Construction of the new fort began in 1824 and continued until 1857. From 1825-1832, it was overseen by Lt. Col. Joseph Gilbert Totten, the foremost military engineer of his day. He became chief engineer of the U.S. Army in 1838 and served in that post until his death in 1864.
The new fort was first garrisoned in 1841 and a troop presence continued until 1950. It served in five wars: Mexican, Civil, Spanish-American and World Wars I and II, but never fired a shot in anger.
During the Mexican War, it was commanded by Benjamin Kendrick Pierce, brother of President Franklin Pierce who also fought in the War of 1812. From 1843-1853, it was commanded by another War of 1812 veteran, Col. William Gala. In 1853 the garrison was ordered to California and many lost their lives when their ship, the SS San Francisco sank in a North Atlantic storm on December 24, 1853.