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Fort Griswold (1775-1903) - An Revolutionary War Coastal Fort first established in 1775 in New London County, Connecticut. Named after then Connecticut Lt. Governor Matthew Griswold. Turned over to the State of Connecticut in 1903. Also known as Fort Groton.
Built between 5 Dec 1775 and 1778 as a stone structure with 12' high walls with bastions at opposite corners surrounded by a ditch. The fort was attacked and captured in September 1781 by a British force led by traitor Benedict Arnold. The fighting was severe and the British lost two senior officers during several attempts to breech the walls. When the British finally penetrated the defenses the garrison commander, Col. William Ledyard, surrendered and presented his sword to the British officer in charge whereupon that officer killed Col. Ledyard with his own sword. The British troops then massacred 84 of the remaining American troops, left 40 more seriously wounded and marched the remainder Americans off as prisoners.
Fort Griswold was lightly garrisoned during the War of 1812 and suffered no attacks. The British fleet kept New London and Groton sealed off from the sea with a blockade but never landed troops. By 1818 this was a 12-gun fort.
The fort was upgraded during the U.S. Civil War and larger cannons emplaced.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Long Island Sound.
By 1903 the fort was no longer garrisoned and in poor condition. The post was in the charge of the Commanding Officer of Fort Trumbull and had mounted four 8" smooth bore Rodman guns and one 14 cm breach loading rifle. Unmounted guns included two 15" smoothbore guns, four 32 pounders smoothbore guns and one 24 pounder rifled gun. On 17 Nov 1903, under act of congress 6 Jun 1902 the post was transferred to the Fort Griswold Tract Commission of the State of Connecticut
Part of Fort Griswold State Park, Groton, New London County, Connecticut.
Location: Fort Griswold State Park, Groton, New London County, Connecticut.
Maps & Images
Lat: 41.353965 Long: -72.079775
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 119-120
- Coast Defense Study Group, CDSG Press, CDSG Digital Library
Fort Griswold Picture Gallery
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