In 1771, the British began construction of a fort just south of Philadelphia, PA on Mud Island. As political stress increased between the colonists and Britain, the construction stopped. In 1776, Benjamin Franklin directed revolutionary forces to complete the construction of Fort Mifflin.
During the revolutionary war, an American garrison of 400 men stationed at Fort Mifflin, just across the inlet from fort Mercer, were able to hold 2,000 troops and 250 British Navy ships at bay for three weeks which turned out to be long enough for George Washington and his troops to make it safely to Valley Forge for some much needed rest and to re-group for battle.
The British regained control of both fort Mifflin and fort Mercer in mid-November of 1777. The fight was long and hard. Fort Mifflin was in shambles afterwards. The Continental Army under the leadership of George Washington would begin to rebuild the fort in 1794. Of the original fort there are only some large white stones left today. Serious re-construction of the fort took place under President John Adams in 1794.
The fort was named after Thomas Mifflin in 1795. He was a Major General in the Continental Army during the revolution.
Today Fort Mifflin is one of the Country’s’ only intact battlefields from the revolution. Declared a National monument in 1906 by the U.S. Congress, the fort once again fell into shambles until the 1960’s when the city of Philadelphia took control of it. In 1970, Fort Mifflin was declared a National Historical monument.
Today the fort is a great place to take the family to see a part of our nation’s rich history. There are many events celebrated at the fort and it is a real affordable place to enjoy a couple hours of your time if you visit Philadelphia. You can take advantage of the guided tours that are offered at fort Mifflin and you will be delighted as you learn about an amazing part of America’s historical legacy.