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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fort Schuyler

Posted to Maritime Musings (by on February 25, 2011

Civil War-era fortress now home to the State University of New York Maritime College

 During the War of 1812, it became apparent that US coastal defenses were woefully inadequate.  Plans were made for construction of a series to forts along the Atlantic seaboard to defend against future attacks.  Fort Schuyler was sited on Throgs Neck, the southeastern tip of the Bronx, where the East River meets Long Island Sound, to protect New York City from naval attacks from the Sound.  The fort was dedicated in 1856, but wasn’t completed until shortly prior to the Civil War.  It was named in honor of Philip Schuyler (1733-1804), a politician who also served as a Major General in the Continental Army.  At one time, the fort was fitted with over 400 guns, including 12-inch guns on recessible carriages.  The coastal artillery was not removed until 1935.  During the Civil War, Fort Schuyler was used as a prisoner of war facility.  In 1938, the fort was ceded to the State of New York, which moved the New York State Merchant Marine Academy to the site.  The fort also houses the Maritime Industry Museum, with exhibits on the history of the United States maritime industry, commercial shipping, the merchant marine, and the Port of New York.  The NYS Maritime College is the oldest state maritime school in the United States, founded in 1874.  It offers bachelor’s degrees in marine, mechanical, and electrical engineering, as well as naval architecture.  Members of the Regiment of Cadets in the four-year program spend one year at sea, primarily on the training ship Empire State VI.  Upon graduation, most sit for US Coast Guard licenses as either a Third Mate or a Third Engineer.  Most also receive commissions as Ensigns in either the US Navy or the US Coast Guard.

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