Old Point Comfort, a post village and watering place of Elizabeth City co., Va., situated on James river, at the entrance of Hampton roads, 12 m. N. of Norfolk. It is much resorted to in summer for sea bathing, and has commodious hotels. The point is a low, narrow, sandy neck of land, on the extremity of which is Fort Monroe, a formidable structure covering 60 acres of ground. A redoubt thrown forward from its N. W. bastion defends the strip of land which connects the point with the mainland. One mile S. of Fort Monroe, on the other side of the entrance to Hampton roads, an artificial island has been formed upon a mud bank originally covered with 17 ft. of water, and upon the foundation thus obtained an important defensive work, named Fort Wool, is in process of erection. Forts Monroe and "Wool close the entrance to Hampton roads, James river, and the water approaches of the navy yard at Norfolk. Fort Monroe is the seat of the artillery school of the United States army, which is a special school of application for both officers and enlisted men. Each of the five regiments of artillery has one battery stationed permanently at the school with its captain, and sends annually to the school four lieutenants.
The instruction extends through one year, and comprises the theory and practice of gunnery, military engineering, history, law, mathematics, and tactics. The school was established in 1867 under the command of Brevet Major Gen. W. F. Barry, who is still its commandant (1875).