Russell T. Green
THE DEVEREAUX COVE VESSEL AND THE PENOBSCOTT EXPEDITION OF 1779: AN HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF VESSEL REMAINS AT DEVEREAUX COVE, STOCKTON SPRINGS, MAINE.
(Under the direction of Professor Lawrence Babits) Department of History, July 2002.
In August 1779, after unsuccessfully laying siege to British-held Fort George, located on the Castine Peninsula in Penobscot Bay, Maine, thirty-nine American vessels found themselves trapped within the bay's upper reaches by a superior British relief fleet. A chaotic retreat up the Penobscot River ensued, only to end with most American vessels destroyed by their crews along various portions of the river and upper bay. Primary documents indicate that nearly all twenty-two American troop transport vessels were destroyed together, just below the Penobscot River's narrow entrance.
In July 2000, with funding from the American Battlefield Protection Program, a team from the Program in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University conducted a Phase II archaeological survey of wooden vessel remains located in a tidal flat at Devereaux Cove, Stockton Springs, Maine. Well within the path of the retreating transports, and in the vicinity of their reported destruction, the site is potentially associated with the failed American campaign, known as the Penobscot Expedition. Construction details and wood sample analysis suggest the badly deteriorated remains are remnant of an eighteenth-century, American-built vessel. It is the purpose of this thesis, through an examination of the historical and archaeological record, to evaluate the Devereaux Cove wreck within the context of the Penobscot Expedition's transport vessels.