Lieut. Parke Avery

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Lieut. Parke Avery, Jr.

Also Known As: "Park"
Birthplace: Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
Death: December 20, 1821
Groton, New London County, Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: Groton, New London County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Parke Avery and Mary Avery
Husband of Hannah Avery
Father of Thomas Avery; Youngs Avery; Hannah Avery and Thomas Avery
Brother of Abigail Niles; Dorothy Morgan; Sgt. Jasper Avery; Ens. Ebenezer Avery; Eunice Morgan and 3 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Lieut. Parke Avery

"Lieut Park Avery a volunteer wounded in the fort (Ft. Griswold) by a bayonet taking off part of the cranium and totally extirpating his right eye"

source: The Battle of Groton Heights: A Collection of Narratives, Official Reports ... By William Wallace Harris p. 130

"Lieutenant Parke Avery born March 22, 1741, eldest son of Elder Parke Avery, lived at Dunbar's Mill at that time and after his father's death in the old Avery House on Poquonoc Plains, He received a number of wounds (at Fort Griswold), the most serious being in the forehead. His last recollection of the fight is of defending himself with his sword against two men with bayonets when a blow came on his head. He was evidently bayoneted by a man on the parapet above him as the blow split the forehead, took out the eye and the bone over the eye leaving the brain exposed and a deep furrow up and down the forehead after the wound was healed. He was left for dead and came to his senses as he was being carried out on the shoulders of those who were collecting the bodies. His abrupt and military order, "Keep step damn it, keep step boys! You shake me." was rather startling from a corpse. The sword he is said to have used on that occasion is (was) in possession of one of his descendants, Jefferson Avery of New London. His son Thomas, born in 1764, was killed bravely fighting by his side during the assault. "

source: The Battle of Groton Heights: A Collection of Narratives, Official Reports ...

By William Wallace Harris, p. 251-2

  • DAR Ancestor #: A004004
  • Pension Number: *S19904
  • Service Source: *S19904; JOHNSTON, CT MEN IN THE REV P 403, 533, 578.
  • Notes: RE #580671+539 DOROTHY M JOHN MORGAN WAS DAU. OF PARKE AVERY, SR. Created: 2002-03-27 23:23:50.97, Updated: , By: Conversion 1710-1797. HFK 10-98

Parke Avery, Jr., was lieutenant in the Fifth Battalion, Wadsworth's brigade, in the New York Campaign, and volunteered at Fort Griswold, where he was severelywounded but survived.

1781 Revolutionary War Patriot, served during the Fort Griswold Massacre led by Benedict Arnold of the British forces

Parke was forty years old at the time of the fight with the British at Fort Griswold, New London County, Connecticut. At the time he lived on the farm given to him by his father, later owned and occupied by Mr. Hempstead, on the old turnpike road to Mystic, near the ancient gristmill known in the town records as Dunbar's mill, which is still there on the bank of the stream and, for some time, was actively grinding bags of Indian corn into meal for its customers.

When Parke entered the fort on the morning of the battle he took with him his eldest son, Thomas, still in his teens who in the engagement fell dead at his side, at the very very moment he was cheering him on to "do his duty". He was himself most severely wounded in the head and body - more severely it is believed than any other one who survived. He was left among the slain by the enemy, but finally recovered and lived forty years afterwards. The wound in his head was inflicted by a bayonet, as if thrust downward from above, and probably in a hand to hand conflict with one of the enemy who had scaled the wall. it took the eye entirely out, broke in the eyebrow, and left a cavity up and down in the forehead nearly an inch in depth.

When President Monroe, himself a colonel in the war, visited Fort Griswold in 1817, he had a reception of all the old survivors of that battle inside the ramparts, and gave them a cordial greeting. Parke and his brother Ebenezer were there. As the former was introduced, the President with a tear trembling in his eye, placed his finger along the cavity over the eyeless socket of the veteran, then nearly eighty years old, and said; "This looks like the crossing of steel", and then remarked, "it is not often that contending forces come to so close quarters".

Parke was so proud of his son, Thomas, who had so nobly died by his side in the fight, that he changed the name of his youngest son, then just out of the cradle, from Silas Dean to Thomas, that the name of his brave son might continue in his family.

When the British fleet bombarded Stonington Point, in 1814, it was almost impossible to keep Parke at home, although at the time more than seventy years of age. On one occasion he hobbled away with his cane towards the Point, ten or twelve miles distant, and it was with great difficulty that he could be persuaded to return. He said he knew the British would be whipped; he could not do much himself, but he wanted at least to get as far as the top of Fort Hill, where he could see it done.

excerpted from

Let us glance at the town of Groton this fifth of September, 1781. A number of inhabitants had returned from the war, or were at home on a furlough (among those killed in Fort Griswold the following morning, fourteen bore the title of Captain, as also three who were wounded), so that there was a general rejoicing, with a sense of peace and safety. The usual every day tasks had been taken up, and Captain William Latham was building himself a new house. In the early evening, when work was put aside, neighbors and friends gathered here and there in little groups, discussing affairs and talking over the latest war news. Lieutenant Park Avery, who had been with Washington, was at home on a furlough, and it is probable he brought the word of the movement south to crush Cornwallis. If so, how eagerly and anxiously the matter was gone over; and then the more homely topics were touched upon, good weather predicted for the morrow, and the unusual occurrence of the wind blowing from the north spoken of. So they separated for the night.

Honorable warfare fled in one moment. The British killed and wounded nearly every man in -the fort. Colonel Ledyard's nephew received a shattered knee and thirteen bayonet wounds; Lieutenant Park Avery, who had lost an eye and had part of his brains torn out, was bayonetted as he lay bleeding.

Gravestone Inscription:

    I n  m e m o r y  o f
L i e u t  P a r k  A v e r y
           who died
       Dec. 20th 1821
        aged  80  years
    He served his country in
    the revolutionary war &
    was severely  wounded in
         Fort Griswold
view all

Lieut. Parke Avery's Timeline

March 22, 1741
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
May 3, 1741
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
Age 23
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
April 2, 1767
Age 26
Groton, New London, Connecticut Colony
September 9, 1770
Age 29
Groton, New London County, Connecticut Colony
December 27, 1778
Age 37
Groton, New London County, Connecticut, United States
December 20, 1821
Age 80
Groton, New London County, Connecticut, United States
Groton, New London County, Connecticut, United States