Fort Mifflin

The fort that withstood the greatest bombardment of the American Revolution

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Photo cortesy of Fort Mifflin
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Fort Mifflin, which is open to visitors from March through December, offers tours that focus on a Revolutionary War battle and the site’s strategic location in the Delaware River at the mouth of the Schuylkill River.

Situated on about 40 acres, a complex of approximately eight buildings survives with signs of the bombardment by British forces of 1,000 cannon rounds every 20 minutes.

On display are British-produced Brown Bess rifles and other war instruments.

There’s also a store that sells various artifact replicas and even Colonial-style candies.

Annual reenactments and other activities are punctuated with ghostly tales and the hum of airliners from the nearby Philadelphia International Airport.

The History

Fort Mifflin is the oldest fortification continually used in the United States. Almost 350 Americans died in November 1777 when British forces relentlessly bombed the site from ships. But the Americans’ valor at Fort Mifflin gave George Washington time to regroup at Valley Forge.

The fort is named for General Thomas Mifflin, who later became governor of Pennsylvania and was known for standing up against Virginia slave catchers.

During the Civil War, the facility held civilians as well as Confederate and Union prisoners.

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