Fort Monroe Historical Society to Meet

Monday, October 17th
The Solarium, 9th Floor, The Chamberlin
Meeting from 11:30 to 12:30 pm
Open to the Public

The Third System of American Coastal Defense-An Introductory View

The Third System of American Coastal Defense was the first truly systematic look at the defense of our coasts from a foreign invader. Building on the vulnerabilities illuminated during the War of 1812 and on the French school of fortification science, this system comprised four elements: Navy, Communications, Militia, and Fortifications. Lasting 51 years, from its initiation in 1816 to the end of its funding in 1867, it is the longest program of national defense in our history. Fort Monroe was conceived at the outset of the system and is the largest fort in terms of area in the system. This presentation will provide an introductory look at the theories and practices implemented during this period of outstanding masonry construction.

The Fort Monroe Historical Society meets once a month in the 9th floor, Solarium. Our presenter this month is John R. Weaver II, a nationally known expert on masonry coastal defenses, and is the author of the highly acclaimed A Legacy in Brick and Stone: Coastal Defense Forts of the American Third System, 1816-1867. He is an active member and former chair of the Coast Defense Study Group and a member of the Camp Tippecanoe Civil War Roundtable.

In addition to Legacy, John has authored three book chapters, numerous technical articles and conference presentations (including two keynote presentations), and hosted a technical tour on nineteenth-century fortifications. He has provided technical support for two major fort-restoration projects and several interpretive displays. He has consulted for the National Park Service and several state park organizations, providing training for park leadership and interpretive rangers. Currently John is providing technical support and on-camera presence for two television documentaries for The American Heroes Channel (AHC).

Lunch is available in the Chesapeake Dining Room after the meeting. This is a lunch buffet. Reservations for lunch should be made by calling 637-7200.