CCNS Long Point | Forts Useless and Ridiculous


During the Civil War, concerned about the Confederate navy trying to blockade the harbor, the federal government erected a three-gun earthwork battery at the tip of Long Point and a five-gun earthwork battery about 1,800 feet to the southwest. Because the Long Point Batteries never saw wartime duty, townsfolk called them Fort Useless and Fort Ridiculous.

They were under the charge of Sgt. John Rosenthal and were not decomissioned until 1873, after which the barracks came across to land at 473 Commercial. Both fortifications are discernible as flat-topped mounds. The battery near the lighthouse is where the Beachcombers erected their memorial to Staff Sgt. Charles S. Darby, little remembered today for his artwork but very much honored for service to his country during World War II. He was killed in 1944 when his plane was shot down over Holland. In 1946, the Beachcombers placed a driftwood cross with a bronze plaque by the sculptor William Boogar on the grounds of the Art Association. After the plaque was stolen, the cross was removed to Long Point.

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