Jersey City in Hudson County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Fort Gibson: Defending the Approaches
The fort that stood here on Ellis Island was part of two defensive triangles which made it almost impossible for enemy ships to approach New York City. Any ship entering the upper harbor first had to pass the guns of Fort Wood on Liberty Island and then pass through the crossfire from Fort Gibson on the west and from Castle Williams on Governor’s Island to the east. In the unlikely event that a ship was able to slip through this gauntlet, it would then face an even greater challenge – passing through the second triangle, formed by Ellis Island, Governor’s Island, and the Battery of lower Manhattan. Within this second triangle, the farthest a ship could be at any time from the guns of one of these harbor defenses would be 1,000 yards. No enemy ever tried to penetrate this extraordinary defense system.
“It would be difficult to go into either the North or East River, without passing within point blank shot . . . of some one of them . . . it is not a very bold assertion to say that no ship that sails on the Ocean would engage on such terms.”
Location. 40° 41.934′ N, 74° 2.324′ W. Marker is in Jersey City, New Jersey, in Hudson County. Marker is located on the north end of Ellis Island, near the American Immigrant Wall of Honor. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jersey City NJ 07304, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Gibson: The New York Harbor System (here, next to this marker); The American Immigrant Wall of Honor ® (here, next to this marker); Fort Gibson: The Other Ellis Island Story (a few steps from this marker); Fort Gibson: Uncovering the Past (a few steps from this marker); Fort Gibson: Ammunition to Immigration (a few steps from this marker); Fort Gibson: Oyster Banks to Batteries (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The American Immigrant Wall of Honor ® (within shouting distance of this marker); Delaware Indian Burials (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jersey City.
More about this marker. The right side of the marker contains a map showing the forts of New York Harbor, and how they worked together as defensive triangles. These include Fort Wood on Liberty Island, Fort Gibson on Ellis Island, The Battery in Manhattan, and Castle Williams on Governor’s Island.
Categories. • Forts, Castles •
More. Search the internet for Fort Gibson: Defending the Approaches.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 8, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 391 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 8, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.