Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Griswold


Sergeant Major
Jun 21, 2012
Louisville, KY
It has been awhile since I've posted a new fort so I thought I'd take the time to do so. I'll focus on a fort I previously mentioned in the thread on Fort Trumbull.

Fort Griswold is an earthern and stone star fort located in Groton, Connecticut. Originally designed as a companion to Fort Trumbull located across the Thames River the fort was built in 1775 to defend the strategic town of New London and the Thames from British forces. Fort Griswold was named for Lt. Gov. Matthew Griswold who held that office in the state of Connecticut during the American Revolution.
fort griswold 1.jpg

During the American Revolution Fort Griswold was the site of the Battle of Groton Heights in which British forces under the command of Benedict Arnold, utilizing his knowledge of the fortification, captured the fort and partially destroyed it. The fort was also garrisoned during the War of 1812. Between the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War an early water battery was constructed and in 1843 a hot shot furnace was also added.

With the outbreak of the American Civil War Fort Griswold was under the charge of the commanding officer at Fort Trumbull and it's garrison helped occupy Fort Griswold. The fort's water battery was improved and armed with multiple smoothbore guns. Then Lt. Col. John Reynolds served as the post commander for a short time when he was given command of Fort Trumbull and the 14th U.S. Infantry which was headquartered at Fort Trumbull. During the war neither Fort Griswold or Fort Trumbull fired a shot in anger but were garrisoned throughout the war.

Following the war Fort Griswold remained partially garrisoned by troops from Fort Trumbull before falling into disrepair. Shortly after the turn of the century the forts guns were removed and its walls completely abandoned. Shortly after the fort was transferred to the state of Connecticut. Today the fort and the water battery make up the Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park. Along with the fort and water battery there is a monument to commemorate the Battle of Groton Heights and a museum. The fort is open daily for the entire year and admission is free. Although the fort did not play a huge role in the American Civil War it can still be tied to the war and is yet another forgotten fort.

The link to the thread on nearby Fort Trumbull which is mentioned multiple times above.

Link to all other forts in the Forgotten Forts Series