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  REPORT FROM THE SITE OF THE FORT GRISWOLD MASSACRE  

   In September of 1781, in an unsuccessful attempt to divert General Washington and his army, British troops under Benedict Arnold raided and burned New London in the Battle of Groton Heights. Fort Griswold had a key strategic position above the Thames River, but the British knew the fort’s inner workings thanks to Arnold.


The Ebeneezer Avery House took in the wounded after the battle of Fort Griswold.

 

   Over a thousand British regulars stormed the Fort, defended by less than two hundred Americans. When the British had overrun everything, Colonel William Ledyard surrendered, gave the commanding British officer his sword, and was promptly run through with it.  85 Americans, many of them disarmed, were put to the slaughter. 60 were wounded, many mortally. Afraid of being blown up by hidden gunpowder stores, the British, having already suffered 60 killed, backed off, allowing the wounded Yankees to retreat to the Ebenezer Avery house, which still stands today on the grounds of Fort Griswold State Park. 


The monument to the Fort Griswold battle, built in 1826, is 155 feet tall.
 

  

 

Right: The original passageway

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