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The Battle of Groton Heights and the Storming of Fort Griswold

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  • Sgt. Ezekiel Bailey (1732 - 1781)
    Died in defense of Fort Griswold, September 6, 1781 A Patriot of the American Revolution for CONNECTICUT with the rank of SERGEANT. DAR Ancestor #: A004632 Service Source: JOHNSTON, CT MEN IN THE R...
  • Elisha Morgan Miner (1826 - d.)
    A very interesting article captures Elisha Morgan Miner's recollections of Ft. Griswold. See sources tab for document. (sk)

The Battle of Groton Heights

The Battle of Groton Heights (also known as the Battle of Fort Griswold, and occasionally called the Fort Griswold massacre) was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought on September 6, 1781 between a small Connecticut militia force led by Lieutenant Colonel William Ledyard and the more numerous British forces led by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold and Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Eyre.

In an unsuccessful attempt to divert General George Washington from marching against Lord Cornwallis's army in Virginia, Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton ordered General Arnold to raid the Connecticut port of New London. Although the raid was a success, the Connecticut militia stubbornly resisted British attempts to capture Fort Griswold, across the Thames River in Groton. Several leaders of the attacking British force were killed or seriously wounded, and much of the defending garrison was either killed, mortally wounded, or captured when the fort was stormed. British casualties were also high, leading to criticism of General Arnold by some of his superiors.

The battle was the last major military encounter of the war in the northern United States, preceding the decisive American victory at Yorktown, Virginia by about six weeks.

This project seeks to gather the names of those patriots who participated in the defense of Fort Griswold; escaped to live another day, were wounded, captured or gave an ultimate sacrifice to their newly formed nation. Lists containing the of names of the defenders of Fort Griswold have long been assembled, but with the tool of Geni, perhaps the relationships of these heroes, their stories and their family relationships to following generations can be better understood.

The Battle of Groton Heights, by William Wallace Harris is one of many accounts of the battle and stories of those it touched.

History of The Battle of Groton Heights and The Burning of New London

Killed:

A partial list of those killed or died later from their wounds received from the storming of the fort on September 6, 1781

Wounded and Paroled:

Prisoners Taken by British Forces:

Escaped:

Released:

Related Stories:

  • Elisha Miner, great grandson of Lieut. Parke Avery recalls Ft. Griswold eighty years after the battle

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