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Fort Phoenix (1775-1876) - First established in 1775 during the Revolutionary War by the town of Fairhaven, Bristol County, Massachusetts. Destroyed in 1778 and rebuilt. Abandoned in 1876. First known as Fort Fearing.
Revolutionary War (1775–1783)
The fort was completed in 1777 and armed with eleven heavy cannon. Captain Timothy Ingraham was in command of the fort. In 1778 a British invasion force was landed and took the fort after Capt. Ingraham was forced to spike his cannon and evacuate. A relief force led by Major Israel Fearing drove the British back to their ships. The fort was renamed Fort Fearing and kept that name until it was rebuilt and officially renamed Fort Phoenix in 1784.
War of 1812 (1812-1814)
The fort was enlarged under the supervision of 2nd Lt. Sylvanus Thayer just before the War of 1812 and garrisoned with about 100 troops. The fort was attacked on 13 Jun 1814 by a British landing party from the H.M.S. Nimrod and the garrison quickly drove off the attackers. After the end of the war the fort was abandoned.
U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)
Fort Phoenix was reactivated, renovated and rearmed during the U.S. Civil War. Eight 24 pounder cannon were emplaced on the parapet. Toward the end of the war, a large powder magazine was constructed adjacent to the parapet to hold 50,000 pounds of powder. The fort was abandoned in 1876.
Part of Fort Phoenix Beach State Reservation operated by the town of Fairhaven. Three U.S. Civil War cannons are mounted on the parapet. Two 1812 vintage cannons believed to be from Fort Phoenix are mounted at the entrance.
Location: Fairhaven, Bristol County, Massachusetts.
Maps & Images Lat: 41.624273 Long: -70.902146
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 407
Visited: 19 May 2012
Fort Phoenix Picture Gallery
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