Fort Hamilton - History and Facts | History Hit

Fort Hamilton

New York City, New York, United States

Fort Hamilton is a Third System Fort, a US military base and home to the Harbor Defense Museum.

History Hit

19 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Library of Congress, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

About Fort Hamilton

Fort Hamilton is a US military base in New York built between 1825 and 1831 as part of the city’s Third System defences. The Third System forts were coastal defences built in the US following the War of 1812.

History of Fort Hamilton

Even before its construction, the site on which Fort Hamilton was built had already proven a vital strategic point. It was here that, on 4 July 1776, American forces attempted, but ultimately failed, to stop British forces from bringing in ships to quell the American Revolutionary War. Later, during the War of 1812, the site was where American forces repelled British ships from docking.

As a garrisoned post, Fort Hamilton hosted some of the most famous figures in US history, including Robert E. Lee and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. It would go on to become a Union fortification in the American Civil War and an embarkation site in both world wars.

Fort Hamilton Today

Today, Fort Hamilton is an active military base as well as housing New York’s only military museum, the Harbor Defense Museum. At this museum, visitors can see a range of historic weaponry, uniforms and exhibits such as about the Battle of Brooklyn.

It’s worth noting that Fort Hamilton was only named as such in the twentieth century, its namesake being Secretary of the Treasury from 1789 to 1795, Alexander Hamilton.

Getting to Fort Hamilton

From the centre of Brooklyn, Fort Hamilton is reachable by car in around 35 minutes via Atlantic Ave and I-278 W. Public transport will take you to the VA Hospital/Main Entrance Bay 2 stop, from where it is a 3 minute walk.

Featured In

Revolutionary War Sites

Discover a host of historical sites linked to the American Revolutionary War, from the Freedom Trail to Yorktown Battlefield and more.

US Civil War Sites

Discover the most interesting Civil War locations to visit, from Fort Sumter to the Museum of the Civil War Soldier and more, includes an interactive map of Civil War sites.