Author: Brian Matthew Jordan

a graduate of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the author of Unholy Sabbath: The Battle of South Mountain in History and Memory
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Fort Monroe during the Civil War

Fort Monroe is a military installation located in Hampton Roads, Virginia, on the Peninsula overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. It was the only federal military installation in the Upper South to remain under United States control throughout the American Civil War (1861–1865). Early in the war, the fort became an outpost of freedom within the Confederacy when Union commanders used it to house refugee slaves. The fort also headquartered the Union Department of Virginia and North Carolina, and several significant military campaigns and combined operations were launched from the installation. Most notably, it served as the staging area for Union major general George B. McClellan‘s ill-fated Peninsula Campaign of 1862. After the war, the fort served as a destination for another brand of fugitive. Following his capture in May 1865 until his bail bond was accepted two years later, Confederate president Jefferson Davis was imprisoned at Fort Monroe.

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