New London in New London County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Ironically, the Third System forts, built to protect the U.S. coastline from foreign aggression, were never fired on by another country, but some were attacked by American rebel forces. The Civil War started in April of 1861 when Confederate cannon fired on Fort Sumter, a Third System fort built on an island to defend the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. The bombardment of hot cannonballs and exploding shells caused flames to rage through Fort Sumter, and the federal troops stationed there surrendered.
Within a week of the attack on Fort Sumter, the mayor of New London sent the city guards to man Fort Trumbull, which had no troops in residence at the time. In July, a company of the 3rd U.S. Infantry arrived to man the post. By late 1862, Fort Trumbull served as a recruiting station for all troops leaving from Connecticut. Fort Trumbull never faced any Confederate forces because they never advanced as far north as New England.
During the war, some of the troops stationed at the fort gained a reputation for rowdy behavior when soldiers became involved in tavern brawls and street fights in town.
Mark Twain, the famous author and Connecticut resident, used Fort Trumbull as the setting for a short story about spying during the Civil War. The fictional commandant of Fort Trumbull narrates the story, which is called
Erected by Fort Trumbull State Park.
Location. 41° 20.612′ N, 72° 5.597′ W. Marker is in New London, Connecticut, in New London County. Marker can be reached from East Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located inside the fort at Fort Trumbull State Park. 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 marker. Coast Guard (here, next to this marker); Post Civil War to 1910 (here, next to this marker); “Aim, Load, Fire” (here, next to this marker); The Third System (a few steps from this marker); War of 1812 (a few steps from this marker); American Revolution (a few steps from this marker); Fort Interiors (a few steps from this marker); Scientific Research (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New London.
More about this marker. The lower left of the marker features a portrait of Lieutenant Philip Schuyler of the 14th Regiment. The numeral 14 on his hat indicates his regiment. Next to this is a portrait of Lieutenant Lorenzo Lorain of the 3rd Regiment, U.S. Artillery. Both men served at Fort Trumbull during
The lower right of the marker contains a picture of Mark Twain, courtesy of Mark Twain House, Hartford, CT. It has a caption of “Mark Twain set his short story ‘A Curious Experience’ at Fort Trumbull during the Civil War, when the post served as a recruiting station. The fictional narrator opens the story: ‘In the winter of 1862-63 I was commandant of Fort Trumbull at New London, Conn. Maybe our life there was not so brisk as life at “the front”; still it was brisk enough, in its way – one’s brains didn’t cake together there for lack of something to keep them stirring. For one thing, all the Northern atmosphere at that time was thick with mysterious rumors – rumors to the effect that rebel spies were flitting everywhere, and getting ready to blow up our Northern forts, burn our hotels, [and] send infected clothing into our towns.”
Also see . . . History of Fort Trumbull. Friends of Fort Trumbull website. (Submitted on October 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 385 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.