The Sleeping Sentinel

Location: Groton
Tag(s): Civil War
Historical Category: Military History
Video Date: 7/30/2020

During the Civil War, William Scott from Groton was assigned to guard duty of the Chain Bridge in Washington, DC, but unfortunately ended up falling asleep. Normally an offense punishable by death, officers came to his aid, word got to Abraham Lincoln, and the president pardoned him. He went on to die heroically at the Battle of Lee’s Mills. This created a whole mythology around William Scott, now known as The Sleeping Sentinel, including news stories and an epic poem by Francis de Haes Janvier.

This Place in History is produced in partnership by Local 22 & Local 44 ( and the Vermont Historical Society.

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