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Fort Independence is a star-shaped fortress or trace italienne located at Castle Island in South Boston which provided port protection for the state of Boston. It is the most antiquated uninterruptedly fortified place of English genesis in the United States. The earliest and simplest form of protection was built here in 1634 and was taken over by Castle William which is a better and more hard-working structure. It was re-constructed after it was deserted by the British at the peak of the American Revolution. Castle William was rechristened as Fort Adams and then later on, Fort Independence. The granite fortress as we know it today was built from 1833 to 1851 and is currently maintained as a state park.

The construction of the present Fort Independence was overseen by Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, one of United States? most acclaimed engineers serving the military during his time. As a significant line of defense at the port of Boston, it is evident that great masonry work went behind its construction with walls at 30 feet and 5.5 feet thick. The primary materials used were granite sourced from Quincy, Massachusetts. At the zenith of its power during the American Civil War, Fort Independence was a force to be reckoned with boasting 96 cannons, majority of which were Rodman guns that were able to shoot out 450 pound cannon balls to a distance of 3 miles.

At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, served as the barracks and training facility of the Fourth Battalion Massachusetts Volunteer Militia which formed the core group of the 24th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. After the Civil War, Fort Independence?s role in the harbor defense of Boston was drastically reduced, greatly because of the rise of Fort Warren, a 28-acre fortress located at Georges Island completed in 1861. Landscape architect Frederick Law Omstead originally intended to connect Fort Independence and Castle Island to a parkway system called the Emerald Necklace through a new earthen causeway which was supposed to be called Dorchesterway, but was never realized. The federal government gave the city of Boston the control over Fort Independence in 1908 and the city government began a filling operation which would later on adjoin Castle Island and Fort Independence to the rest of South Boston.

Fort Independence features a monument at the outskirts of its west battery which marks the tomb of a well beloved member of the infantry Lieutenant Robert Massie. According to folklore, the Lieutenant Massie was so popular that the other soldiers who were stationed at Fort Independence retaliated against his killer Lieutenant Gustavus Drane and enclosed him in one of the vaults in the fort. It is said that popular short story writer Edgar Allan Poe hear about the story when he was serving as a member of the 1st United States Artillery Regiment who also held headquarters at Fort Independence.
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