Swamp Fight State Monument
Old Post Road, Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
US 95 north to exit 19; head across Center Street onto Rennell Drive; at the T-intersection turn right onto Old Post Road. The park entrance is on the left before reaching the railway line.
1636-1637 -- Pequot War.
1637 -- the Pequot Indians killed the white traders, Captain John Stone and John Oldham, off Block Island. The British responded with a force of 90 men. They sailed into Pequot Harbor and demanded from Sassacus, the Pequot chief, the turn over of the killers.
When the negotiations broke down, the Indians were forced down the coast (Mystic, Groton, New London, Saybrook and into Fairfield). In Fairfield, white men came from many of the surrounding areas, and attacked the Pequots at Sasco Swamp.
What came to be called the Great Swamp War started at pre-dawn on May 26, 1637. The Colonial forces were led by Roger Ludlow and Captains John Mason and John Underhill. Ludlow received support from the Mohegans and Narragansetts. Hundreds of Pequots were killed. In less than an hour, most of the Pequots were dead.
1637 – Roger Ludlow, deputy governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, first saw the area that became Fairfield when he served as a key advisor in a massacre of a group of Pequot Indians in a swamp in Southport. (On Post Road in Southport there is a monument to the event.)
The Society of Colonial Wars erected a granite monument to commemorate the Great Swamp Fight. The inscription reads: "The Great Swamp Fight Here Ended the Pequot War, July 13, 1634."
11/12/2005. On a cool, but clear day, Rosemary Cooney, Sarah-David Rosenbaum, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked near the park entrance on Old Post Road. I wanted to see the Swamp Fight Monument and get a photo. But no matter how hard we looked, we could not find one. They must have moved the monument is our thought.
Just into the park entrance there is a very interesting large rock with a upraised neck on one end. Across from it is a somewhat similar, but much smaller, rock. Along the stone wall on the right at the entrance is still another interesting large rock. The entrance path soon splits with one part heading north and another going generally northeast. We went northeast. The forest is pretty much dry oak forest with lots of winged euonymus bushes in he shrub layer on a small hill. When we reached the northeast corner of the park, we saw that the trail looped around to head back. We decided to head downhill to walk parallel to the railway line. There is a lot of Japanese knotweed in a low area along the railway. We kept following the railway until we came to Old Post Road; turned right and followed along the east border of the park until we got back to the car and the park entrance.
I rechecked the road map to make sure the swamp monument was noted in the park and where. So we went back into the park and this time followed the left fork heading north and at the northern border turned right to walk west parallel with Route 1. We still could not find it. We saw what looked like a possible stone foundation for the monument, but no monument itself. What a disappointment. Maybe they have taken the monument to be placed in a local museum. Who knows? And they don't have the decency to let us know at the park itself. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant blooming on date of field trip, 11/12/2005
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus americana (white elm)
Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus) -- lots of it
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved goldenrod) *
Aster spp. (aster)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry)
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) * 1 in bloom
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) *
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)
Solidago sp. (goldenrod)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Carex sp. (sedge)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
looks like some kind of Japanese species; palmate 7 leaflets; top 3 biggest, 2side ones smaller, 2 bottom ones, smallest; hairy leafstalk, stem and veins beneath leaf; skunky smell to the plant; flimsy leaves, one main vein with others pointed downward toward tip; leaflet stalks almost sessile; terminal inflorescence.