Restore and recall Fort Griswold history

I agree with the editorial, “Remember Groton Heights! History worth preserving,” (Dec. 27) that Fort Griswold has not received proper attention.

In addition to the Revolutionary War battle of Sept 6, 1781, Fort Griswold was Connecticut’s major defense in the War of 1812. On June 1, 1813, the British blockaded Commodore Decatur in the Thames Harbor. Decatur recognized Fort Griswold, high on the hill, as the major harbor defense and took cannon from his ships to better arm it before retreating further up the river.

Fearing a repeat of Sept 6, 1781, local residents evacuated the area. In contrast to 1781, at least 2,000 Connecticut militia were quickly stationed along the Thames River, most in Groton Bank and Fort Griswold.

Fort Griswold truly played a significant role in our nation’s history. Other “earthen star” forts of the Revolution, like Fort Niagara, have been restored while Fort Griswold remains in ruins. Connecticut funded restoration at New London’s Fort Trumbull although the current buildings, a training facility for Civil War soldiers, never saw hostile action. Fort Griswold, where significant action occurred, has been largely ignored.

Groton and the state should convert the vacant Groton Heights School, bordering the fort, the Groton Monument and the Monument House Museum into a visitor center to better tell the story.

Thomas Althuis

President Groton Bank Historical Association


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