Sunday, August 14, 2011

Civil War under my nose: Newport, R.I.

Artillery tube outside historic Fort Adams, at the mouth of Newport Harbor.

Massive walls of the fort.
Historic Newport, R.I., only a two-hour drive from our Connecticut home, is one of my favorite places. Besides the incredible mansions on Bellevue Avenue, the church where JFK was married and very underrated beaches, Newport is home to a good deal of Civil War history.

Fort Adams, situated at the mouth of the beautiful Newport Harbor, was the largest coastal fortification during the Civil War. During the war, the headquarters for the U.S. Naval Academy was moved from Annapolis, Md., to Fort Adams because the government wasn't quite sure of the political sympathies of Marylanders.

We made a quick drive-by of the fort on Friday afternoon, "thrilling" my youngest daughter. The visitors center closed at 4 p.m., so we didn't get a chance to tour the interior of the massive fort. The current Fort Adams, built in 1824, also was the site of the first X Games on ESPN, in 1995. You can rent the place out for corporate functions and weddings. I'm sure both my daughters will file that nugget away.

Six artillery tubes lay outside Fort Adams. The fort  was the largest coastal fortification in the U.S.

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