Green End Fort, Middletown

In 1778, when the British built a defensive line of earthworks to protect Newport from the besieging American troops, the Battery at Green End stood near the southern end of that line. A sinuous mound of earth and a grassy open area with a steep slope to the east mark the site of this Revolutionary War defense work. As recently as the late 19th century, cannonballs were unearthed from nearby properties, souvenirs of the 1778 Siege of Newport, in which the Americans to the east kept up a cannonade against British positions.

The British held their positions in and around Newport until October of 1779, when they withdrew to prepare for a campaign in the colonies to the south. In July 1780, a French fleet with thirty-six troop transports arrived in Newport to begin the planning and staging that ultimately led to American victory in the Battle of Yorktown.

The French troops of the St. Onge regiment improved on the British fort at Green End, and it became known as the Redoubt St. Onge. When they departed in June of 1781, Green End fort was abandoned.

During the 19th century the area around the fort became farmland, and in 1894 the Newport Historical Society assumed ownership of Green End Fort. By 1923, the property was developed as a park, with a grassy central open area and a historical marker. The site is now maintained by the Sons of the Revolution and recent removal of the aggressive local overgrowth has revealed the fort's dramatic eastern profile.

Images

Green End Fort, ca. 1900

Green End Fort, ca. 1900

The trees and overgrowth present today at Green End Fort belie the clear prospect the fort provided of advancing troops during the Battle of Rhode Island. This photograph is from the collection of Howard W. Preston (1859 - 1936) a Rhode Island historian and antiquarian. | Source: http://sos.ri.gov/virtualarchives/collections/show/5 | Creator: Howard W. Preston View File Details Page

Green End Fort, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background.

Green End Fort, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background.

The British utilized Green End Pond as a natural defense to protect Newport. The northeast-facing fortification at Green End anchored one end of the British line, while the North Battery, located near Newport Harbor, anchored the other end. This photograph looks south, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. View File Details Page

Street Address:

193 Vernon Ave, Middletown, RI 02842 [map]

Cite this Page:

Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, D. K. Abbass, Ph.D., “Green End Fort, Middletown,” Rhode Tour, accessed June 25, 2017, http://rhodetour.org/items/show/53.
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