Fort Griswold



Fort Griswold, Groton, CT

On Saturday, June 22, 2013, we decided to take a ride to visit Fort Griswold in Gtoton, CT.

U. S. Submarine Memorial

On our way, we happened to pass by the U. S. Submarine Memorial so we decided to stop and check it out.

The submarine base in Groton is not too far away, and they have the Submarine Force Museum, the only submarine museum managed exclusively by the U.S. Navy, and the historic submarine USS Nautilus, the Worlds first nuclear submarine. But at the U. S. Submarine Memorial there is a memorial to the 52 submarines that were lost during World War II.

U. S. Submarine Memorial Panel




The first thing you come to is this series of plaques representing each of the 52 submarines.



USS Triton (SS201) Connecticut's Memorial Submarine

This is the commemorative plaque representing the USS Triton (SS201) Connecticut's Memorial Submarine


Submarine Superstructure

Dominating the site is the superstructure of a submarine
I did not see anything that said if it was from the USS Triton or some other submarine


Submarine Superstructure

Also at the site there is a memorial similar to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, with names of the sailors lost


Submarine Superstructure




This is a closeup of the obelisk in the middle of the memorial.



Fort Griswold

So we left the U. S. Submarine Memorial and found our way to the Fort Griswold site.

Fort Griswold was a Revolutionary War era fort along the river in Groton, CT, across the Thames River from New London. During the war the fort, in tandem with Fort Trumbull across the river, was responsible for sinking several British ships while protecting the port of New London which was a supply center for the Continental Army and a base for Connecticut-sanctioned privateers who preyed on British ships. (It is estimated that New London privateers had taken five hundred British vessels over the duration of the war.) In September, 1871, the British decided something had to be done, and sent a fleet to the area. The traitor Brenedict Arnold was a member of the force and was able to use his knowledge of Fort Griswold to help the British fleet approach the fort from a direction where the fort's gun positions could not fire effectively on them. A force of 850 soldiers landed on the Groton side of the Thames to take the fort from the defenders, mostly made up of local farmers. Benedict Arnold led a force of 900 men, landing on the new london side of the river.

The 23 men at Fort Trumbull, under the command of Captain Adam Shapley, shot one volley, spiked their guns and retreated to fort Griswold, which were his orders if attacked. Arnold proceeded to take Fort Trumbull and burn much of the city of New London.

When the British forces finally made it into Fort Griswold, the commander, Colonel William Ledyard, surrendered and gave the commanding officer of the British force his sword, and was promptly killed with his own sword. A massacre immediately took place and at the end of the fighting, 85 defenders were dead, with several more to die later.

A house nearby, owned by Ensign Ebenezer Avery who was one of those killed, was used as a makeshift hospital for the wounded. This house was given to the Avery Memorial Association in 1971. It was moved to its current location and has undergone several restorations.

Groton Monument




This is the Groton Monument, a granite monument dedicated to the defenders who fell during the Battle of Groton Heights. It was built between 1826 and 1830, stands 135 feet tall with 166 steps.



Plaque on the Groton Monument

This is the commemorative plaque on the Groton Monument
Nearby is the Monument House Museum which features exhibits about the Revolutionary War and is operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution


Fort Griswold

This is a view through a window at the top of the Groton Monument showing the layout of the upper portion of the fort
You can see the General Dynamics Electric Boat submarine building facility in the distance


The following are some more views through the windows at the top of the Groton Monument:

Fort Griswold

Nice view of the Connecticut River


Fort Griswold

The Port of new London across the river


Fort Griswold

Here you can see the Gold Star Memorial Bridge (and a railroad bridge) in the distance


Fort Griswold

That building is the Bill Memorial Library next to the Fort Griswold park
This library was founded and built by Frederic Bill, a teacher, publisher, importer and manufacturer


Fort Griswold

This is a view of the fort looking over the stone wall from the road


Fort Griswold




Here is a photo of the plaque next to the entrance to the site



Fort Griswold

We went into the main part of the upper portion of the fort, through a tunnel that goes through the wall of the fort, and came to this spot where i took this photo of the lower fort and the gun emplacements


Fort Griswold

A view of the river from the embankment in front of the gun emplacements


Standing in a different location at the gun emplacements, you can see the shot furnace where canon balls were heated so they would set vessels aflame when they were struck, and the Ebenezer Avery House which sheltered the wounded after the battle.

Fort Griswold

Off to the left of this photo is the powder magazine








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