Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island, was established on July 4, 1799 as a First System coastal fortification. Its first commander was Captain John Henry who was later instrumental in starting the War of 1812.
The first Fort Adams was designed by Major Louis de Tousard of the Army Corps of Engineers. This fort mounted 17 cannon and was garrisoned during the War of 1812 by Wood’s State Corps of Rhode Island militiamen.
Construction of the new fort began in 1824 and continued at irregular intervals until 1857. From 1825 to 1838 construction was overseen by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gilbert Totten, the foremost American military engineer of his day. In 1838 Totten became chief engineer of the Army and served until his death in 1864. [ source ]
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