New London in New London County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Revolutionary War Privateering
Led to Benedict Arnold’s Attack
When the colonies chose revolution, the Continental Congress appointed Nathaniel Shaw to be in charge of Connecticut’s Navy. That navy consisted largely of privateers, privately-owned armed vessels, licensed to attack British shipping. Privateers were allowed to claim their cargos to sell for profit.
Through most of the Revolutionary War, New York City was British headquarters. This made Long Island Sound a prime location for commerce-raiding. New London had 59 licensed privateers and captured over 200 merchant ships carrying a plentiful supply of goods.
The British commander decided to punish New London and sent Benedict Arnold to lead a raid. On September 6, 1781 Arnold’s forces captured Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold, in Groton, slaughtering 80 of the defenders. In New London, the entire waterfront was set ablaze. Warehouses, homes, businesses, public buildings and ships were destroyed.
Location. 41° 21.264′ N, 72° 5.627′ W. Marker is in New London, Connecticut, in New London County. Marker is at the intersection of Water Street and State Street, on the left when traveling north on Water Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: New London CT 06320, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this Revolutionary New London (here, next to this marker); Nathan Hale (here, next to this marker); Nathan Hale Schoolhouse (a few steps from this marker); New London Soldiers & Sailors Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Whaling in New London (within shouting distance of this marker); Native Americans (within shouting distance of this marker); The Roots of the US Coast Guard (within shouting distance of this marker); The Atlantic Trade (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in New London.
Also see . . .
1. History of Fort Trumbull. Account of the raid on New London from the Friends of Fort Trumbull website. (Submitted on October 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Battle of Groton Heights. Account of the battle across the river from the Friends of Fort Griswold website. (Submitted on October 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 536 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.