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Monday, September 22, 2014

The Battle of Norwalk and the Challenge of Place

Another one of the raids by Loyalist General William Tryon along the Connecticut coast was the engagement at Norwalk and the burning of the city.  Some 2500 men led by Tryon landed on Saturday evening on July 10, 1779 at Fitch's Point and the area now known as Calf Pasture Beach on the east side of the Norwalk Harbor.  On July 11, a force of Hessians and Loyalists attacked on the west side of the harbor, and Tryon moved northward into Norwalk on the eastern side of the river.  Tryon purportedly watched the burning of the city from a rocking chair on a hill on what is now East Avenue, marked by a stone:

You have to work to get a sense of this engagement.  A marker at Calf Pasture Beach, at least when I visited, required a $10 parking fee to get to it.  The marker for Fitch's Point, another landing spot, was on private property.  It would seem that the point of these historical markers would be to allow people to park nearby and absorb what happened.  Too few places, unless they are official parks, seem to take that into account.  So these spots, where lives were lost and significant things happened, are often inaccessible and ignored.

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