Commissioned in 1771 on Mud Island with the principle architect being Pierre Charles L’enfant. Originally called Fort Island Battery until the fort was taken over by Colonial forces during the Revolutionary war. 400 colonial soldiers manned the fort with one directive – delay General William Howe and his fleet for as long as humanly possible giving General Washington and his troops breathing space. There was no expectation that the men at the fort were going to defeat Howe – just slow him down. In the end, the fort was massively outgunned by the British fleet and was subsequently recaptured by British forces.
A British officer was said to have remarked, “the behavior of the enemy…did them honor, nor did they quit the place ‘till their defenses were ruined, and the works rendered to rubbish, setting the works in a blaze when they could defend it no longer.”
Due to the brave actions of the colonials at Fort Mifflin, General Washington was able to get his forces to Valley Forge for the winter.