I don’t want to overstate it, but …

Slept in. Thought about taking a nap after that. Tomorrow I’m going to do some stuff, if for no other reason than the buzzards will be circling overhead, patiently waiting to see if there are any signs of life. Sitting still has been a good strategy, but it hasn’t restored my energy. I still don’t feel terrible. I just don’t feel … good? Normal? Right? Not ready for a rest at the slightest exertion? Last night I nodded off watching the Tour. This evening I had to work to stay awake during another stage.

So it’s been a lost week. Maybe two. Perhaps three. It’s a bit disappointing. Frustrating. Maybe that’s what this pseudo-sinusitis has been. It has been frustrating. Frustrating and persistent. Persistent in its frustration. Persistently frustrating. I’m just running out of patience in slogging my way through it.

At least I’m telling myself that it feels like tomorrow will be back to normal. I will manufacture, if necessary, some light at the other end of this tunnel.

It’s time once more for We Learn Wednesdays, where we discover the county’s historical markers via bike rides. This is the 39th installment, and the 71st marker in the We Learn Wednesdays series. We return once more to Fort Mott, which protected the river, and Philadelphia upstream, from invaders. We’ve been here for some time, as you might recall, but our time here is nearing an end.

In the last few weeks we checked out the old gun batteries and had a quick look at the observation towers that helped them in their work of defending the river and Philadelphia, beyond. Lately, we’ve looked at the parados and the moat that served as the fort’s rearguard. We saw the signs for the generator, plotting and switchboard rooms and we saw the battery commander’s station and, most recently, the peace magazine.

The park has a map to orient you to the fort’s layout.

The river is on the left side of this drawing. You can see the pier jutting out into the water. That’s the area we’re briefly visiting today. And we’ll see it from atop the earthworks that protected the battery placements

The construction of a fortification the size of Fort Mott required the delivery of a large amount of materials and equipment. The river provided an excellent “highway” and the government constructed a wharf to receive the construction materials. Equipment, materials, and supplies were unloaded at the wharf onto a rail line which was built from the wharf to the fortification site. Once the fort was completed, the rail line additionally served to transport ammunition and supplies to the various magazines. Eventually the rail line was extended through the parados to access the newly constructed Peace Magazine. The Army used teams of mules to pull large service carts along the rail line.

The bottom of the marker features a National Archives photo from February 1898, when the troops were unloading the 12-inch gun carriage that helped command the river.

The wharf juts out from a small river beach. On the other side is the walking trail. In between us and the wharf is a field full of mosquitos and other insects ready to take a bite out of you.

The fort’s job was to defend the waterway, and the Delaware River was also key to keeping Fort Mott supplied during its years of service. Most of the building materials, guns, and ammunition were delivered from here. The wharf also provided access to travel between Fort DuPont and Fort Delaware, the other two links in the river defense system. Fort Mott, and the others, were rendered obsolete when Fort Saulsbury, was ready for business downriver after World War I. Mott housed soldiers from 1897 to 1922. It became a state park in 1951.

If you’ve missed any markers so far, you can find them all right here.

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