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> Fort Warren, Civil War Fort - Boston Harbour
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 27-Jun-2006, 10:32 PM
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Today I visited Fort Warren in Boston Harbour. Actually my intention was just to get out and see the harbour Islands and we thought Georges Island would be a good starting point. Took a ferry out to the Island and was greeted by this massive Fort called Fort Warren. Never knew this even existed but they had park rangers, guided tours and more.

We spent the first part of the day exploring the Island and the fort. This is the creepiest, scariest and forbidding place I have ever been to! Dark tunnels, stairs that goes out onto cliffs, old and musty rooms and just a very strange feeling as you walk around this massive fortress.

You can find out more information here about the Fort:

http://home.comcast.net/~jay.schmidt/ft.warren/

What I find very disturbing though is how this fort has fallen into utter dis-repair. Yes, they are renovating sections of it; but I think to myself what could be a wonderful fully renovated Civil War Fort with furnished rooms; renactors and more. Some sections of the fort are not safe and need repair soon before they collapse.

Now, my reason for posting this message is about a strange ghost story that we were told about after we left the Island. I found some information about this on the web and post it here:

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The ghost of a lady in black has haunted the old barracks and prison at Fort Warren since the Civil War. The young wife of Lt. Andrew Lanier was not about to let her new husband rot in a dungeon at Fort Warren. Shortly after he and six hundred other Confederate soldiers were imprisoned there, she began planning their escape. Dressed in a man's dark suit, she managed to break into the prison and contact her husband. She had brought along a shovel, a pickax, and a pistol. The prisoners began digging a tunnel to the parade ground, where they planned to enter the armory and take over the fort. Just as they reached their target, the tunnel was discovered and the prisoners surrendered. Among them was Lanier's wife, who drew the pistol and fired at a colonel leading the Union soldiers. The damp gun misfired, and the fragmented bullet mortally wounded her husband. On February 2, 1862, Mrs. Lanier took her turn on the gallows, asking only that she be allowed to wear a dress. Soldiers found a black theatrical gown and gave it to her to wear. Seven weeks after her execution, a night sentry felt two hands tightening around his throat. He turned to see the Lady in Black, bathed in a mysterious light, trying to choke him to death. One by one, she appeared to the soldiers and has continued to haunt other guards over the years. Her ghostly footprints have been found in the snow, and sometimes a rock rolls from nowhere across the floor in the old ordnance storeroom. During World War II, an army sentry was so frightened by the Lady in Black that he subsequently spent over twenty years in a mental institution.


I have found countless posts and articles on the web about this Lady in Black. I can tell you that something is just not right about this place if you visit you will know what I mean.

If you come to Boston be sure to take some time to visit Georges Island and Fort Warren. Maybe you might see glimpses of the Lady in Black...............


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jedibowers 
Posted: 28-Jun-2006, 07:51 AM
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Thanks for the story MacFive. We have been brought up thinking of New England in terms of Colonial times mainly Boston. I have never thought of there being Civil War forts in New England. It would make sense because you would not want to leave the area unprotected. I will not be making it to New England this year, but I may have to plan a visit to this fort next summer.
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 30-Jun-2006, 10:32 AM
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Apparently Fort Warren is one of 5 Forts that was devised by George Washington after the Revolution. This was to protect the eastern seaboard. Fort Warren was the last fort in the plan to be built. Apparently there was great concern that Boston, a major importer/exporter at the time, was extremely vunerable to blockade or attack.

I don't recall all 5 forts, but I do remember Fort Sumter was in the list of this Atlantic complex of forts. From what I recall of the guided tour, the planning for these forts began at the end of the Revolution. A number of military and government officials visited Europe at the time to research the mathematical theories on fort design from the French and other European countries. At the time, these designs where not found here in the States.

General Sylvannis Thayer; who just happens to be the local hero from Braintree, MA (where I reside - we have the Thayer House, Thayer Library, etc.) was a member of this group and brought back about 1,500 books on the subject matter.

While Fort Warren never saw military action, it probably deterred attacks and blockades. During the 1812 War with Britain; Boston was subjected to a blockade. Completed in 1850 and with its massive Rodman Guns on all sides (I counted about 20 placements on one section alone) - anything coming even close to Boston Harbour would have been obliverated. At the turn of the century they installed Battery Stevenson which held 12 inch disappearing guns capable of firing 8 miles away. This huge guns would only be visable for a brief few secs and then be completely hidden behind the fort during recoil. An enemy ship approaching may not even see where the fire was coming from unless they had a keen eye.

Fort Warren was also the prison home of the confederacy's Vice President - Alexander Hamilton. He was held in a large spacious 3 bedroom apartment, but spent most of his time alone. There is a published diary of his stay during that time.

Fort Warren was known as the most human prison at the time of the Civil War. While both sides had prisons whose inmates looked like holocast survivors; Fort Warren prisoners where well fed and received excellent medical care. General Dimmick of the Fort treated each and every prisoner like his own soldier. In fact, the Confederate prisoners got together and wrote letters of reference for General Dimmick's son to carry with him in the event of capture or death. Sadly, General Dimmick's son was killed in battle - but upon finding the letters the prisoners at wrote in his son's belongings, his body was returned to Boston for burial - something very uncommon at the time as most were buried at the battlefield.

An arial shot of Fort Warren:

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Rindy 
Posted: 04-Jul-2006, 05:07 PM
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Thats very interesting. Thanks for posting that Macfive.

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stoirmeil 
Posted: 05-Jul-2006, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (Macfive @ 27-Jun-2006, 10:32 PM)
I have found countless posts and articles on the web about this Lady in Black. I can tell you that something is just not right about this place if you visit you will know what I mean.

If you come to Boston be sure to take some time to visit Georges Island and Fort Warren. Maybe you might see glimpses of the Lady in Black...............

*shudders*

I'll take your word for it! It's awful the way she died, and the way her mission went so fatally astray. She must have been quite mad with guilt and grief by the time they hanged her. This is that classic "Leonora" story of the wife who dresses as a young man to save her husband from a tyrant's prison. Poor thing may even have known the story, since it dates from 1798 (a play by Bouilly, taken from a true incident during the Terrors of the French Revolution -- it's the basis of the libretto of Beethoven's Fidelio).

Poor, poor woman. I'd be throttling them in the dark too. fear.gif I'd almost say I wish I could talk to her, but no doubt she'd throttle me too.
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Tracee 
Posted: 06-Nov-2006, 01:47 PM
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Very cool I have been wanting to go to fort sumter for long time.
I love civil war ghost stuff!
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 03-Jan-2007, 10:14 PM
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We have obtained a very bright flash light; probably 6 by 6 inches circle on the front that is like a flood light.

There were certain doors and entrances that lead into pitch black dark halls of 20-30 feet high that we could not enter because there are no lights. We hope to go back this summer and explore the inner ways and tunnels. We understand they are under the fort!

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