Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Sewall

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Fort Sewall, sometimes mispronounced Sewell, is an earthern and masonry battery located in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The fort is located on an elevated rocky position that overlooks the entrance to Marblehead Harbor and was originally built for the defense of both the town and harbor.
Fort Sewall 2.jpg

Orginally built by English colonists in the mid 1700s the fort was built to defend the harbor and town against the French. A newer fort was built in the early days of the Revolutionary War on the same site by colonists for protection against the British. The fort would be updated again after the war and yet again prior to the War of 1812. During this time blockhouses, magazines, barracks and a "bombproof" seen the the photograph above were built into the earthern walls. The forts armament was increased to 8 pieces of artillery as well during this time period.
Fort sewall 4.jpg

During the War of 1812 the fort saw action when in 1814 the USS Constitution, being pursued by multiple British vessels, sailed into the harbor for protection under the fort's guns. It was that same year the fort was officially named Fort Sewall in honor of Judge Sameul Sewall from the state of Massachusetts. Following the War of 1812 the fort continued its service and on a few occasions was visited by high ranking officials such as President Andrew Jackson. However, in the years following the war the fear of foreign aggression subsided the fort was abandoned and fell into disrepair.
fort sewall.jpg

With the outbreak of the American Civil War and fear of Confederate and foreign privateers the abandoned fort was once again garrisoned by Massachusetts troops. By 1863 the fort had mounted 12 pieces of artillery for the defense of Marblehead and its harbor and according to some sources served as a prison for a brief time. This however would be the extent of Fort Sewall's service during the Civil War as it would never fire a shot in anger. Following the war the fort was used up through the Spanish-American War but it was not turned over to city of Marblehead until 1922.
Fort Sewall 3.jpg

Today the fort is operated as the Fort Sewall City Park and is open to the public free of charge daily. A side walk now lines the top of the earthern walls and visitors can overlook the harbor that Fort Sewall once guarded. Visitors can also tour what was once the parade ground and view the "bombproof" and magazines.

http://www.essexheritage.org/welcome
http://www.fortwiki.com/Fort_Sewall

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/
 

IanMC2009

Private
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Location
FL
great post. i feel like this one people dont appreciate and just walk around it to let their dogs release themselves without knowing its history. thx again for your work.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Marblehead and other "Northshore" (of Boston) ports were usually fishing, rather than whaling ports, the famous being Gloucester. New Bedford(where Frederick Douglass worked in a shipyard) and Nantucket were the whaling ports.

James Glover raised a regiment of soldiers for the Continental Army from Marblehead and the neighboring town of Salem. These tough fishermen were valuable to Washington, more famously in crossing the Delaware River to attack the Hessians at Trenton.
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
James Glover raised a regiment of soldiers for the Continental Army from Marblehead and the neighboring town of Salem. These tough fishermen were valuable to Washington, more famously in crossing the Delaware River to attack the Hessians at Trenton.

I remember first learning about Glover while watching the movie The Crossing which was about Washington crossing the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton.
 
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