Conanicut Battery (1776-1781) - A Patriot Revolutionary War Battery established in 1776 on Conanicut Island near Jamestown, Newport County, Rhode Island. Captured by the British in late 1776 and occupied by them until 1778. Occupied by French Marines 1780-1781. Abandoned in 1781. Also known as Prospect Hill Fort, Beaver Head Battery and Beaver Head Fort.
History of Conanicut Battery
In May 1776, a fort was ordered built "at Beaver Tail, on Conanicut, to contain six or eight heavy cannon." Shortly after that such a fort was built on Prospect Hill with an earthworks that had a commanding view of the West Passage. This fort was likely built as a crescent shaped earthworks.
All three of the Patriot works on Conanicut Island were then occupied by the British, from the time they landed at Newport, in December, 1776, until the 8th of August, 1778. These works included Beaver Tail Fort, Beaver Head Fort and Dumpling Rock Battery. Anticipating the fall of the island to the French, the British spiked the guns, destroyed the magazines, abandoned the works, and retreated to Newport.
The site was occupied by French Marines in 1780-1781 and then abandoned as a fortification until 1916 when it became a part of Fort Getty. During World War I and World War II that part of the military reservation reservation was used to house six underground observation posts for the gun batteries at Fort Getty.
The property was deeded to the town in 1964. In 1972 Conanicut Battery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Visited: 1 Jun 2012