Fort Norfolk was one of 19 harbor front forts authorized to be constructed by General George Washington in 1794. Fort Norfolk was used to protect Virginia against the British in the War of 1812. In 1861, the Confederacy captured the fort to use it to supply the CSS Virginia (Merrimack) in a battle with the Union’s USS Monitor. In 1862, the Union recaptured Fort Norfolk. In the 1900s the Army Corps of Engineers obtained ownership of Fort Norfolk. In 1991, the Norfolk Historical Society restored Fort Norfolk and concerted the structure to a history musuem.