Fort at Gloucester

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Fort at Gloucester (1794-1865) - A U.S. Army Fort coastal fort established in 1794 as a part of the Federal First System of fortifications in present day Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts. Made a part of the Federal Second System of fortifications in 1807. In caretaker status and then abandoned after the War of 1812. Manned during the U.S. Civil War. Abandoned in 1865. Also known as Fort Defiance (7) and Fort Libby or Fort Lillie.

Fort at Gloucester Ruins in Background circa 1837


In 1794 the Town of Gloucester ceded to the United States a plot of land on Watch-house Neck for a fort to protect the town. The fort that was built consisted of a battery and a blockhouse erected on the site of an old Revolutionary War fortification. This fort was on the list of First System coastal forts in the Federal Project of 1794 (First System). An improved enclosed battery, mounting seven heavy guns, and covered by a blockhouse, was erected under the Federal Project of 1807 (Second System).

Following the War of 1812 the fort was placed in caretaker status and later the caretaker was removed. About 1833 the fort was vandalized and the wooden structures burned.

The fort was garrisoned during the U.S. Civil War and abandoned after the end of the war.

Current Status

No remains Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts

Location: Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.609043 Long: -70.664009

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