Uncovering the 1637 Battle of Pequot Swamp
In partnership with the National Park Service, the Fairfield Museum is leading an exciting research project to discover details of the Battle of Pequot Swamp (also known as Munnacommock Swamp) which occurred in 1637 in present day Southport, Connecticut. The battle was the last engagement of the Pequot War and was an important catalyst for English settlement of Fairfield and Southport.
The Fairfield Museum has been awarded a multi-year National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program grant to identify the probable locations of the battle site, conduct historical research and locate any archeological artifacts that might remain from the battle. The project is part of the state-wide Battlefields of the Pequot War project that is identifying and preserving similar battlefields associated with the Pequot War (1636-1637) across Connecticut.
The first phase of the Fairfield project, completed in 2017, was to review all historical references to the Battle of Pequot Swamp and identify the probable location of the battle. The final report of that research project is available here: Battle of Pequot Swamp Archaeological Report 2017. Generous support for that project phase was provided by the Southport Area Association and the Pequot Running Club.
In 2018-2019, the Fairfield Museum will be working with a team of professional archeologists to conduct low-impact field analysis of the Pequot Swamp battle site to locate possible artifacts. Click below to see a map of the battle site.
Archeologists will use metal detectors to survey the area. If any objects are detected, they will carefully dig a small hole to retrieve the object, and put any grass or dirt back immediately, restoring the site to just as it was found. No large-scale excavating will be done. If anything is discovered related to the Pequot Swamp Fight battle, it will be removed for further study. Any objects recovered that are not related to the battle will be given back to the landowner. A typical survey will last about an hour or two. See answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the archaeology phase of this project. Read a detailed description of the Research Design and Work Plan for the archaeology survey project here.
The benefits of this project are many. By allowing us to better understand this important historical event, private landowners in the battle area will help inspire future generations of students to take pride in their community and its history, and help preserve the unique historical character of Southport. Southport’s two preservation organizations: Sasquanaug Association and the Southport Conservancy have enthusiastically endorsed this project, and dozens of landowners have given their permission for their property to be surveyed. If you are curious about whether your property might lie within the study area, please contact us.
If you would like to learn more about this Battle of Pequot Swamp research project, please email Fairfield Museum executive director Michael Jehle through our contact page.