2018-09-06 / News

Conanicut Battery part of tour’s Revolutionary War section

The Conanicut Battery also makes an appearance on the Rhode Tour website in the section titled “Revolutionary War Fortifications of Rhode Island.”

The military installation on the west side of the Beavertail peninsula overlooking Narragansett Bay was built in May 1776. According to the tour, there were at least two other fortifications on the island during the Revolutionary War: one at Beavertail and another on the east coast named Fort Dumpling, which was rebuilt during World War I and renamed in honor of Capt. Alexander Macomb Wetherill. There also may have been another American battery farther north on Beavertail near Sheffield Cove, the tour’s author, D.K. Abbass, wrote.

While intended to protect Narragansett Bay from naval incursions, the British sailed past Conanicut Battery Dec. 7, 1776, with no opposition. The British forces occupied Conanicut and Aquidneck islands, and took control of the abandoned American defenses. The British then improved most of these fortifications, including the Conanicut Battery, to defend their occupation.

In the 1990s, the Friends of the Conanicut Battery secured money to protect the site. Today, there are trails to the World War II structures and battery remnants, detailed by interpretive signs.

Along with the Jamestown battery, this section highlights military installations in Newport, Portsmouth, Middletown and Tiverton.

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