New Fort for New London Harbor

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812. That summer, as the war got underway, Secretary of War William Eustis wrote to Capt. C. D. Wood in New London, Connecticut. “Sir, You will immediately commence the repairs of the magazine at Fort Trumbull and the block house at Fort Griswold and will forward estimates with your opinion of the enclosed plan & works for the harbour of new London.”

Below is the plan Eustis enclosed. Rarely do we find anything so colorful among our manuscripts!

Plan for New London harbor, 1812, Ms 84137. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

The scale in the upper right corner of the document shows that the scale is 20 feet to one inch. Various letters, listed in the lower left corner, denote distances between points, a well, and magazines for powder and fixed ammunition. Structures visible are the officers quarters and barracks. The plan is on a single sheet of paper, approximately 11×17 inches. An image of the profile is on the reverse side.

Plan for New London harbor, 1812, Ms 84137. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

Fort Trumbull, in New London, was in fact rebuilt in 1812. We do not know what Wood thought of the plan, nor if it was ultimately used. The fort that was built was torn down in 1839, replaced by the structure that still stands.

This collection is open for research. Come visit!

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