Lewes Battery (1813-1815) - A War of 1812 Battery established in 1813 in Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware. Named Lewes Battery after the location. Abandoned in 1815.
Established in 1813 as a response to the British blockade of Delaware Bay and River begun in March 1813 and the subsequent Bombardment of Lewes on 6th and 7th of 1813. The town was bombarded for 22 hours after refusing to provide supplies to the British Fleet. During the bombardment, the British fleet fired some 800 projectiles into the town and its fortifications causing much damage. This bombardment also marked the first use of the British Congreve rocket against Americans during the War of 1812.
The American battery consisted of several cannons mounted on field carriages and emplaced along a long earthwork. The battery was commanded by Colonel Samuel Boyer Davis and manned by militia troops. The Americans were short on ammunition but were able to provide effective fire against the British warships. Later they were able to reposition their field pieces to drive off smaller landing barges and boats.
The British fleet withdrew on the 7th of April to their blockading positions and continued the blockade until 1815.
The battery was abandoned in 1815 at the end of the war.
Now the 1812 Memorial Park in Lewes, Delaware. The park contains six cannons said to be original to the battery. The cannons are mounted at two levels, two on the lower level and four on the upper level. A 1914 stone monument commemorates the bombardment of Lewes on the 6th and 7th of April. Two markers and a reader board explain the bombardment and the battery.
The nearby Lewes Historical Society Cannonball House displays a cannonball from the 1813 bombardment imbedded in the brick foundation.
Visited: 18 Apr 2018