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The Fort Griswold Massacre

The Fort Griswold Massacre

The fort Griswold Battle was one of the last of the American Revolution. It occurred September 6, 1781 in a fort by the town of Groton, Connecticut. Eighty-eight brave men lost their lives. Most of them were slaughtered after the fort was surrendered. It was particularly costly to the Avery family which took a huge blow.



Killed:
Captain Elijah Avery
Captain Elisha Avery
Captain Samuel Allyn (Son of Hannah Avery)
Captain Hubbard Burrows (Husband of Sarah Avery)
Captain Youngs Ledyard (Son of Mary Avery)
Lieutenant Ebenezer Avery
Ensign Daniel Avery
Sergeant Christopher Avery
Sergeant Jasper Avery
Sergeant Solomon Avery
David Avery
Thomas Avery
Simeon Morgan (Son of Dorothy Avery)
Elisha Perkins (Husband of Sarah Avery)
Christopher Woodbridge (Son of Susannah Avery)
Henry Woodbridge (Son of Susannah Avey)

Wounded:
Ensign Ebenezer Avery
Lieutenant Park Avery
Corporal Ebenezer Avery
Amos Avery

Taken Prisoner:
Sergeant Rufus Avery
Caleb Avery
Captain Peter Avery



Matches 1 to 17 of 17    » Thumbnails Only     » Slide Show

   Thumb   Description   Linked to 
1
Benedict Arnold engraving by H. B. Hall.
Benedict Arnold engraving by H. B. Hall.
General Arnold served in the Continental Army at the time of the American revolution. He was trusted and given command of West Point which at the time was a strategically located fort. He conspired to surrender the fort to the British but, before he could go through with it his plan was discovered.

He fled and joined with the British forces. He was in command of the British troops who carried out the Fort Griswold Massacre. Some say he could not have stopped it but, the troops were clearly comfortable doing what they did under his command and he had nothing but praise for them after the battle. His report after the battle did not mention the killings that took place after the surrender.

Arnold's life justfully should have ended at the end of a rope. Instead he went on to live out his life unimpeded in Canada and Brittan. Had he been hanged it is likely no one would know who he was. Instead centuries latter his name is synonymous with "traitor".  
 
2
Fort Griswold.
Fort Griswold.
In more modern times we refer to The Battle of Groton Heights or The Battle of Fort Griswold but, when it happened it was the Fort Griswold Massacre.

Early British historians tend to look for excuses for what happened and as such some call the event "controversial". Clearly though Colonel Ledyard who was in charge of the fort surrendered when it was over run. He offered his sword to the British officer who used it to kill him. The British then opened fire. Sergeant Rufus Avery in his recollections of the event claimed that the attack was called off only to prevent the chance that the musket fire might set off the fort's powder magazine.

Of the 150 men at the fort 80 died and 60 were wounded. Many of the wounded would later die as a result of those wounds. The survivors were all taken prisoner. Beyond the atrocity at the fort the British destroyed the town of New London.  
 
3
Ensign Ebanezer Avery's House.
Ensign Ebanezer Avery's House.
The wounded at the fort who could not walk were loaded upon an ammunition wagon. Being on top of a hill the British lost control of the wagon and it raced downhill about 66 yards where it hit an apple tree further injuring the men who were already suffering.

The wounded were then left at the house of Ensign Ebenezer Avery. The house had been partially damaged by fire but, the blaze had been extinguished. A civilian, Ebenezer Ledyard, Esq. was taken as a hostage to keep any of the wounded from trying to escape.

Picture from "The Battle of Groton Heights, A Story of the Storming of Fort Griswold, Containing Also, The Narrative of Rufus Avery, From the Original Manuscript and Other Interesting Matter". Published Bingham Paper Box Company, New London, Connecticut, 1903 Page unnumbered, after page 8. 
 
4
Groton Monument.
Groton Monument.
The Groton Monument, also known as the Fort Griswold Monument, is a granite monument that was dedicated in 1830.

From "The Battle of Groton Heights, A Story of the Storming of Fort Griswold, Containing Also, The Narrative of Rufus Avery, From the Original Manuscript and Other Interesting Matter". Published Bingham Paper Box Company, New London, Connecticut, 1903 Page 3. 
 
5
Groton Monument Postcard.
Groton Monument Postcard.
The monument has survived two major renovations, being struck by lightning and, a hurricane. As part of Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, visitors can climb the monument from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  
 
6
View from the South Window of the Monument.
View from the South Window of the Monument.
Fort Griswold overlooking New London Harbor.

Picture from "The Battle of Groton Heights, A Story of the Storming of Fort Griswold, Containing Also, The Narrative of Rufus Avery, From the Original Manuscript and Other Interesting Matter". Published Bingham Paper Box Company, New London, Connecticut, 1903 Page unnumbered, before page 17.  
 
7
The Battle of Groton Heights.
The Battle of Groton Heights.
A complete listing of all the casualties, wounded and, the prisoners as well as the testimony of Sergeant Rufus Avery.

"The Battle of Groton Heights, A Story of the Storming of Fort Griswold, Containing Also, The Narrative of Rufus Avery, From the Original Manuscript and Other Interesting Matter". Published Bingham Paper Box Company, New London, Connecticut. 
 
8
Amos Avery Service 1.
Amos Avery Service 1.
Amos Avery Service 1. 
 
9
Amos Avery Service 2.
Amos Avery Service 2.
Amos Avery Service 2. 
 
10
Amos Avery Service 3.
Amos Avery Service 3.
Amos Avery Service 3. 
 
11
Amos Avery Service 4.
Amos Avery Service 4.
Amos Avery Service 4. 
 
12
Caleb Avery Service 2.
Caleb Avery Service 2.
Caleb Avery Service 2. 
 
13
Caleb Avery Service.
Caleb Avery Service.
Letter from Caleb Avery's pension file that details his service and family life. 
 
14
Corporal Ebenezer Avery Service.
Corporal Ebenezer Avery Service.
Corporal Ebenezer Avery Service. 
 
15
Park Avery Jr Service.
Park Avery Jr Service.
Park Avery Jr Service. 
 
16
Park Avery Jr Service 2.
Park Avery Jr Service 2.
Park Avery Jr Service 2. 
 
17
Captain Peter Avery Service.
Captain Peter Avery Service.
Captain Peter Avery Service. 
 


Linked to Samuel Allyn (8705), Amos Avery (8686), Caleb Avery (8695), Christopher Avery (8689), Daniel Avery (8688), David Avery (8691), Ebenezer Avery (8642), Ebenezer Avery, jr (8692), Ebenezer Avery (9765), Elijah Avery (8683), Elisha Avery (8684), Jasper Avery (8641), Park Avery, Jr (8640), Park Avery (8702), Peter Avery (8694), Rufus Avery (8660), Solomon Avery (8690), Thomas Avery (8685), Hubbard Burrows (8703), Joshua Downer (8711), Youngs Ledyard, Jr (8697), Simeon Morgan (8701), Elisha Perkins (8710), Christopher Woodbridge (8707), Henry Woodbridge (8708)