General Joshua Blackwood Howell 1806-1864
Fort Howell is named for General Joshua Blackwood Howell of Pennsylvania, who commanded the Hilton Head District, Department of the South, United States Army, from February through April, 1864. His brigade was then transferred to the Army of the James in Virginia. He was injured while commanding a division near Petersburg and died on September 14, 1864. He was posthumously promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers.
Captain Charles Russell Suter 1842-1920
Fort Howell was designed by Captain Russell Suter, Chief Engineer of the Department of the South, United States Army (May, 1864 to October, 1865). Captain Suter had been with the Army of the Potomac in 1862, and assisted in building bridges across the Potomac and in constructing defenses at Harpers Ferry. He was assigned to the Department of the South in 1863 and participated in the siege of Confederate Battery Wagner and the bombardment of Fort Sumter (1863 and 1864). On August 17, 1864, he was ordered to design and begin construction on the earthworks that would later be named Fort Howell. The fort was completed in November of that year, and his design is preserved in the National Archives.