Fort Scammel And Gorges
The U.S. government acquired the property of Forts Scammel, on the right in Eastman's rendition, and Gorges, on the left, early in the nineteenth century to build fortifications that would protect the harbor at Portland, Maine, from hostile invasion. Work on Fort Scammel began in 1808, the same year Eastman was born in Brunswick, a small town about twenty-five miles northeast of Portland. The fort was built on a twelve-acre site on House Island at the mouth of Portland's harbor. It was named for Alexander Scammel, the commander of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment, who was killed at Yorktown in 1781. A lighthouse presently occupies the site. Construction of Fort Gorges, located on Hog Island, did not begin until 1857. It was named for Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the seventeenth century British Lord Palatinate of the Province of Maine. Work on the fort was completed about the time the Civil War ended, but it played no role in that conflict.
Although the Inspector General's 1872 report on Army posts noted that both forts were about to undergo extensive renovation, neither was ever armed or garrisoned as planned. Plans at that time apparently called for Fort Scammel to contain seventy-one guns and Fort Gorges ninety-five. The closest either fort came to active service was in World War I when Fort Gorges was used as a storage site for torpedo mines.