Thames River Heritage Park - The American Revolution and Groton Bank

Groton, CT, United States
Est. 2.7km / 54 mins / Map

Thames River Heritage Park - The American Revolution and Groton Bank - Cya On The Road

301 Thames StreetAfter twelve years of economic rebellion in the thirteen British colonies in America, war broke out in Massachusetts in 1775. The center of conflict moved from Boston to New York in 1776, and that year British forces occupied Newport, Rhode Island, and secured most of Long Island. To defend Connecticut’s major seaport, which was a haven for the privateers that stalked British merchant ships on the high seas, the state built two forts. Small FortTrumbull across the river aimed its cannons at vessels coming upriver. The much larger and higher Fort Griswold on Groton Heights could fire its guns across the river or much farther downriver to deter raiding ships. When finished in 1778, Fort Griswold was a classic example of military engineering of the period.   It is estimated that about 40 percent of Americans, who called themselves Patriots, actively supported independence from Great Britain. About 20 percent were Loyalists or Tories, who actively supported British rule and opposed independence. Another 40 percent remained uncommitted, trying to avoid conflict.Even before the Revolution, each town had a militia company for mutual defense, with each man supplying his own weapons. The militia of the town of Groton—which then included what is now Ledyard—was detailed to defend Fort Griswold. At the same time, eligible men volunteered or were drafted to serve between three months and three years in the Connecticut Line regiments of General George Washington’s Continental Army. Local men also served in the fledgling Continental Navy and in commerce-raiding privateers. And Connecticut farmers earned the state’s reputation as the provision state by producing supplies for the army.  

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