 127 pages
Where: At the Casemate Museum, local bookstores, online booksellers and from Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com
Cost: $21.99, with the authors' proceeds going to the Casemate Museum

Title: Authors among us: Casemate Museum employees collaborate on Monroe book

Author: Patricia Radcliffe

Publisher: Casemate

Date: 11/14/2008
More than 140 years of Fort Monroe history is depicted in a new book that was released Monday and bears the name of two Casemate Museum staffers ― Paul Morando and David Johnson.
Titled “Images of America, Fort Monroe,” the book contains about 230 photographs of post activities that occurred between 1865 and 2007. The images include scenes of everyday life and the changing landscape during times of war and peace. They highlight the hurricanes, financial shortfalls and mission changes that have threatened Fort Monroe’s existence.
“Through many previously unpublished images, this book captures a wide variety of activities on Fort Monroe that should appeal to a large and diverse audience,” said Morando, Casemate Museum Director. “We hope it has a lasting effect and that people will use it as a valuable resource for many years to come.
While much has been written about Fort Monroe during the Civil War era, Morando said there is little information currently available after 1865. And one of the few books written about the post ― “Defender of The Chesapeake: the Story of Fort Monroe” by Richard P. Weinert and Col. Robert Arthur ― has been out of print for several years.

“By writing this book, we wanted to continue this fort’s story and capture its rich history up until the decision to close it as a military installation,” Morando said. “This book chronicles how a historic (post) like Fort Monroe evolves over time, defines itself and ultimately, struggled to survive.”
Morando and Johnson, a museum specialist, said they approached Arcadia Publishing several months ago to include a pictorial history of Fort Monroe in its series of more than 5,000 books illustrating different aspects of American life.
“Dave and I felt that working together would allow us to produce a better publication, which it did. I couldn’t have done it without him. As the museum’s archivist, he has a strong working knowledge of the images of Fort Monroe, and we were able to tie that into a thesis of (the fort’s) survival.”
“Images of America, Fort Monroe” will sell for $21.99 at the Museum gift shop and at local Barnes and Noble bookstores. Morando emphasized that niether he nor Johnson will receive any of the profits from the book. Those funds will be used to cover the cost of publishing the material and to support historic preservation programs at Fort Monroe.

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Book Description Arcadia Publishing (SC), United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Fort Monroe was once a powerful symbol of America s national defense system. From 1823 to 1945, its primary military mission was to protect Hampton Roads and the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay from enemy attacks. Over the years, as military technology advanced, Fort Monroe s defensive posture changed. To counter potential threats, American coastal defense installations such as Fort Monroe developed sophisticated steel disappearing guns, mortars, anti-aircraft weapons, and submarine mines. As the site of the army s Coast Artillery School, Fort Monroe trained thousands of soldiers. After World War II, Fort Monroe s role as a coastal defense installation ended, and the post took on new missions as a training headquarters facility. With more than 200 original photographs, this volume unveils the layered history of this massive stone-and-brick installation from the end of the Civil War to the present. This volume will highlight more than 140 years of images that capture Fort Monroe s varied missions, historic buildings, the families who lived there, the resort hotels, and other aspects of this unique national landmark. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780738567341

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