Congreve rocket


This Congreve rocket was fired at Stonington by the British in August 1814. Designed to burn and essentially self-destruct, surviving examples of fired Congreve rockets are extremely rare. Although they created a dramatic and frightening sight, they caused little damage. On August 10, 1814, during the Battle of Stonington, militiaman David Tracey Jr., who was stationed at Fort Trumbull in New London, wrote: “The Congreve rockets, of which they threw a considerable number. . . . rose apparently some hundreds of feet in the air. In fact they must have done so to have been seen so plain at the distance of 14 miles.” (Rocket, courtesy of Stonington Historical Society, 2008.0045; letter, Connecticut Historical Society)