Freedom’s Fortress

Freedom’s Fortress was the nickname given to Fort Monroe, VA by African-Americans seeking refuge from slavery they suffered from the CSA in 1861. Fort Monroe, though located in rebel territory, remained in Union control in the Civil War. It was even garrisoned by former slaves, in advance of their emancipation.

Since the shipping lanes from the north to Fort Monroe remained open, Union troops and military equipment arrived there before the Peninsula Campaign of 1862 aimed at the capitol of the south, Richmond. When my great-grandfather, Archie Van Orden, disembarked at Fort Monroe in May 1862, his NY 12th Infantry was eager to restore Union to the country,  thereby ending the stain of slavery.

Fortress Monroe, VA

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