Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Constitution (NH)

Dec 28, 2013
New Hampshire
This is a very neat series of posts. My aim is to focus on the use of Fort Constitution during the Civil War but I had to include a quick story from colonial times. I have attached links to its much more broad history. I hope this is informative.

A fascinating anecdote:

Fort Constitution is located in New Castle, NH on the mouth of the Piscataqua and was built to protect Portsmouth Harbor. The British built it during the colonization of New Hampshire and named it Fort William and Mary. After a ride by Paul Revere to Portsmouth on December 13th, 1774, Sons of Liberty, under the guidance of John Sullivan took action on December 14th raiding the fort and taking supplies that would eventually be used in the Battle of Bunker Hill. After the American Revolution the fort was rebuilt and renamed.

Expired Image Removed
View of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor, circa 1705 - Library of Congress

Civil War related:
- Historians speculate that Robert E. Lee visited the fort in the 1850s as the military conducted surveys of coastal fortifications. Lee was in the area working on fortifications and stayed with General Issac Stevens in Portsmouth.

- Major Robert Anderson ("the defender of Ft. Sumter) was garrisoned at the fort before the Civil War.

- Robert Parker Parrott (native to Lee, NH) was at the fort in 1829. Of course he is most famous for his innovation in weaponry. His guns were featured in the fort during the 19th Century.

- There was construction of a three-tiered granite structure on the fort during the Civil War but it was never completed.

- Lastly, the fort was used during the war to train soldiers.


Fort Constitution - New Castle, NH

For a much more detailed history:

The Capture of Fort William and Mary on December 14-15, 1774:

A General History of Fort Constitution:

Visit the Fort today:
Dec 28, 2013
New Hampshire
Thanks Donna. I should note that the Coast Guard is stationed there (you can still visit, but have to watch where you walk!) so I guess it isn't technically forgotten.

I would also like to add that it is located very closely to Fort Stark. Fort Stark was not a Civil War era fort so I didn't see cause to create a thread.
Last edited: