How to Research a Military Fort
Our genealogy expert provides answers about researching an American military fort.
Q. How could I find out more about Fort Adams in Newport, RI, where my maternal grandfather was stationed when he met my grandmother?
A. The National Archives’ Northeast Region office in Waltham (Boston), Mass., has administrative records from Fort Adams in record group 392, Records of the US Army Coast Artillery Districts and Defenses, 1901-1942, as well as related records in record group 77. In 1901, the Artillery Corps was divided into field artillery batteries and coast artillery companies under newly created artillery districts. Each district consisted of harbor defense forts, such as Fort Adams, along with minefields and land defenses. In 1913, the coast artillery districts were redesignated coast defense commands. These records document activities at forts Adams, Banks, Constitution, Rodman, Stark, Warren and Williams, and include correspondence, memorandums and orders. Fort Adams also served as a training center during both world wars.