Continental Army reenactors at Colonial National Historical Park

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Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites
in the National Park System

Boston National Historical Park , Boston , MA : Discover the revolutionary generation of Bostonians who blazed a trail from colonialism to independence. Boston National Historical Park is an association of sites that together give the visitor a coherent view of the city's role in the nation's history.

Castillo de San Marcos NM, Saint Augustine, FL: As European countries vied with each other for the economic wealth in the “New Worlds” they increasingly came into military conflict. Encounters starting in Europe, Africa, Asia or the Americas quickly escalated into international global warfare. The Castillo de San Marcos, though a remote outpost, weathered many attacks during these almost incessant colonial wars. During the Revolutionary War, East Florida was in British control, and the Castillo (renamed Fort Marks) was the center of British military operations and an important prisoner-of-war detention site.

Colonial National Historical Park , Williamsburg , VA : The park encompasses five units spanning over 9,000 acres and 175 years. The sites mark the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown and the last battle of the American Revolution at Yorktown -- literally the beginning and end of English colonial America. The 23-mile Colonial Parkway provides a link between the two sites. Experience the sense of place that formed the character of a nation in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Cowpens National Battlefield, Chesne , SC : A pasturing area at the time of the battle, this Revolutionary War site commemorates the place where Daniel Morgan and his army turned the flanks of Banastre Tarleton's feared and hated British Legion.

Cumberland Island National Seashore, St. Marys, GA: In January 1815, British Admiral George Cockburn arrived on Cumberland Island. Unaware that the War of 1812 was over (the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814), Cockburn began operations against the Georgia coast and liberated hundreds of slaves. Cockburn’s force left the island in March 1815, and took the freed slaves with them. Ruins of the Dungeness Plantation, which Cockburn used as his headquarters, and other military sites associated with the British occupation of the island are preserved within the park.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Baltimore, MD: “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,” a large red, white and blue banner? “Whose broad stripes and bright stars ... were so gallantly streaming!” over the star-shaped Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, September 13-14, 1814. The valiant defense of the fort by 1,000 dedicated Americans inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Fort Moultrie National Monument, Sullivan's Island, SC: The first fort on Sullivan's Island was still incomplete when Commodore Sir Peter Parker and nine warships attacked it on June 28, 1776. After a nine-hour battle, the ships were forced to retire. Charleston was saved from British occupation, and the fort was named in honor of its commander, Colonel William Moultrie. In 1780 the British finally captured Charleston, abandoning it only on the advent of peace.

Fort Stanwix National Monument, Rome, NY : Discover how people endured harsh conditions along the Oneida Carrying Place. Learn how the American victory at this frontier fort directly contributed to the British defeat at Saratoga in 1777. Follow in the paths of the people who made history in the Mohawk Valley during the American Revolutionary War.

Fort Washington Park, Fort Washington, MD: Fort Washington has stood as silent sentry defending the Nation's Capital, for over 180 years. As technologies advanced so did Fort Washington.

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, Vincennes, IN: The capture of Fort Sackville by troops under George Roger Clark assured United States claims to the frontier, an area nearly as large as the original 13 states. At 10 a.m. on February 25, 1779, the British garrison surrendered to American Colonel George Rogers Clark. His American army, aided by French residents of the Illinois country, had marched through freezing floodwaters to gain this victory.

Governor's Island National Monument, New York , NY: For more than two centuries, the military communities on Governors Island were woven into the intricate social, political and economic tapestry that is New York City. From 1776-1996, Governors Island stood as a silent sentinel in New York Harbor, and provided protection of the ideals represented by the Statue of Liberty across the Bay. We invite you to explore the Island's history as it evolved from colonial outpost to regional administrative center for the U.S. Army and Coast Guard.

Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Greensboro, NC: The largest, most hotly-contested battle of the Revolutionary War's Southern Campaign was fought at the small North Carolina backcounty hamlet of Guilford Courthouse. The battle proved to be the highwater mark of British military operations in the Revolutionary War.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, WV: In 1796, the federal government purchased a 125-acre parcel of land bounded by the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Construction of the "United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry" began in 1799. Three years later full-scale production of arms commenced. By 1810, annual production of arms--muskets, rifles, and pistols--averaged about 10,000. Production further increased during the War of1812.

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Daviston, AL: In the spring of 1814, General Andrew Jackson and an army of 3,300 men attacked 1,000 Upper Creek warriors on the Tallapoosa River. More than 800 Upper Creeks died defending their homeland. Never before or since in the history of our country have so many American Indians lost their lives in a single battle. This 2,040-acre park preserves the site of the battle.

Independence National Historical Park , Philadelphia, PA : Independence Hall and the related historical buildings which make up the park witnessed the 18 th century delegates to the Second Continental Congress argue over the next step in the dangerous game of rebellion and then issue the Declaration of Independence. Eleven years later, secret deliberations and hard compromises resulted in a new frame of government to hold the country together - the Constitution of the United States.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve--Chalmette Battlefield, New Orleans, LA: Just downriver from New Orleans in Chalmette is the site of the January 8, 1815, Battle of New Orleans: The resounding American victory at the Battle of New Orleans soon became a symbol of a new idea: American democracy triumphing over the old European ideas of aristocratic governance. Americans took great pride in the victory and for decades celebrated January 8 as a national holiday, just like the Fourth of July.

Kings Mountain National Military Park, Blacksburg , SC : Thomas Jefferson called it, "The turn of the tide of success." The battle of Kings Mountain, fought October 7, 1780, was an important American victory during the Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major patriot victory to occur after the British invasion of Charleston, SC in May 1780. The park preserves the site of this important battle.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Cave, KY: One British strategy during the War of 1812 was to choke off America’s supplies of foreign gunpowder. Fortunately, America could supply its own. Mammoth Cave and other nearby caves produced saltpetre for the war effort. Ironically, this process, which helped maintain the nation’s independence, depended on slave labor. The park invites visitors to tour the cave and learn more about the saltpetre works.

Minute Man National Historical Park, Concord , Lincoln, Lexington, MA: On April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began at Lexington and Concord with a clash of arms known to history as "the shot heard round the world." At Minute Man National Historical Park the opening battle of the Revolution is brought to life as visitors explore the battlefields and witness the American revolutionary spirit through the writings of the Concord authors.

Moores Creek National Battlefield, Currie, NC: "King George and Broadswords!” shouted loyalists as they charged across partially dismantled Moores Creek Bridge on February 27, 1776. Just beyond the bridge nearly 1,000 North Carolina patriots waited quietly with cannons and muskets poised to fire. This dramatic victory ended British rule in the colony forever.

Morristown National Historical Park, NJ : Attracted by Morristown’s strategic location, General George Washington twice chose Morristown as the site of the Continental Army’s main winter encampment during the War for Independence. The park includes the site of the fortification from the 1777 encampment, and most of the ground occupied during the vast 1779-80 encampment, where over 10,000 troops endured the worst winter of the American Revolution. The Ford Mansion, where Washington made his headquarters, is an important feature of Morristown NHP and recalls civilian contributions to the winning of Independence.

Ninety Six National Historic Site, Ninety Six, SC: Here settlers struggled against the harsh backcountry to survive, Cherokee Indians hunted and fought to keep their land, two towns and a trading post were formed and abandoned to the elements, and two Revolutionary War battles that claimed more than 100 lives.

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, parts of NC,SC,TN,VA: The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail retraces the route of patriot militia as they tracked down the British. Eventually the two forces clashed, ending in patriot victory at the battle of Kings Mountain. The trail is still under development through partnerships, but the public has many places to visit and walk today.

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, Put-in-Bay , OH: At dawn on the morning of September 10, 1813, a lookout spotted six vessels to the northwest past Rattlesnake Island. Immediately, Master Commander Oliver Hazard Perry made preparations to sail forth to engage the British. Just before the engagement opened, Perry hoisted his battle flag inscribed “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP.” The Battle of Lake Erie proved one of the most resounding American triumphs of the War of 1812.

President's Park (White House), British troops sacked Washington, D.C., and burned the White House in August 1814. After a thunderstorm doused the fire, only the charred outside walls and the interior brick walls remained of the White House. The mansion was rebuilt in three years, but the scars of the fire are still evident on original portions of the house.

Saratoga National Historical Park, NY : Site of the first significant American military victory during the Revolution, the Battles of Saratoga ranks among the most decisive battles in world history. Here in 1777, American forces met, defeated and forced a major British army to surrender, an event which led France to recognize the independence of the United States and enter the war as a decisive military ally of the struggling Americans.

Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Springfield, MA: Overlooking the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts, Springfield Armory National Historic Site offers the story of our nation’s first armory. The Armory made five major types of shoulder arms between 1795 athnd 1968. Single-shot, smoothbore flintlock muskets, based on late-18th-century French models, were the earliest and longest-made, produced at Springfield in several variations between 1795 and 1842.

Valley Forge National Historical Park, Valley Forge, PA: In December 1777, the Continental Army encamped for the winter at Valley Forge. From this location, 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, the army could maintain pressure on the British and stay far enough away to prevent a surprise attack. The 3,000-acre park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation.

Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, VI: During the War of 1812, British troops seized and occupied the fortifications on Hassel Island in the Charlotte Amalie harbor of St. Thomas . The harbor became a critical stopover point for British convoys on their way to Europe during this period. The fortifications on Hassel Island represent the crucial role the military played in protecting Caribbean trade during the war. They are also among the only British fortifications remaining on American soil related to this conflict.

 

Additional Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the National Park System

Click on any of these sites to visit on the web, or go to: http://data2.itc.nps.gov/parksearch/atoz.cfm for a complete list of National Park sites.

Adams National Historical Park - Quincy, MA
Charles Pinkney National Historic Site - Sullivan’s Island, SC
C & O Canal National Historical Park - Hagerstown, MD
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park - Middlesboro, KY
Fort Pulaski National Monument - Savannah, GA
Gateway National Recreation Area - Staten Island, NY
George Washington Birthplace National Monument - Westmoreland County, VA
Hamilton Grange National Memorial - New York, NY
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial - Philadelphia, PA
Thomas Jefferson Memorial National Memorial - Washington, DC
Thomas Stone National Historic Site - Port Tobacco, MD

 

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National Park Service Mediaroom                                                           Updated:June 11, 2008