Fort Madison (1)

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Fort Madison (1) (1808-1819, 1863-1865) - A U.S. Army Second System fort established in 1808 in present-day Castine, Hancock County, Maine. Named for James Madison, 4th President of the United States. Captured and held by the British during the War of 1812 and renamed Fort Castine (1814-1815). Returned to U.S. Control in 1815 and remained active until 1819. Renamed Fort Porter for Major Moses Porter, U.S. Army engineer. Abandoned in 1819. Rebuilt in 1863 by Union forces during the U.S. Civil War and renamed Fort United States. Finally abandoned as a fortification in 1865. Assigned Location ID ME00058.

Fort Madison Display Cannon
Fort Madison Marker
Fort Madison Site with Display Cannon

Second System (1808-1816)

A U.S. Army coastal Second System fort originally built as a masonry and earthworks gun battery mounting four large 24-pounder cannons. The post came to include a blockhouse and a brick barracks.

War of 1812 (1812-1814)

Fort Madison was not fully garrisoned when the War of 1812 began and when the British fleet attacked Castine on 1 Sep 1814 it was easily captured. The detachment of artillerymen spiked the guns as the British approached and headed for Portland. The British occupied the fort for the duration and renamed it Fort Castine (1814-1815). The war ended in December 1814 but the British remained in Castine until April 1815. U.S. forces reoccupied the fort and renamed it Fort Porter.

The armament of the fort was upgraded in 1818 to a six-gun main battery with a three-gun outer battery. In 1819 the fort was abandoned as a fortification.

U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)

The fort was rebuilt in 1863 as a five gun earthworks fort by Union forces during the U.S. Civil War. The fort was renamed Fort United States and garrisoned by U.S. Volunteer troops. The fort was abandoned at the conclusion of the war in 1865. The current configuration of the fort in the park reflects the Civil War earthworks.

Current Status

Part of Fort Madison City Park, Castine, Hancock County, Maine.

Location: Fort Madison City Park, Castine, Hancock County, Maine. One display cannon.

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.381733 Long: -68.810321

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: .....'


  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 373-374
  • Rodgers & Sanford, Searching for the Forgotten War - 1812 United States of America, 2011, Xlibris Corp., 2598 pages, eBook


Visited: 28 Jun 2012

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