Dry Moat and Counterscarp

Dry Moat and Counterscarp (HMEAM)

Location: Virginia City, NY 10305 Richmond County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 36.261', W 74° 3.379'

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Fort Wadsworth

— Gateway Nat'l Rec Area —

From 1859 to 1876, army engineers built these 30-foot-high granite walls to form this corridor. In military terms, Fort Tompkin's scarp (wall to your right) now faced a counterscarp (wall to your left), creating a 30-foot-wide dry moat. When originally built, the counterscarp extended behind you to protect Fort Tompkins' back and sides from land-based attacks.

Within the counterscarp, a gallery allowed soldiers to shoot through the wall's vertical slots as well as from behind the fort's scarp wall through alternating gun slots. Attackers crossing the moat would face a deadly crossfire. However, Fort Tompkins and its defenses were never challenged - evidence of their effectiveness.
Placed ByNational Park System
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 2:09pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 579838 N 4495265
Decimal Degrees40.60435000, -74.05631667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 36.261', W 74° 3.379'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 36' 15.66" N, 74° 3' 22.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)718
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 125 Tompkins St, Virginia City NY 10305, US
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