Lee is Stationed at Fort Monroe
Following the War of 1812, the United States again came to realize the importance of protecting Hampton Roads and the inland waters from attack by sea, and construction was begun in 1819 on what would become the largest stone fort ever built in the United States. The fort, designed by Simon Bernard, features a moat completely surrounding the inner structures. As a young first lieutenant and engineer in the U.S. Army, Robert E. Lee was stationed there from 1831 to 1834, and played a major role in the final construction of both Fort Monroe and its opposite, Fort Calhoun. The latter, later renamed Fort Wool, was built on a man-made island called the Rip Raps across the navigational channel from Old Point Comfort in the middle of the mouth of Hampton Roads. The fort was briefly used to detain Black Hawk.