Fort Phoenix

Fort Phoenix (HM1MPG)

Location: Fairhaven, MA 02719 Bristol County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 37.476', W 70° 54.1'

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Active 1775 - 1876

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 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.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, August 10th, 2015 at 10:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)19T E 341582 N 4609843
Decimal Degrees41.62460000, -70.90166667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 37.476', W 70° 54.1'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 37' 28.56" N, 70° 54' 6" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)508
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 21 Fort St, Fairhaven MA 02719, US
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