Forts Tompkins And Wadsworth
New York (1776)
When Eastman painted this scene, the installation at the top of the hill was known as Fort Tompkins and the fortification at the waterline was Fort Wadsworth. Over the years, however, these fortifications, located on Staten Island west of the Narrows outside New York harbor, have had a variety of names.
In 1776 the British occupied and fortified the island along the waterline. When their occupation ended in 1783 the fortifications became known as Fort Richmond, the name of the local New York county. In 1812 Staten Island, by the U.S. property, received additional fortifications. The new post built on the height was named Fort Tompkins, after Governor Daniel D. Tompkins of New York. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, the War Department issued General Orders No. 161 redesignating Fort Richmond as Fort Wadsworth "in memory of the gallant and patriotic services of Brigadier General James S. Wadsworth who was killed at the head of his command in the battle of The Wilderness."
In 1902 Headquarters of the Army General Orders No. 16 applied the name Fort Wadsworth to all the fortifications on the west side of the Narrows and at the same time gave names to each of the individual batteries on the island. The fortifications that had been named Fort Wadsworth were designated Battery Weed for Stephen H. Weed, a brigadier general of United States Volunteers during the Civil War.