Genre: Nonfiction, History
Read again? Yes.
Subtitle: American Coastal Defense Forts of the Third System, 1816-1867
I've been a fort junkie since September of 1999, when I visited Fort Pickens near Pensacola, Florida. At first, I just wanted to make maps of it to build a deathmatch game level for the "Star Wars: Jedi Knight" video game. But as I measured and sketched, I got more and more curious about the history of the place. This turned to fascination and a desire to learn and see as much about these buildings as I possibly can.
Mr. Weaver did a short but enjoyable presentation at Fort Pickens around the time his book came out--and I had to have a copy. "Legacy" takes us briefly through the history of each of 42 forts built between 1816 and 1867, all intended to defend the American coastline against assault by sea.
He begins with a short overview of the systems of fortification, then explains some key terms and structures in the science of fort-building and fort-destroying, weapons, and politics.
Then it's on to the individual forts, going from the Northern Frontier, intended to keep those nefarious Canadians from invading via the Great Lakes and various rivers. Then we go from Maine south along the Atlantic coast to Key West, Florida, along the Gulf Coast, and finally Forts Point and Alcatraz in San Francisco, California.
Illustrations include photos from the author's own collection, maps of the general areas, and line drawings. The only down-side to the illustrations is that they can't convey how very large and beautiful these structures are.