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The original item was published from 7/29/2019 5:41:00 PM to 8/7/2019 12:00:11 AM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: July 25, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Revisiting Fort Wool - Monday, August 5, 7-8 pm

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Join historian and former Hampton History Museum curator Mike Cobb for the fascinating story of Fort Wool, its history, and what lies ahead for the future of the venerable fortress.

A familiar site to commuters crossing the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, Fort Wool, originally named Fort Calhoun, has been a patriotic symbol of freedom since its construction in 1819. Along with Fort Monroe, Fort Wool was built following the War of 1812 to protect Hampton Roads from the British and other would-be invaders of the era. Its position also denied access to the James River—a strategic Union advantage during the Civil War. The fort played vital roles in both WWI and WWII, and continued to serve until it was decommissioned by the Army in the 1970s. Fort Wool is both a state and national historic landmark. Cobb is spearheading plans to renovate the fort.

J. Michael Cobb served as curator for the Hampton History Museum for 31 years. He was responsible for renovating and reopening Fort Wool to the public in the 1980s. He holds a master’s degree in American studies from the College of William and Mary and has authored "Fort Wool: Star-Spangled Banner Rising" and co-authored "The Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia."

The talk is free for museum members, $5 for non-members. Not yet a member? Join today and save!  

The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton. There is free parking in the garage across the street from the museum. For more information call 757-727-1102 or visit

Image: (Detail) Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper on August 31, 1861.  "Officer watch as lanyard is pulled, Fort Calhoun's Sawyer Rifle belches shell skyward toward Sewell's Point." 

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