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Fort Warren is a historic fort on the 28-acre (110,000 m2) Georges Island at the entrance to Boston Harbor. The fort is pentagonal star fort, made with stone and granite, and was constructed from 1833–1861, completed shortly after the beginning of the American Civil War. Fort Warren defended the harbor in Boston, Massachusetts, from 1861 through the end of WWII, and during the Civil War served as a prison for Confederate officers and government officials. The fort remained active through the Spanish-American War and World War I, and was re-activated during World War II. It was permanently decommissioned in 1947 and is now a National Historic Landmark and a tourism site. It was named for Revolutionary war hero Dr. Joseph Warren who sent Paul Revere on his famous ride. Dr. Warren was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
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Mrs. Lanier (aka The Lady in Black) received a letter from her husband that he had been imprisoned at Fort Warren. She was compelled to free him, making an epic journey from Georgia to Hull, Massachusetts and the home of a Confederate sympathizer. Hull is only about a mile away from George's Island. Mrs. Lanier systematically observed the fort with a spy-glass, and on a stormy night in January 1862, had rowed across to George's Island and went ashore. She cut her hair short and dressed as a man, and brought with her an old pistol and small pick-axe. She made her way to the dungeon cells, and from outside the fort signaled to her husband by whistling an obscure southern tune, to which he signaled back. Mrs. Lanier was able to squeeze through the slit-window of his cell, and was then hidden by the Confederate soldiers. With the use of the pick-axe, the soldiers contrived to tunnel to the center of the fort, and then overtake the guards and obtain weapons. The tunnel took several weeks to dig, and on the eve of finishing the tunnel, a sharp blow of the pick had alerted a guard. The alarm was sounded, and the tunnel quickly discovered. As each of the Confederate soldiers was removed from the tunnel, a tally was taken. When all the prisoners were accounted for, Mrs. Lanier was to spring from the tunnel and capture a Union officer with the old pistol. Mrs. Lanier succeeded in surprising the officer, but he slapped the pistol from her hand. The pistol went off and the bullet struck and killed her husband. As punishment for her deeds, Mrs. Lanier was condemned to death by hanging. Her final request was to be given female clothing, and a search of the fort produced nothing but some old black robes. She was executed in these robes and buried on George's Island. There have also been claims of seeing Confederate soldiers and hearing "The Whistling Sergeant", a Union soldier that used to whistle while on guard duty.
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