An American Forts Network historical website
Isle of Wight County Parks & Recreation 757-357-2291
History: In 1623 this site was chosen by the early Jamestown colonists to be
a point of defense known as The Castle. It was refortified during the Revolution
and named after Major Francis Boykin of the Continental Army. Then it was rebuilt into
an irregular seven-pointed star type of fortification during the War of 1812. It is
believed that this fort repelled a British landing party and sunk two man-of-war vessels.
The Confederate Army refortified the earthworks to help protect Richmond from the Union
fleet. In 1862, the Union cannons aboard ship could hit the fort, but the fort's cannons
could not reach the ships. Rebel forces decided to abandon the fort.
Remains of two magazines are here. They were destroyed by the Union landing party. Part of the fort has eroded off the bluff and into the James River, but most of the fort is in good shape. A view off the bluff will give you a nice panoramic of the river, from which you can see the "Ghost Fleet" of retired military vessels. And on the distant shore is Fort Eustis - a current US Army base. Fort Eustis was first established by the Coast Artillery after Fort Monroe became overcrowded. But prior to that, a small Confederate fort was there and in many other places along the river.
HARBOR MAP & LINKS
Satellite Images of Fort Boykins
courtesy of Microsoft TerraServer
Launched: February 28, 2004
last updated: 14 November, 2004
This website is owned by American Forts Network (AFN) and is not affiliated with government agencies in any way.