“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Castine in Hancock County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)

Fort George & the Penobscot Expedition

Fort George & the Penobscot Expedition Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 6, 2014
1. Fort George & the Penobscot Expedition Marker
Caption: … artist Dominic Serres’ “Destruction of the American Feet in Penobscot Bay” courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, London, England.
Inscription. This fort, originally known by its garrison as “Fort Penobscot” and named by Admiral Sir George Collier in his reports “Fort Castine” received its present designation from its builder, British general Francis McLean upon its completion in December 1779. It was begun in June and was unsuccessfully besieged from July 29 to August 13 by the combined American land and naval forces on the Penobscot Expedition and was the last post surrendered by the British at the close of the Revolutionary War. As they departed in 1784, the British burned the buildings within the fort.
British forces again occupied it in September 1814, rebuilt, it and mounted it with sixty cannon. When these troops destroyed and evacuated it in April 1815, American troops rebuilt it again, strengthened it and occupied it until March 1819 when it was permanently abandoned as a military post.

The Penobscot Expedition
The most important military action relating to Fort George was the Penobscot Expedition of 1779, the largest American naval expedition of the Revolutionary War. Learning that the British were establishing the fort, American authorities in Boston dispatched a naval squadron of nineteen warships under Commodore Dudley Saltonstall and twenty-four transports carrying a force of 1,200 men under General
Fort George & the Penobscot Expedition Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 6, 2014
2. Fort George & the Penobscot Expedition Marker
Maine Maritime Academy in the background.
Solomon Lovell to destroy the fort and its garrison. When the Americans reached Penobscot Bay on July 25, however, three British Royal Navy sloops sat in the bay nearby.
After landing his troops ashore, General Lovell decided that trying to take the fort by land was too risky since the British ships could bombard them as they attacked. For days, he asked Commodore Saltonstall to attack the British ships and, even though the American fleet has more ships and more guns, Saltonstall refused.
On August 13, a British naval force consisting of six warships, including a 64-gun ship of the line and four frigates, arrived to relieve the British garrison. Though he still had the British outgunned, Saltonstall ordered his American ships to flee up the Penobscot River and burned them at his order. This forced soldiers who had been part of the assault to find their way back to Boston on foot trough the wilderness.
For his actions, Saltonstall was removed from the service, Paul Revere, who was in charge of artillery for the expedition, was acquitted in a court-martial though is reputation was permanently damaged.
The Penobscot Expedition remained the worst defeat in U.S. Navy history until the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Erected by Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands.
Location. 44° 23.412′ N, 68° 48.245′ W. Marker is in Castine, Maine, in Hancock County. Marker is on Battle Avenue (Maine Route 166) near Pleasant Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 123 Battle Avenue, Castine ME 04421, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Burial Place of British officers, (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort George (within shouting distance of this marker); Line of Argyle Street (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Home of a Hero (approx. 7.2 miles away); The Growth of Ship Building (approx. 7˝ miles away); Civil War Soldiers' Monument (approx. 7.6 miles away); Carver Memorial Library (approx. 7.6 miles away); Liberty Tree Memorial (approx. 7.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Castine.
More about this marker. This marker is across the street from Fort George Park, on the grounds of the Maine Maritime Academy.
Also see . . .  Penobscot Expedition - Wikipedia. The Penobscot Expedition was an American naval expedition sent to reclaim the Penobscot region in what is now Maine, which the British had seized and renamed New Ireland. It was the largest American naval expedition of the American Revolutionary War and was the United States' worst naval defeat prior to Pearl Harbor.[6] The fighting took place both on land and at sea, in and around what is today Castine, Maine, in July and August of 1779. The defeat of this expedition was one of the greatest British victories of the war. (Submitted on September 15, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar of 1812War, US Revolutionary
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 15, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 352 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 15, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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