"After the pretty bad performance of the US in the war of 1812, the federal government realized some things. They needed to maintain a larger, federally controlled, standing army. The states militias were just not up to the task when it came to real war. They also needed to have a larger navy. Privateers weren’t all that great either. Finally, they needed to fortify the border. The royal navy was able to sail all up in our waterways to deploy land forces. Since half of the US border was coastal, this meant lots of coastal forts to shoot at ships. Across the channel is Fort Morgan, a beautiful star fort. I’ve never been to this one, but it looks to be in very good shape. You can see the retrofitting of more modern gun emplacements."