Prospect in Waldo County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)
A Grand Plan
The idea of a fort on the Penobscot was not new when the U.S. government purchased land for Fort Knox in 1844. The Board of Engineers, established and charged by the Secretary of War to make a plan for the defense of the United States, had listed a fort on the Penobscot as necessary, but a low priority, in 1821. Four years later, the board specifically identified the Narrows as the most effective site for the Penobscot's fort.
A fort on the Penobscot, along with more than 40 others on the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, was part of a grand plan. As defined in 1821, these forts were designed to protect important harbors from enemy attack, deprive an enemy of strong positions, cover cities against attack, prevent rivers from being blockaded, and cover coastal and interior navigation. Backed by President James Monroe, the Board of Engineers proposed this plan to Congress at an estimated cost of nearly $18 million. Perhaps most importantly, this series of forts was designed to prevent an enemy invasion, such as that by England during the War of 1812.
The forts that were part of the plan used the most up-to-date engineering and armament technology. General Joseph Totten, chief of engineers and head of the Board of Engineers, named this group of forts the Third System. Over forty years, plans for the Third System included
[Main illustration caption reads]
In addition to the forts on the Atlantic coast shown here, Third System forts were also built to defend the Florida Strait off the coast of Florida, Pensacola Bay in Florida, Mobile Bay in Alabama, Ship Island Channel in Mississippi, New Orleans in Louisiana, and San Francisco Bay in California.
Erected by Maine Department of Conservation.
Location. 44° 33.984′ N, 68° 48.126′ W. Marker is in Prospect, Maine, in Waldo County. Click for map. Marker is at the entrance to the fort, at Fort Knox State Historic Site. Marker is at or near this postal address: 711 Fort Knox Road (Maine Route 174), Stockton Springs ME 04981, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Question of Boundaries (here, next to this marker); The Architecture of Defense (here, next to this marker); Fort Knox (a few steps from this marker); Where Did the Soldiers Sleep? (within shouting distance of The Heart of the Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); Digging Down and Building Up (within shouting distance of this marker); The Casemate - Key to Fort Design (within shouting distance of this marker); Firing a Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Prospect.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Fort Popham on the Kennebec River, Maine
Also see . . .
1. List of Third System Forts. (Submitted on May 7, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Third System in Wikipedia. (Submitted on May 7, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Fort Knox State Historic Site, Maine. (Submitted on May 7, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Man-Made Features • Patriots & Patriotism • War of 1812 •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 487 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.