Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Phoenix (MA)

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Fort Phoenix is a stone and earthwork fortification located in the town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts. The fort was built in order to protect New Bedford Bay which was home to the town of Bedford, Massachusetts, an important whaling and fishing center for the region. The fort was orginally begun in 1775 and completed in 1777 by American forces during the Revolutionary War. When first completed the fort was not officially named.
Fort_Phoenix_-_25.jpg

The fort first saw action in 1778 when it was captured by British forces. American troops, vastly outnumbered, were forced to destroy the forts stores, spike its 11 guns, and abandon it completely to avoid capture. However, a counterattack by American forces was able to force a British from the area and the fort was quickly recaptured. The fortification was named Fort Fearing in honor of the officer in charge of the counterattack. The fort would remain in American hands throughout the rest of the war.

In 1784 the fort was renamed to its current name, Fort Phoenix (the mythical creature). The site was improved by then-2nd Lt. Sylvanus Thayer during the War of 1812 and it was under his command that the fort would drive off another British assault in June of 1814. In the years following the War of 1812 the fort was abandoned.
fortpheonix.jpg

With the outbreak of the American Civil War and the fear of raids along the Massachusetts coast the fort was reactivated and manned by state troops for the duration of the war. During the war the fort mounted 8 24 lb guns, 5 of which remain on site today (minus their original carriages) During the war there were also new barracks and a large magazine constructed to the rear of the fortification. The fort never fired a shot in anger during the war and the fort was abandoned for the final time by the United States military in 1876.
Fort_Phoenix.jpg

In the mid 1920s the fort was purchased for the town and in 1972 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it is a state park that is maintained by the town of Fairhaven. It is open daily to visitors who can tour what remains of the old fort that overlooks the bay. While at the fort you can view the 5 ACW-era guns along with older pieces of artillery. There are also numerous plaques and information signs as well. From all indications this site is very well cared for and has a great view.

http://www.fortwiki.com/Fort_Phoenix

Also be sure to check out all other "forgotten forts" in the Forgotten Forts Series Index (Link Below)
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-index.80901/
 

M E Wolf

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Location
Virginia
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/3 [S# 45]
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, And Department Of The East, From June 3 To August 3, 1863.
UNION CORRESPONDENCE. ETC.--#26

Abstract from return of the Department of the East, Maj. Gen. John E. Wool, U.S. Army, commanding, for July 10, 1863.
O Officers. A Aggregate present
M Men. B Aggregate present and absent
P Present for duty

------P------
Stations, &c. O M A B

General headquarters 10 .... 10 10
Fort Hamilton, N.Y. (Brown) 5 62 114 167
Fort Lafayette, N.Y. (Wood) 1 59 79 110
Fort Richmond, N.Y. (Franklin) 1 77 86 93
Fort at Sandy Hook, N.Y. (Putnam) 2 86 97 105
Fort Schuyler, N.Y. (Spratt) 3 132 193 205
Fort Wood, N.Y. (Campbell) 1 66 70 70
Fort Ontario, N.Y. (Lewis) 1 11 15 15
Fort Trumbull, Conn. (Gates) 8 100 189 206
Fort Adams, R. I. (Shepherd) 3 51 73 100
Portsmouth Grove, R. I. (Blanding) 3 67 84 88
Fort Independence, Mass. (Gordon) 11 353 438 461
Fort Warren, Mass. (Dimick). 17 440 562 579
Fort at Clark's Point, Mass. (Allen) 4 82 101 145
Fort Phoenix, Mass. (Cook) 1 42 43 43
Fort Preble, Me. (Andrews) 6 57 82 115
Portland, Me. (Warren) 3 9 28 68
Total 80 1,694 2,264 2,580
===============================
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLVI/3 [S# 97]
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN AND SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, AND PENNSYLVANIA, FROM MARCH 16, 1865, TO JUNE 30, 1865.(*)--#42

BOSTON HARBOR AND MASSACHUSETTS SEA COAST DEFENSES.
Maj. DANIEL HUSTON, Jr.
Clark's Point and Fort Phoenix ( New Bedford).
Capt. CALEB E. NIEBUHR.
1st Battalion Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company B, Capt. Caleb E. Niebuhr.


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M. E. Wolf
 
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