Google+ Badge

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Groton Heights and Benedict Arnold's Revenge

After the discovery of his plot to hand over West Point to the British, Benedict Arnold became a brigadier general in the British army.  On September 6, 1781, while the war raged savagely in the Carolinas and Cornwallis headed for his doom at Yorktown, Arnold launched his own fierce and brutal raid on his home colony, Connecticut.  The Thames River divided New London on the western bank from Groton on the eastern.  Fort Trumbull, south of New London, was sparsely defended and abandoned after one volley and the spiking of its guns.  lieutenant Colonel William Ledyard, a native of Groton, commanded Fort Griswold on the Groton side.  He was outnumbered, 800 to 150.  The British force of Regulars, Hessians and Loyalist forces were led by Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Eyre. The Americans vowing to defend the fort to the last extremity, and the British assaulted.  British Major William Montgomery led an attack from the north, and was killed; when Ledyard offered his sword in surrender, he was also killed and the massacre of American troops began.

Here we see a view inside the fort.  The enclosure on the left is where Ledyard fell.  On the right, next to the tree, is the plaque indicating where Montgomery fell.  This is a remarkable place in that it gives a sense of the claustrophobic nature of the Revolutionary War battlefield.
Post a Comment