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Fort Mifflin

Visit to Fort Mifflin, Mud Island, on the Delaware River, Pennsylvania, today reveals a star shaped fort of familiar pattern and of most substantial construction. It has the distinction of being within the corporate limits of one of the largest cities on the continent of North America, – Philadelphia, – yet a more deserted or forlorn looking spot it would be hard to imagine. Without benefit of policemen or any of the familiar marks of a great city, it might well serve in a ” movie ” for an ancient stronghold in a desert waste and may have been discovered by some enterprising movie manufacturer before these words are in print. Not always quiet, however, Fort Mifflin was the scene of one of the heaviest cannonadings of the War of Independence, when it sturdily held off the combined English naval and land forces until its own walls were reduced to powder. The ground on which the Fort Mifflin of today stands was deeded to the Federal government by the State of Pennsylvania in 1795, and the present works were commenced in 1798. As the strategic advantage and the ease of fortification of the point had been amply demonstrated during the Revolution, a large and strong fortress was built and garrisoned until changing conditions of warfare caused its importance to be a thing of the past and its garrison to be withdrawn in 1853. During the Civil War the fort was garrisoned by a volunteer regiment and served as a detention place for prisoners taken during that conflict, but this structure saw no service in this war and, indeed, has...

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