A Battle and a View
At this site on the Thames River in Groton, one of Connecticut’s most striking visuals meets one of the most dramatic moments in its history.
In 1781, British and Loyalist troops led by American general-turned-traitor Benedict Arnold burned New London then headed across the water to attack Groton, where they encountered Colonel William Ledyard and his small defensive force. Ledyard, seeing his outnumbered Americans losing the fierce battle, offered his sword as a gesture of surrender to the British commander, who took it and ran Ledyard through.
The highlights of the Battle of Groton Heights are marked with understated monuments throughout the sweeping grounds. The remaining earthworks, shot furnace and powder magazine, trenches, and stone tunnels make the site a fascinating place to explore. Visitors can also see the preserved house that served as a field hospital, a small but interesting museum, and a 134-foot memorial obelisk which can be climbed for an even better view of the fort and the water below.