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“Freedom's Fortress”

Fort Monroe National Monument
Ranked #2 of 36 things to do in Hampton
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed 7 July 2014

When you are in the Tidewater area a trip to this important icon of freedom is recommended. This is one of the oldest military fortified points in the United states. It dates from early colonial period through the 21st century. Fort Monroe and General Benjamin Butler made one of the most important moves for freedom during the war between the states. Virginia was enemy territory for the US government in 1861 and Fort Monroe's location at Old Point Comfort placed it well within the Confederate State. During Butler's command three runaway slaves from the region sought sanctuary in side the walls. Since the US law at the time required all runaway slaves to be returned if found Butler was quick on his legal feet and declared them "Contraband" of war since they were "property" of a Virginian. This was the first act of emancipation by the U.S. Government prior to the Emancipation Proclamation and led to many more freed slaves if they could make their way to the fort.

Other features like the irony of Robert E. Lee being an engineer / designer of the fort and the place of Jefferson Davis' incarceration add to this important place. The US Army has left the fort and with that a great museum of fortified artillery defense, The Casemate Museum. It is currently managed by the US Park Service.

1  Thank MFxIII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"fort monroe"
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"chesapeake bay"
in 18 reviews
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in 11 reviews
"hampton roads"
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"strategic location"
in 4 reviews
"the national park service"
in 7 reviews
"walking tour"
in 9 reviews
"southern tip"
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"ocean club"
in 3 reviews
"nice beaches"
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"ride bikes"
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in 5 reviews
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140 - 144 of 148 reviews

Reviewed 7 June 2014

Fort Monroe sits on the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula. It was decommissioned in 2011 with many of its functions sent to Fort Eustis. There are over 150 historic buildings inside the fort. Many of them were private residences for the service men. Now that the functions have been moved to Fort Eustis these beautiful single family homes and apartments are for rent to the public. How would you like to live inside a fort? The museum was closed the day we were there but we were able to drive around and park to walk around.

Thank cheryl h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

For those history buffs, civil war buffs and anything naval, this is the place for you. So much interesting things to see ie The Lincoln House..for one. Do walk on the ramparts and check out the view of the Bay and the little pet cemetery up there. This was up until recently a working military base and it is really lovely to just walk around inside of it.

2  Thank Monica58860
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Real Civil War history surrounds you at Ft. Monroe, in Hampton, Va!
Formerly a working military base, now there is open spaces to walk and enjoy the sites. The beautiful Chesapeake Bay can be seen from the boardwalk.

Thank Greenakrz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 April 2014

Fort Monroe, Va recently was deactivated as a current era military post. The original fort, which was constructed under the guidance of then Lt. Robert E. Lee ( a young Army Engineer) is worth the time to visit. The Fort Monroe Casemate museum provides a look at living quarters, gun emplacements and interior construction of the fort. The fort is surrounded by a moat, and provides excellent protection to the Port of Hampton Roads. The Monitor and Merrimac engaged near Fort Monroe. For history buffs this is a must see location.

Thank 68GP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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