Green End Fort

Constructed to defend against the British Army during the Revolution


BUILT: 1780

Green End Fort was constructed in 1780 by American and French forces during the Revolution. It was built to defend Newport and Middletown against the anticipated return of the British Army, which had departed for New York City the previous October after an extended occupation of Aquidneck Island. Under the command of General Comte de Rochambeau, 6,000 French troops arrived in Newport on 11 July 1780 to assist the Americans. One of the roles of the French was to instruct and assist in the construction and retrofitting of forts and earthwork defenses on Aquidneck Island and nearby Jamestown. The Saintonge Regiment, under the command of the Comte de Custine-Sarreck was charged with assisting to construct a redoubt on a ridge overlooking the Green End valley and Easton’s Pond, with a wide view of the Atlantic Ocean and Sakonnet River, where enemy forces might approach. Segments of the ridge had been previously fortified by both American and British forces since the days following the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Known as Green End Fort and Redoubt Saintonge, the earthen battery served the French army until June, 1781, when it departed for Providence to prepare for the long march to Yorktown, and the American victory.

Escaping all hostilities of war, Green End Fort stood dormant on the edge of open fields and pastureland until 1894 when it caught the attention of several prominent citizens who wanted to save it from development and celebrate its role in the American Revolution. Kinsmen William Watts Sherman, Harold Brown and Nicholas Brown purchased the site from landowners Francis and Stephen Barker and executed a deed of trust to protect the Fort.

In 1923, the surviving trustees conveyed the property to The Newport Historical Society to preserve, keep and maintain as a memorial to the Revolutionary War. With the help of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, the Newport Historical Society continues to maintain, preserve and interpret the site.