The Defenders of the Fort - Stonington, CT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Chasing Blue Sky
N 41° 19.888 W 071° 54.377
19T E 256792 N 4579629
Quick Description: This historical marker stands in the center of Cannon Square in the town of Stonington, Connecticut. The two cannons at this site were used to repulse the failed British Naval attack at Stonington Point.
Location: Connecticut, United States
Date Posted: 11/12/2013 2:12:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMJFNV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 5

Long Description:

"Stonington honors the successful defense of the town against British warships during the War of 1812 with a granite monument.

The 1830 obelisk, topped with a naval shell, stands in the borough of Stonington’s Cannon Square. An inscription on the monument’s north face reads, “These two guns of 18 pounds caliber were heroically used to repel the attack on Stonington of the English naval vessels Ramilies, 74 guns, Pactolus, 44, Dispatch, 20, Nimrod, 20 and the bomb ship Terror. August 10, 1814.”

The monument’s north face also contains the Latin inscription “In perpetuam rei memoriam” (In everlasting remembrance of the event).

The monument’s south face honors “the defenders of the fort,” and lists the names of 10 residents who presumably manned the cannons during the English attack.

The monument commemorates the defense of Stonington during a British naval bombardment that lasted between August 9-12, 1814. A group of five British warships anchored off Stonington and shelled the city. No lives were lost in the attack, but 40 local buildings were damaged.

The two cannons flanking the monument were returned to the monument site on Tuesday, August 3, after a two-year restoration at Texas A&M. The 18-pounder cannons, cast at West Point Foundry in the 1780s, will be rededicated in ceremonies Saturday." SOURCE

"Cannon Square located on Water Street in Stonington Borough is a memorial to "the defenders of the fort." In 1814 the residents of Stonington Borough fought and defeated the British Royal Navy in the Battle of Stonington. The small square honors that victory and includes two cannons from 1814 that the town used to defeat the British." SOURCE

"During the War of 1812, between August 9 and 12, 1814, four British vessels, HMS Ramillies, HMS Pactolus, HMS Dispatch, and HMS Terror, under the command of Sir Thomas Hardy, appeared off Stonington harbor. The British demanded immediate surrender, but Stonington's citizens replied with a note that stated, "We shall defend the place to the last extremity; should it be destroyed, we shall perish in its ruins." The women and children fled inland, but the men stayed to defend their town.

For three days the Royal Navy pounded the town, but the only fatality was that of an elderly woman who was mortally ill. While many fires were started by shells and rockets, they were quickly put out and no buildings were destroyed. The townsmen located a supply of powder and shot, and using two cannons left from the Revolutionary War, fired back at the British ships. The British, after suffering significant damage with many dead and wounded, sailed off on 12 August." SOURCE

The monument in the center of Cannon Square has inscriptions on two sides; the front reads:

THE
DEFENDERS OF
THE FORT
AUG. 10, 1814
GEO. HOWE FELLOWES
WHO NAILED THE FLAG TO THE MAST
AMOS DENISON, JR
JERE. HALEY
SIMEON HALEY
JERE. HOLMES
SETH C LEONARD
ASA LEE
THOS. WILCOX
WILLIAM POTTER
HOTATIO G. LEWIS

The reverse side reads:

IN PERPETUAM MEMORIAM
THESE TWO GUNS
OF EIGHTEEN
POUND CALIBER
WERE HEROICALLY
USED IN REPELLING
THE ATTACK ON
STONINGTON
OF THE ENGLISH
NAVAL VESSELS
RAMILLES 74 GUNS
PACTOLUS 44
NIMROD 20
AND THE
BOMB SHIP TERROR

The base of the pillar reads:

AUG. 10, 1814


"The first British attack on Stonington had occurred on Aug. 30,1775, by the frigate HMS Rose. Commanded by 44-year-old Sir James Wallace, the Rose was larger than any American naval ship and boasted 20 guns. It mainly patrolled Narragansett Bay early in the war, successfully suppressing the smuggling that had made Newport wealthy. So angered by the attacks by HMS Rose were the people of Rhode Island that they declared their state's independence from England on May 4, 1776, exactly two full months before the Declaration of Independence severed ties with the British!

The second bombardment of Stonington in the month of August occurred in 1814 and was a sustained attack. Four British warships under the command of Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy anchored offshore of Stonington and began a prolonged bombardment from Aug. 9-12. The damage to Stonington was heavy but only one citizen, an elderly woman who was already deathly sick, perished. Stonington, defended with only two guns, inflicted much more damage on the British; in fact, accurate shooting killed and wounded several British sailors and ultimately forced the English ships under "Kiss Me Hardy" to withdraw." SOURCE

The book, The Defence of Stonington (Connecticut) Against a British Squadron, August 9th to 12th, 1814 provides more detail on the battle at Stonington.

Date Erected/Dedicated: 1/1/1830

Location/Address:
10 South Main Street
Stonington, CT USA
06378


County/Province: New London

Website (related) if available: [Web Link]

Hours or Restrictions if Appropiate: From: 12:00 AM To: 12:00 AM

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Who put it there? Private/Government?: Not listed

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