Fort Redoubt Billingsport, Paulsboro in Revolutionary Times

Fort Billingsport

End of North Delaware Street
Paulsboro, NJ

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The scenery.

This fort was built during Revolutionary times to thwart the British from attacking Philadelphia. The land was bought by the Continental Congress on July 5th 1776. It was the first real estate purchase by the federal government. The Continental Congress got the land for 600 pounds, a pretty hefty sum in that time.

It is listed as a National Historic Site. The fort was built by New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginian troops of the Continental Army. George Washington even got to inspect the site as work was being done. Fort Billings had barracks, officers’ quarters, and a bakehouse.

Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a friend of Thomas Jefferson, helped to design the military fort. He was born in modern-day Belarus and is a national hero, not of just America, but of Poland, his home country and Lithuania.

Nothing is left at this site as it is surrounded by oil refineries and is a narrow strip of land heading out towards the Delaware River.

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Plan and sections of the redoubt at Billingsfort and plan of the rebel fort marked yellow. 1777 Map from the Library of Congress.

However, centuries ago, it was identified on British maps as a “rebel fort” and has been forgotten in history.

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A lot of plaques here, fyi.

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Refinery dock to the left.

Even though it was never completed, Fort Billings held off the British for over a month in 1777. It helped to delay the British from advancing on the great city of Philadelphia. The largest city in the country at the time and the birthplace of our nation.

Fort Billings did eventually fall to the British and after advanced to Fort Mercer at Red Bank or what we presently know as National Park. We know what happened there! The British were annihilated. The astonishing fact is that American troops were outnumbered by 3 to 1! All due to our South Jersey hero Jonas Cattell.

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The park.

Currently, only a few plaques have been placed at the site and a small children’s playground graces the land. It is still a great property to see as it has played a part in America’s Independence and the birthplace of our great nation. Check it out!

Until our next adventure, my friends!

-The Yummygal

4 thoughts on “Fort Redoubt Billingsport, Paulsboro in Revolutionary Times

  1. There were talks of trying to rebuild the fort, but the refinery along the north side of the park refused to allow excavation on its property, where the exact site of the fort was believed to be. Whenever wife & I go there for sunsets, I often imagine the activity that took place 236 years ago while overlooking the river B-)

    • Navigating the river must’ve been rather IMPOSSIBLE at the time because of the chevaux de frise in the water. Shane, I read in 2007 is when they banded together to try and get permission to excavate the site and try to uncover fort remains. Kind of sad. I think it would be a great discovery to the town of Paulsboro. Sunsets, I’m sure, are amazing there. Thanks for the added info!

  2. I am John who lives in Philly and it is really a joy to here about Fort Billingport. I believe that due to construction practices at the time the foundations of the walls at Fort Billingport may still be intact. Stonework is heavy; it sinks into the ground so you have to sink pillings into the ground to support the weight of the stone walls. If Fort Billingport was to be constructed then sinking the pilings should have been done; as well as the first laws of foundation stones to the outline of the fort; if this is so; there should be a god deal remaining under ground of the fort; especially if they started constructing the bastions of the fort.

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