A stone marker at Green End Fort at the eastern end of Vernon Street in Middletown, RI, reads: “Green End Fort, built 1777 by the English for the Defense of Newport.” This was the popular opinion when the land was put into trust of the Newport Historical Society in 1923. Engineer Kenneth Walsh began to doubt the English origins as he read the diary of British officer Frederick Mackenzie. As he used historical maps as reference points, it became clear that the “Green End Fort” was a French fort, the Saintonge Fort. The British had destroyed their fortifications as they left Aquidneck Island in October of 1779. When Rochambeau arrived in 1780 the French worked on restoration of British fortifications and the creation of new defensive positions. American militiamen under Lafayette aided the French engineers and masons in this work. Six brand new French forts were added in the Bliss Hill area – “new constructions built by the French.” The French maps show an earthenware “Redoute St. Orige” or “Redoute St. Orige” at the location of what we call Green End Fort. The battery served as a way to defend Newport and Middletown against a possible return of the British. The earthenworks was located on a critical spot: on a ridge overlooking the Green End Valley, Easton’s Pond and with views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Sakonnet River. The battery served the French Army until June of 1781 when they departed to prepare for the long march to Yorktown. American militia soldiers took over responsibility for the Aquidneck Island fortifications.

In 1894 three men, William Sherman, Harold Brown and Nicholas Brown purchased the site to preserve it. In 1923 the land was transferred to the Newport Historical Society. The Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Rhode Island and the Newport Historical Society continues to maintain the site today.

# 6 is Green End Fort: Plan de la position de l’armée françoise autour de Newport et du mouillage de l’escadre dans la rade de cette ville.