Maps by Edward Fage of the Royal Artillery provide us with a visual record of the British fortifications on occupied Aquidneck Island. There are many maps made by Fage and they each have different details that add to the story. Many of them are in the Clinton collection of maps at the Clement Library and are available online.

The Huntington Library map illustrated the fortification in North Portsmouth, so I will focus this blog on the fortifications on the rest of Portsmouth. I will try to match some of Frederick Mackenzie’s diary with the images from the Fage maps.

Mackenzie’s Diary: June 13, 1778
“The following are the present stations of the troops on this Island. –

Bunau’s Regt – At Windmill hill: This Regt furnishes all the posts at the North End, in front of a line drawn from their right & left to the Shore.
22d Regt At Quaker hill on the East road, their right to the Seconnet. They furnish the posts on the East shore, from Ewing’s, as far as McCurrie’s.
43rd Regt On the left of the West road, near Turkey hill: four Companies with their right to the W. Road; and four Companies, 200 yards to their left. They furnish the posts on the West shore, from the left of Bunau’s Regt as far as the Creek of Layton’s Mills.
A Detachment of 80 Hessians from the three Battalions in Newport, at Fogland Ferry. This detachment furnishes the post at Fogland, and Patroles as far as little Sandy-point, on their right.

54th Regt At the Blacksmith’s on the E. road. Their right to the road, and to that which leads up from Lopez’s house; furnishing the posts from Sandy point to Black point.
All the above mentioned Troops report to General Smith, and furnish a chain of post and patroles from Black point on the E. side, round to Layton’s Creek on the West.”

“Windmill Hill” (Butts Hill), Turkey Hill and Quaker Hill have been covered in previous blogs, but Fogland and the Lopez site have not been covered. At that time the old Fogland Ferry was approximately where the docks now are at the Glen Manor House. This was an important defensive post because this is a narrow spot from Tiverton to Portsmouth and the troops were guarding against Rebels slipping through to the island over night. When H.A.C. Taylor of Glen Farm bought this land north of Glen Road (in the late 1880s), vestiges of the Fogland fortifications could still be seen.

Diagrams in the Clinton Map collection of the Clement Library help us to visualize what some of these fortifications looked like.

Lopez’s House is mentioned and several maps show a Lopez Bay. This is property owned by Greenvale Vineyards today. There was a wide dirt road from Lopez’ home on Wapping Road to the Sakonnet River that Aaron Lopez is believed to have used for smuggling of goods. This location became part of the British defensive positions. In the Clinton Collection there is a diagram of the Lopez fortifications, but I wonder if that was a plan that didn’t become a reality, but another of Fage’s maps shows a fortification there, entrenched and as a barrack.

Elam’s House (Vaucluse) also has fortifications as an “Intrenched House as a Barrack.” There is a small redoubt below Sandy Point that is listed as made in October 1776. That would date it as started by the Americans.