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Battle of R.I. to be commemorated at Butts Hill, Portsmouth

Portsmouth Historical Society will celebrate battle’s anniversary Aug. 29

Posted 8/21/20

PORTSMOUTH — In August 1778, the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Rhode Island was fought at Butts Hill Fort, now the largest remaining Revolutionary War fortification in southeastern New …

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Battle of R.I. to be commemorated at Butts Hill, Portsmouth

Portsmouth Historical Society will celebrate battle’s anniversary Aug. 29

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — In August 1778, the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Rhode Island was fought at Butts Hill Fort, now the largest remaining Revolutionary War fortification in southeastern New England. 

After the Revolutionary War, most earthen forts were destroyed by farming, but the Fort Butts area was much too rocky to be farmed. By 1934, the Butts Hill Fort was overgrown and the State of Rhode Island took over the property. 

In 1968, the State transferred the property to the Town of Portsmouth for one dollar.

The Portsmouth Historical Society has scheduled an event at the fort from 9-10:30 a.m. on Saturday Aug. 29, to commemorate the battle, raise public awareness of the historical significance of the site and start a movement to develop the fort area into a public park to properly commemorate the 250th anniversary of the battle in 2028. 

The Historical Society will present Revolutionary War memorabilia and exhibits as well as a lecture on the fort's history by Town Historian Jim Garman beginning at 9:30 a.m.

You can enter the fort via Butts Street, off Sprague Street, just east of Education Lane. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, as well as a face mask.

For more information about the event or the fort, go to www.PortsmouthHistorical.org or e-mail pHSInfo@PortsmouthHistorical.org.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.