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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fairhaven in Bristol County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Fort Phoenix

Active 1775 - 1876

 
 
Fort Phoenix Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 30, 2015
1. Fort Phoenix Marker
Inscription.
In May 1775, British General Gage, bottled up in Boston Harbor after the Battle of Concord and Lexington in 1775, sent the HMS Falcon to Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands in search of food and supplies. Two of the Falcon's tenders, armed with Royal Marines, were found to be anchored just a short distance off Fairhaven's shores in the waters of Buzzards Bay. The appearance of this emblem of royal tyranny incited the people of the Village of Fairhaven to action. Twenty-five members of the village militia, under the command of Captain Nathaniel Pope and Captain Daniel Eggery, sailed from Fairhaven on the sloop Success, engaged the enemy, captured the vessels and took more than twenty-five prisoners. This was the first naval battle of the Revolution.

In order to protect their harbor from future enemy incursions, the original fort was built here at Nolscott Point under the supervision of Eleazer Hathaway and Benjamin Dillingham. It was under construction from 1775 to 1777, when it was outfitted with eleven iron cannon.

General Gage launched a retaliatory attack on this harbor during September 1778, landing on the western shore of the harbor at Clark's Point and marching inland with 4000 troops, destroying warehouses, stores and other rebel properties, including
Fort Phoenix Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 30, 2015
2. Fort Phoenix Marker
Close-up view, that is displayed on the marker, of an illustration, showing what the fort looked like when it was in active use by the military service.
over seventy ships. The local militia, manning the fort under the command of Timothy Ingraham, put up some resistance, but was far outnumbered. The fort was destroyed and burned. Major Israel Fearing arrived from Wareham to help defend the village.

As soon as the British departed, the fort was rebuilt so rapidly that it was called Fort Phoenix after the mythical bird, which rose from its own ashes.

A second attack on Fairhaven was tried during the War of 1812. Faced with cannon fire from the fort and an alerted militia on shore, the British did not land their vessels.

Fort Phoenix was manned through the Civil War, and then removed from active service in 1876.
 
Location. 41° 37.476′ N, 70° 54.1′ W. Marker is in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, in Bristol County. Marker is on Fort Street west of Beacon Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. This marker is located near the water front, near the harbor walkway that goes out on the harbor hurricane break, in the Fort Phoenix State Reservation Park. Marker is in this post office area: Fairhaven MA 02719, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Fort Phoenix (a few steps from this marker); Donald R. Bernard (within
Fort Phoenix image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 30, 2015
3. Fort Phoenix
A current view of the fort, showing what I believe is the same area as was shown on the illustration that is displayed on the marker.
shouting distance of this marker); Major Israel Fearing (within shouting distance of this marker); Revolutionary War Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Phoenix (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Phoenix (within shouting distance of this marker); William Bradford (approx. 0.6 miles away); Merrill's Wharf (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairhaven.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar of 1812War, US Revolutionary
 
Fort Phoenix Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 30, 2015
4. Fort Phoenix Marker
View of the marker looking west along the park walkway and the nearby harbor walkway.
Fort Phoenix Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 30, 2015
5. Fort Phoenix Marker
View of the marker looking east along the park walkway, towards the parking lot.
Fort Phoenix Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 30, 2015
6. Fort Phoenix Marker
View of the marker, looking south, toward several large stone outcroppings where additional plaques are affixed to the stone.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 10, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 201 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 10, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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