American Forts: East

RHODE ISLAND

Camp Arnold | Barrington Fort | Fort Barton | Camp Beeckman | Bonnet Point Battery/Fort
Boston Neck Fort | Bristol Ferry Battery (1) | Bristol Gun House | Bristol Mud Battery
Bull's Garrison | Bullock's Point Fort | Camp Burlingame | Camp Burnside | Burr's Hill Fort
Canonchet's Fort | Fort Chemunganoc | Church's Fort | College Hill Fort | Fort Daniel
Dorr's Camp | Camp Dyer | Camp Endicott | East Greenwich Armory | Ferry Lane Redoubts
Fox Hill Fort | Great Swamp Fort | Camp Hallett | Fort William Henry | Fort Hill
Hog Pen Point Fort | Fort Independence | Indian Fort | Irish's Blockhouse | Fort Island
Kettle Point Batteries | King Philip's Fort | Fort Leverett | Fort Mansfield | Mount Hope Fort
Narrows Fort | Nayatt Point Fort | Newman Garrison | Fort Ninigret | Noyes' Neck Fort
Oaks Inn Res. | Pawtucket Armory | Pawtuxet Neck Fort | Pesicus' Fort
Popasquash Point Fort | Prospect Hill Fort (2) | Providence Armory | Providence Arsenal
Providence Powder House | Pomham's Fort | Queen's Fort | Quidnessett Fort
Old Rehoboth Garrisons | Robin Hill Fort | Sand's Garrison | Sassafras Hill Fort
Seekonk Garrison | Smith's Castle | Stony Fort | Fort Sullivan | Camp Thomas | Tifft's Fort
Tiverton Heights Fort | Warren Powder House | Warwick Neck Fort | Watch Hill Fort
Westerly Armory | Wickford Fort | Wilkey's Fort | Willett's Stockade Fort
Roger Williams' Trade Post | Woonsocket Armory

Narragansett Bay I - page 2 | Narragansett Bay II - page 3

Last Update: 10/FEBRUARY/2014
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2014 American Forts Network

Dorr's Camp
(1842), Chepachet
A local militia encampment (about 200 - 250 men), with entrenchments and artillery breastworks (seven guns), was located on Acote Hill during one week in June 1842, during the so-called Dorr Rebellion, an armed state constitutional reform crisis between Thomas Dorr's "People's Rights" Party and Governor Samuel King's "Law and Order" Party. An alternate government was formed and convened here to oppose Providence regarding electoral and suffrage reforms. The camp was abandoned just before state troops arrived and declared martial law in the town. A monument was erected in 1912 at the site, now part of the Chepachet Cemetery. See also The Dorr Rebellion by Clifford W. Brown, Jr., from the Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church

Woonsocket Armory
(unknown), Woonsocket
The RI National Guard Armory had a "dummy" training battery used for coast artillery practice. In 1922 it was officially named Battery Flynn.

Camp Arnold
(1861 - 1862), Pawtucket
A Civil War training camp located in Riding Park that replaced Camp Hallett in Cranston.

Pawtucket Armory
(unknown), Pawtucket
The RI National Guard Armory had a "dummy" training battery used for coast artillery practice. In 1922 it was officially named Battery Gatchell.

Providence Powder House
(1765 - unknown), Providence
A colonial militia powder house was once located on Powder House Lane (now South Court Street) at the corner of Prospect Street and Old Goal Lane. It was repaired in 1781.

Prospect Hill Fort (2)
(1777 - unknown), Providence
A large Patriot fort located near the present-day Roger Williams Memorial on Beacon Hill. Also known as College Hill Fort. It was 300-by-150 feet, with four bastions, moated, mounting 58 guns.

Fox Hill Fort
(1775 - unknown), Providence
A Patriot ten-gun fort. Located near Fox Point on Brooke Street between Wickenden and India Streets. No longer exists.

Nearby were the two circular Patriot Ferry Lane Redoubts.

Fort Sullivan
(1778 - 1780's), Providence
A Patriot fort located at Chestnut and Friendship Streets, near the present-day Johnson and Wales University campus.

Fort Independence
(1775 - 1810's), Providence
Originally Robin Hill Fort, located on Robin Hill, and was once connected by earthworks to Sassafras Hill Fort (1775 - 1810's) on Sassafras Point near the present-day Municipal Wharf. The fort has been restored and is now a park near Vermont and Michigan Aves..

Fort William Henry
(1812 - 1815), Providence
Located at Fields Point. It was once connected by earthworks to Fort Independence and Sassafras Hill Fort. No longer exists.

Old State Arsenal
(1840 - unknown), Providence
A state militia armory located at 176 Benefit Street.

Camp Burnside
(1861), Providence
A Civil War training camp located at the old Dexter Parade Grounds at present-day Dexter, Parade, and Cranston Streets. The Providence Armory is now on the site.

Providence Armory
(1907 - 1996), Providence
The RI National Guard Armory on Cranston Street had two "dummy" training batteries used for coast artillery practice. In 1922 they were officially named Battery Crocker (10-inch DC) and Battery Babcock (12-inch mortar).

Newman Garrison
(1674 - 1676), Rumford
A fortified parsonage, once located on the north side of Newman Ave. near Meeting House Pond. It was destroyed during King Philip's War. Rumford was considered part of Massachusetts until 1862.

Old Rehoboth Garrisons
(1674 - 1676), East Providence
Several garrison houses were once here, including Seekonk Garrison and the Thomas Willett Stockade Fort (east of the Riverside R.R. Station). All were destroyed during King Philip's War in 1676, except Seekonk. East Providence was once known as Rehoboth, and was part of Massachusetts until 1862.

Hog Pen Point Fort
(1775 - 1815 ?), East Providence
A Patriot work located on Fort Hill at Bold Point, formerly known as Hog Pen Point. Some earthworks still remain.

Kettle Point Batteries
(1775), East Providence
Several Patriot earthwork batteries were once located here.

Bullock's Point Fort
(1776), Riverside
A large Patriot work at Bullock Point.

Camp Hallett
(1861), Cranston
A Civil War training camp used before Camp Arnold was built in Providence.

Pawtuxet Neck Fort
(1774 - 1780 ?, 1798 - 1800, 1812 - 1815), Pawtuxet Neck
A Patriot earthwork fort with a blockhouse, armed with two 12-pounder guns, later with two 6-pounders. Garrisoned by the Pawtuxet Rangers. Abandoned after the American Revolution. Reactivated during the French - American War. Rebuilt as a stone fort in 1812. Abandoned after the war. Many of the stones and timber were later used to build private homes in the area.
(website and info courtesy of Capt. Ken Gilbert, Pawtuxet Rangers, R.I. State Militia)

Warwick Neck Fort
(Rocky Point Park)
(1776 - 1780's), Warwick
A strong Patriot fort built at Rocky Point to prevent the British from landing here to make a land advance against Providence.

Pomham's Fort
(1644 - 1676), Warwick
A Narragansett Indian earthwork fort with a palisaded strong house, built by the Massachusetts colonial militia for mutual protection. The site is located near the eastern arm of Greenwich Bay on Paine and Fort Streets, now overgrown.

Joshua Tifft's Fort ?
(1675), Coventry
A "renegade" settler's fort or supposed "place of refuge". Undetermined location. Tifft was charged with treason and executed in January 1676 for his role in helping the Narragansett Indians against the English settlers of Plymouth Colony during King Philip's War. Tifft was present with the Indians at the Great Swamp Fight in December 1675. He had married into the Pokanoket tribe in 1662.

Fort Daniel
(1770's), East Greenwich
A Patriot nine-gun fort built by the Kentish Guards to prevent the British fleet from entering Greenwich Cove. Exact location undetermined.

East Greenwich Armory
(unknown), East Greenwich
The RI National Guard Armory had a "dummy" training battery used for coast artillery practice. In 1922 it was officially named Battery Mosher.

Nayatt Point Fort
(1776 - 1780's), Nayatt
A Patriot fort or battery was once located here. The nearby Nayatt Point Lighthouse was built in 1856.

Another Patriot fort was located nearby in Barrington, or this may be a reference to the same fort.

Warren Powder House
(1770's), Warren
A militia powder house was destroyed by the British in the May 1778 raid on the town. It was located at Main and Market Streets, across Main Street from the Baptist Meeting House. A commercial building was built on the site in 1809.

Burr's Hill Fort
(1778 - 1781), Warren
A Patriot work was erected on Burr Hill after the British attacked the town in May 1778.

King Philip's Fort
(1660's - 1675), Bristol
The main village of the Pokanoket Indians, serving as Metacom's (King Philip's) stronghold. The colonials drove out the Indians in 1675, and built a temporary fort nearby to command the location. (see below)

Narrows Fort
(1675), Bristol
A small colonial militia defense located on a small hill at the Kickamuit River Narrows to command the principal land entrance to King Philip's lands. Also known as Capt. Benjamin Church's Fort, or Mount Hope Fort. The site was occupied for only about a month. The hill has since eroded away, located near the end of Narrows Road and King Philip Ave.. A lone brick chimney was reported still standing here in 1845.
(thanks to Wendy Baker for providing info)

Fort Hill
(1778), Bristol
Site of a Patriot command post just north of downtown on Fort Hill, used by French Gen. Lafayette while he stayed at the house of Joseph Reynolds. The Reynolds House is still extant. The hill is now developed with residential houses.
(thanks to Wendy Baker for providing info)

Bristol Mud Battery
(1776), Bristol
A Patriot 8-gun battery that originally protected the town port, located on what is now Thames Street between State and Church Streets. A turf and stone earthwork was later extended south along the shoreline to present Burton Street. No remains.
(thanks to Wendy Baker for providing info)

Popasquash Point Fort
(1776 - 1780's), Bristol
A Patriot six-gun battery was once located here on the western side of the point within present-day Colt State Park. Another smaller battery was located at the southern tip of the point at the western end of Bristol Harbor.

Bristol Ferry Battery (1)
(1776), Bristol
A Patriot three-gun battery that protected the ferry landing at Bristol Point. Located at the end of Ferry Road, the site is now covered by the approach to the Mt. Hope Bridge. Another battery was also located at the opposite landing in Portsmouth. (see also page two)

Bristol Gun House
(1808), Bristol
A Second System Federal/state armory was proposed for this town to store 10 cannon on traveling carriages for use in times of crisis. If built, location undetermined.

Fort Leverett
(1675), North Tiverton (or Fall River, MA)
Built by the colonial militia near Pocasset Swamp. Exact location undetermined.
(see also MASSACHUSETTS page 4)

Fort Barton
(1776 - 1781), Tiverton
A Patriot redoubt that still exists near Highland Road. Originally named Tiverton Heights Fort. Staging area for the August 1778 Battle of Rhode Island. An observation tower and several markers are located at the site.

John Irish's Blockhouse ?
(1670's, 1776 ?), Little Compton
A settlers' blockhouse once located on Blockhouse Lane, on the west side of present-day RI 77, west of the town center. It was still extant during the American Revolution and may have been used as a Patriot "watch house", one of five so reported in town.


(see page 2 for colonial defenses of Newport - Narragansett Bay)


(see page 3 for modern defenses of Newport - Narragansett Bay)


Quidnessett Fort
(1776 - 1780's), North Quidnessett
A Patriot fort was once located here.

Camp Endicott
(Davisville Naval Construction Training Center)
(1942 - 1994), near Davisville
A Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) Training Center located north of Quonset Point, on 475 acres annexed from the Navy's Advance Base Depot Davisville. This is the location where the ubiquitous "Quonset Hut" was invented. Today there are no visible remains, mostly demolished in 1999 - 2000. Portions of the former Navy base are now being redeveloped by the state.

Nearby was Camp Thomas (1942 - 1946), the Navy's Advance Base Depot Receiving Barracks, located on 142 acres in the northeast corner of NCTC Davisville. No remains.

Camp Dyer
(1898), North Kingstown
A Spanish-American War state guard muster camp at Quonset Point. This site was already in use as the state's National Guard annual summer encampment. Known as Camp Beeckman in 1917. The site was later incorporated into the Quonset Point Naval Air Station (1941 - 1974), now the Quonset State Airport. The Quonset Aviation Museum (opened 1992) is here, a working museum inside the last remaining brick hangar on the East Coast. The RI Air National Guard still uses a portion of the former base.

Smith's Castle
(1637 - 1676), Cocumscussoc
A garrison and trading post built just north of Roger Williams' original trading post. Richard Smith, Sr. died in 1666, bequeathing the house to his son, Richard Jr.. This was the base of operations for colonial troops against the Narragansett and Wampanoag Indians during "The Great Swamp Fight" of 1675. It was destroyed by the Indians in 1676, and rebuilt as a plantation house in 1678. The much altered house is now a museum, located at 55 Richard Smith Drive. It was fully restored in 1996.

Roger Williams' Trading Post
(1636 - 1651), Wickford
Roger Williams' first trading post established in the colony. He sold out in 1651 to Richard Smith, Sr.. The blockhouse was destroyed during King Philip's War in 1676. Located on the west side of US 1 just south of Smith's Castle.

Wickford Fort
(1776 - 1780's), Wickford
A Patriot fort was once located here.

Bonnet Point Fort
(1776 ?, 1777 - 1860's, intermittent), Bonnet Shores
Also known as Bonnet Point Battery, this elliptical work was used during the American Revolution by both Patriots and British. It may have also been known as Boston Neck Fort, a Patriot fort originally located here, or nearby (?), in 1776. Bonnet Point Battery was rebuilt during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. It still exists. A WWII observation tower is also still here.

Queen's Fort
(1675 - 1676), Exeter
Indian survivors of "The Great Swamp Fight" (Dec. 1675), which was near West Kingston, took refuge here. This was a stronghold or ceremonial center of the Narragansett Indians. The site was never discovered by the colonial militia during King Philip's War. The extant ruins of the semi-circular bastion consist of a low wall of rocks on a hilltop, located in the northeast corner of the town on the south side of Stony Lane, east of Lantern Lane and Queens Fort Brook. The property was known as "Wilkey's Fort" in the 1880's. The wooded site, owned by the Rhode Island Historical Society, has been heavily vandalized and altered in modern times, with some features filled-in.

Stony Fort
(1675), near Slocum
A Narragansett Indian stronghold located about six miles south of Queen's Fort near the Exeter - South Kingstown town line, east of the Chipuxet River.

Indian Fort
(1675), West Kingston
An otherwise unnamed Narragansett Indian stronghold located about three miles southwest of Stony Fort, on the east bank of the Chipuxet River north of Larkin Pond. Shown on an 1895 state atlas. This may have possibly been known as Pesicus' Fort.

Canonchet's Fort
(Great Swamp State Wildlife Management Area)
(1675), near West Kingston
A Narraganset Indian fortified village located on an island in the Great Swamp (aka Great Swamp Fort), now Great Neck, east of the Usquepaug River and about three miles west of the Indian fort near Larkin Pond (see above). Somewhere between 100 and 340 Indians were massacred here by the colonial militia in the "Great Swamp Fight" (December 1675). The 1906 granite monument for the fort and battle is located about one mile or so north of the presumed actual site on Great Neck.

Jireh Bull's Garrison
(1675), South Kingstown
A stone house once located on Tower Hill on the west side of Middle Bridge Road, along Pettaquamscutt Cove. It was destroyed during King Philip's War, days before the "Great Swamp Fight", and was rebuilt in 1684. The site was excavated in 1918. Surrounded by private property.

Point Judith Fort
(1775 - unknown), Point Judith
A Patriot fort was once located here along with the first lighthouse. In 1818 it was reported as a six-gun fort. It was abandoned by the 1850's. The present Point Judith Lighthouse was built in 1857, replacing the earlier 1816 and 1810 towers.

Fort Ninigret (park) ? ?
(1510's ?, 1637), Charlestown
A stone and earthwork bastioned fort used by the Niantic Indians in 1637, possibly as a defense against white settlers or Pequot Indians. Originally this was an early European fort (name unknown) as evidenced by its military architecture, presumed to have been built by Dutch traders sometime after 1627. Scholars continue to dispute the nationality of the original builders (possibly Portuguese from the 1510's ?). The present name was probably given in 1676 or later when this land became part of the Wampanoag/Narragansett Indian Reservation after King Philip's War concluded. The preserved site on Fort Neck has been a public park since 1883 when the Indian reservation was disestablished by the state. European military artifacts were found nearby in 1921.
See also Fort Ninigret - A Portuguese Fort by Dr. Manuel Luciano da Silva (1971)

Fort Chemunganoc ?
(1630's ?), near Carolina ?
A Narragansett Indian stronghold. Described in historical sources as a 60-yard square stone and earthwork with no bastions. It may have been built by Dutch traders in the 1630's for the Niantic Indians against the Pequot Indians. Exact location undetermined (possibly on Shumuncanuc Hill ?)

Camp Burlingame
(Burlingame State Park)
(1942 - 1943), Charlestown
An Infantry Battalion coastal defense base camp, located at the Burlingame State Forest (now State Park). Posted here was the HQ 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment; "B" Company, 181st IR; "A" Battery, 211th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm howitzers); and Detachment, "E" Company, 22nd Quartermaster Regiment. The infantry of "B" Company patrolled the coast between Jerusalem and Watch Hill. The field artillery was emplaced in prepared earthwork positions along the coast, in areas not covered by the Coast Artillery.

Detached units included "A" Company, 181st IR posted at Fort Rodman, MA; "D" Company, 181st IR posted at Fort Adams, RI; and "C" Company, 132nd Combat Engineer Battalion posted at Fort Kearny, RI.

Westerly Armory
(unknown), Westerly
The RI National Guard Armory had a "dummy" training battery used for coast artillery practice. In 1922 it was officially named Battery Merrill (6-inch DC).

Noyes' Neck Fort
(1776 - 1780's), Weekapaug
A Patriot fort or battery was once here.

Watch Hill Fort
(1776 - 1780's), Watch Hill
A Patriot fort or battery was once here.


COAST and HARBOR DEFENSES of EASTERN LONG ISLAND SOUND (partial)

Fort Mansfield
(1898 - 1917), Watch Hill
Located on Napatree Point. It was a subpost of Fort H.G. Wright on Fishers Island, NY. Batteries here are Battery Wooster (1901 - 1917), Battery Crawford (1901 - 1917), and Battery Connell (1901 - 1917), which is submerged in the surf zone due to a hurricane in 1938. A fire-control tower no longer remains.

Oaks Inn Military Reservation
(1942 - 1944), near Avondale
Site of a four-gun 155mm gun battery on Panama mounts, with barracks (no remains). Battery 114 was to be built here. The Panama mounts still existed until the site was bulldozed for residential development in 2008.
(thanks to Chris Zeeman of the Coast Defense Study Group for info on present-day status)

ALSO: Additional fire-control towers in Rhode Island associated with HD Long Island Sound were located at Block Island (three remain), Green Hill (gone), Charlestown Beach (one remains), and at Weekapaug Point (gone).


Fort Island
(1637), Block Island
A Niantic Indian stronghold located on a small five-acre island near the south shore of Great Pond, near Indian Head Neck. Discovered and attacked by Massachusetts colonial troops under John Endicott in 1637.

Capt. James Sand's Garrison
(1670's), Block Island
A settlers' stone house used for protection against Indian attacks during King Philip's War, located near the old mill pond at Old Harbor (exact location of house undetermined). Sands died of old age (73 years) in 1695. The island was first settled by whites in 1661.


Information on the forts and garrison houses during King Philip's War was gathered from "King Philip's War: The History and Legacy of America's Forgotton Conflict" by Eric Schultz and Michael Tougias, 1999 The Countryman Press.

Narragansett Bay I - page 2 | Narragansett Bay II - page 3

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