Revolutionary War Raids & Skirmishes in 1775
APRIL OF 1775
MAY OF 1775
May 12, 1775 at Crown Point, New York - On May 12, Col. Ethan Allen had
sent an expedition, led by Lt. Col. Seth Warner, his second-in-command. The expedition was to capture Crown Point, located on west shore of Lake Champlain. Crown Point began as a trading post but was later started to be built as a large fort by the British. It was garrisoned but the construction was never completed. The American force captured the disabled British post without any resistance.
They took 9 enlisted British soldiers prisonor, along with some cannon, and 10 women and children.
May 14-18, 1775 at St. Johns, Quebec - On May 10, a day before the Battle of Fort Tigonderoga, a detachment of Americans were ordered to advance and capture the town of Skenesboro.
On May 14, the detachment from Skenesboro reported to Col. Benedict Arnold. Arnold gathered 50 of his men and advanced to St. Johns on a captured schooner from Skenesboro. Col. Ethan Allen and 60 men were behind Arnold in a
bateaux. On May 17, early that morning, Arnold and his men surprised the 15-man British garrison near St. Johns. The British soldiers were captured along with the British sloop HMS George III, several military stores, 4 bateaux, destroyed 5 bateaux, evacuated the prisoners, and headed back to Ticonderoga. When they were about 15 miles away, Arnold met Allen. Allen had ignored Arnold's advice and
decided that he would hold and occupy St. Johns. Just after dark, Allen landed and made plans to set up an ambush for the 200-man British relief column that was heading there from Chambly, 12 miles away. On May 18, before the British arrived, Allen decided to withdraw his men back to Ticonderoga. After he had recrossed the river, he was attacked by the British relief column before dawn. After a
short skirmish, Allen escaped with his men.
May 27, 1775 at Hog Island, Massachusetts - Brig. Gen. Artemus Ward sent an expedition against Hog Island, located in Boston Harbor. He intended to drive off the local livestock to feed his force. They succeeded with the mission.
May 27, 1775 at Noodle Island, Massachusetts - Brig. Gen. Artemas Ward
sent an expedition against Noodle Island, located in Boston Harbor. he intended to drive off the livestock. Adm. Samuel Graves, who had sizable stores on the island, dispatched the HMS Diane and some marines. The Americans make off with hundreds of animals, killed others, and burned the hay before being attacked by the British troops. While the British troops skirmished with the Americans and
darkness approached, the HMS Diane foundered in unfavorable winds and ran aground. The ship's crew were taken aboard the USS Britania. Gen. Israel Putnam's troops boarded the Diana, looted its stores, and put the boat to torch.
JUNE OF 1775
June 6, 1775 at New York City, New York - On June 6, members of the Sons of Liberty, led by Lt. Col. Marinus Willett, captured 5 wagonloads of arms that a group of British soldiers tried to sneak out of New York City.
June 11, 1775 at Machias, Maine - On June 2 , Ichabod Jones, a
Boston Loyalist, arrived at machias aboard an armed schooner, the HMS Margaretta, accompianied by 2 transport sloops, HMS Polly and HMS Unity. They were there to collect some lumber for the British garrison in Boston. The local townspeople were determined to prevent the British from getting the lumber. They made a plan to capture the British officers while they were in church.
June 17, 1775 at Charlestown, Massachusetts - At the start
of the Revolutionary War, Charlestown had a population of 2,700 people. Charlestown was located on the peninsula opposite of Boston. All but 200 of the townspeople had evacuated the city when the British had started the Seige of Boston in April. On June 17, during the Battle of Bunker Hill/Breed's Hill, there were about 300 militia located in Charlestown. When they spotted the British wing being led by Lt. Col. Robert Pigot, they opened fire on them. Pigot ordered his troops to
start a house-to-house search for the militia. When this fighting failed to dislodge the militia, Pigot made a request to Gen. Thomas Graves to set the town on fire. Graves sent word to the British fleet to open fire with some hot-shot into the town and ordered the some "carcass" (a incendiary projectile used for setting fire to buildings or ships) fired from British troops on the nearby Copp's
Hill. The plan succeeded and the town was set afire. Charlestown was destroyed by this but as soon as the British forces left Boston, the townspeople rebuilt the town.
JULY OF 1775
July 8, 1775 at Boston Neck, Massachusetts - On July 8,
Continental Army volunteers led by Maj. Benjamin Tupper and Capt. John Crane attack a British outpost at Boston Neck. The Americans routed the British guard, and burned down the guardhouse. Similar small probes continued through July.
July 9, 1775 at Bloody Point, South Carolina - The South
Carolina Council of Safety learned that a gunpowder shipment was on the way to Savannah. The gunpowder would be used to supply the Indians. The council sent 2 barges to Bloody Point to intercept the gunpowder shipment. Capts. John Joyner and John Barnwell, of the 1st South Carolina Regiment, commanded the barges. When they arrived at Bloody Point, they got a schooner, the Liberty, outfitted with
10 carraige guns, commanded by Capt. Oliver Bowen, to join the barges. The British shipment was escorted by the armed schooner, HMS Phillippa, which was commanded by Capt. Richard Maitland. On July 7, the 2 British ships anchored 9 miles from Tybee Point and waited for a pilot to carry them into the Savannah River.
On July 8, the Liberty spotted the British ships and stopped 4 miles from them. The 3 American ships waited there until the following day. On July 9, at 2:00 A.M., the pilot arrived and began guiding the British ships to the Tybee Bar. Maitland saw the
Liberty closing in on them. At 4:00 A.M., the Liberty fired 2 muskets at the Phillippa and ordered Maitland to identify himself. The Liberty followd the British ships and anchored beside them that night. On July 10, the Phillippa was ordered to to anchor at Cockspur Island. The island had an encampment of the South carolina
Provincials. They rode out in boats and surrounded the British ships. They managed to capture 16,000 lbs. of gunpowder, and "all of the bar-lead, sheet-lead, Indian trading arms, and shot, that were on board."
July 12, 1775 at Fort Charlotte, South Carolina - In June, the
Council of Safety in Charlestown ordered Maj. James Mayson, commander of Fort Ninety-Six, to capture Fort Charlotte. Fort Charlotte was located just west of Ninety-Six and was on the Savannah River. On July 12, the American force of Ranger companies captured the fort without any bloodshed or opposition. The only occupants of the fort were Capt. George Whitefield, his family, and a few men of the
garrison. The Rangers also managed to capture 1,050 lbs. of gunpowder, 18 cannon, 15 muskets, 83 casks of musket cartridges, 2,521 musket balls, and 343 iron cannonballs. Mayson and the 3rd South Carolina Regiment would be stationed at Fort Charlotte to command the interior.
July 17, 1775 at Ninety-Six, South Carolina - On July 17,
Capt. Moses Kirkland was the commander of Ninety-Six. He decided to change sides of loyalty. He invited in a force of Loyalist militia, commanded by Col. ?? Fletchall, to raid the fort. Fletchall sent 200 militia from his main force to capture the fort. When they arrived at the fort, Kirkland talked his garrison to desert the fort. The Loyalist militia took over the fort and threw Capt. James
Mayson in the fort's jail.
July 20, 1775 at New York City, New York - On July 20, the
Patriot force made a surprise raid at Turtle Bay. They seized the royal stores and their guard detachments. The captured stores were sent to the Patriot forces at Boston and on Lake Champlain.
July 21, 1775 at Great Brewster Island, Massachusetts - On
July 21, a party of American soldiers, led by Maj. Joseph Vose, set out in some whaleboats for Nantasket Point. When they reached their destination, they drove off the British guard and destroyed the lighthouse on Great Brewster Island.
July 31, 1775 at Great Brewster Island, Massachusetts - On
July 31, during the night, Maj. Benjamin Tupper led a force of 300 men in whaleboats to stop some repair work on the island's lighthouse. They were to also capture the British guard detachment and a group of workers. The lighthouse was damaged from the Battle of Great Brewster Island 10 days earlier. The American force landed on the island and engaged the British, killing or capturing the entire
32-man British detachment, a subaltern, and 10 carpenters. Tupper's escape was delayed because of missing one tide. He shortly evacuated all of the British prisoners while only sustaining 2 casualties of his own force.
AUGUST OF 1775
August 1, 1775 at Senecca Town, South Carolina - On August 1,
a detachment from the 3rd South Carolina Rangers had been patrolling near Seneca Town. They stopped for the night and set up camp. They failed to set up any security for the camp. A party of Cherokee Indians surprised the Rangers with a brief firefight. The Rangers were driven away from the camp.
August 24, 1775 at New York City, New York - On August 24,
around midnight, Capt. John Lamb, under orders from the New York Provincial Congress, began dismantling the cannons in Battery Park. They were removing the cannons to place them at a safe site. Capt. George Vandeput, of the HMS Asia, sent a bargeload of his British troops to investigate. They fired a shot to warn Vandeput that something was going on
with the Americans. Lamb's men fired on the American barge, killing 1 man. The HMS Asia opened fire on Battery Park and alarms sounded on shore. Expecting their city to be attacked and pillaged, many residents fled, the beginning of a general exodus to New Jersey and Long Island.
August 26-28, 1775 at Cambridge, Massachusetts - On August 26,
Gen. George Washington sent Brig. Gen. John Sullivan with a fatigue unit of 1,200 men, accompianed by a guard of 2,400 men (including 400 Pennsylvania riflemen) to fortify Ploughed Hill. The hill would provide a position commanding the Mystic River and a clear shot at British forces on Bunker Hill. On August 27, at daylight, 2 floating batteries and one on Bunker Hill, began a daylong shelling of
the Americans. Sullivan had only one cannon, but it sank one of the floating batteries and incapacitated the other one. No other fighting ensued.
August 30, 1775 at Stonington, Connecticut - On August 30, the British Navy began a bombardment of Stonington. There were 2 people killed in town and a number of houses were destroyed by the naval gunfire.
SEPTEMBER OF 1775
September 5, 1775 at Ile aux Noix, Quebec - On September 5,
having joined Brig. Gen. Richard Montgomery, Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler ordered his force to continue its advance. Leaving behind supplies in order to facilitate their march, the American force embarked again on the Richelieu River.
September 5, 1775 at St. Johns, Quebec - On September 5, an
advanced detachment of Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler's force was ambushed near St. Johns by an Indian force, commanded by New York loyalist. The Patriots managed to drive off the Indians in a bush fight. The Americans suffered 8 killed and 8 wounded.
September 10, 1775 at Ile aux Noix, Quebec - On September 10,
Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler had fortified this island encampment and welcomed 700 reinforcements. He launched a second effort to attack the fort at St. John's. For this attack, he had 800 men with him. Schuyler's men, fearful of another ambush like the one on September 5, broke and ran when they were
threatened. His second effort to take the fort also failed. Once again, the American force had to retreat back to Ile aux Noix.
OCTOBER OF 1775
October 7, 1775 at Bristol, Rhode Island - On October 7, in
the afternoon, a small British naval fleet appeared off the coast of Bristol. The fleet had been operating in the area of Newport Harbor. The fleet sent a representative ashore to talk to the townspeople. He stated that if the town's delegation did not immeadiately come out to Capt. ?? Wallace's command ship within an hour to listen to the British demands on the town, the fleet would open fire on
the town. Wallace request was for 200 sheep and 30 cattle.
October 18, 1775 at Chambly, Quebec - In late September,
Maj. John Brown had organized a group of English Canadian volunteers at the town of La Prairie. Brown, along with Col. Ethan Allen, were sent by Brig. Gen. Richard Montgomery to organize 2 seperate forces to attack Montreal from two different directions. Allen's force would later be captured.
October 24-25, 1775 at Hampton, Virginia - The conflict
between Gov. Lord Dunmore and the Americans reached the shooting stage when Dunmore became frustrated with them and sent a British naval fleet to destroy Norfolk. On October 24, 6 British tenders, commanded by Capt. ?? Squire, sailed into Hampton Creek. They began to bombard the town. Next, he sent several landing parties to set fire to the town, too. When the parties entered Hampton, riflemen
drove them off. On October 25, at dawn, 100 Culpeper militiamen, commanded Col. William Woodford, moved into the town to defend it against a second British attack. At sunrise, the British ships moved in, sprung their cables, and opened fire on the town. These militia picked off the sailors on deck and in the riggings on Squire's ships offshore. This forced the British to begin a disorderly
withdrawal. While leaving the area, 2 sloops ran aground and were captured. The British suffered several casualties but the militia did not have a single one.
NOVEMBER OF 1775
November 9, 1775 at Boston, Massachusetts - On November 19,
about 500 British regulars crossed from Charleston Point to Lechmere's Point intending to confiscate some sheep and cattle from the Phipps Farm. They seized a drunken American sentry, but other sentries saw this and fired a few shots at the British. This commotion startled the surrounding American force and spread an alarm. Col. William Thompson was ordered to the attack. After a brief firefight,
the British force withdrew with a prize of 10 cows.
November 9, 1775 at Lechmere Point, Massachussetts - On
November 9, a British foraging party of 9 infantry companies and 100 grenadiers landed at Lechmere's Point at high tide. They were to seize cattle needed for the British garrison. The American commanders in the area thought that this might be more than just a typical foraging party. Col. William Thompson and his Pennsylvania riflemen were ordered to make a counterattack. To support his operation,
Col. Benjamin Woodbridge and part of his and part of Col. John Patterson's regiment were sent for support.
November 13, 1775 at Montreal, Quebec - On November 5, Brig.
Gen. Richard Montgomery and his American force left St. John's and headed to Montreal. When St. John's fell to the Americans, Montreal was left open to capture.
November 15, 1775 at Plains of Abraham, Quebec - On November 15, Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold had finished his famous march to Quebec. He moved his 700-man force into position and tried to bluff the British garrison to surrender. The British did not fall for this and refused Arnold. This left him with no choice but to withdraw his force.
November 16-21, 1775 at Fort Johnson, South Carolina - On November
16-21, the British sloops HMS Cruizer and HMS Scorpion were ordered to retrieve any guns and ammunition from Fort Johnson that may have been left behind when the Patriots captured it in July. Capt. Francis Parry, commander of the Cruizer and the expedition, sent his landing party ashore. As they were loading a cannon onto a transport, a group of North Carolina militiamen showed up to
stop the British. The Cruizer fired on the militia and kept them out of firing range of the British landing party. A British detachment of 40 British sailors and marines remained in the fort while the ships continued to fire at the militia. At the same time, the fort's garrison fired on the militia. This operation continued for about a week until all of the guns from the fort had been removed
from the beach. Afterwards, the British ships sailed back to the Cape Fear harbor.
November 19-21, 1775 at Ninety-Six, South Carolina - On November
19, about 1,800 Loyalists attacked the fort at Ninety-Six. The fort was manned by about 600 Continentals under maj. Andrew Williamson.On November 21, after 2 days of fighting and modest bloodshed, both sides decided to call a truce.
November 14, 1775 at Kemps Landing, Virginia - Learning that
about 150 American militiamen were marching to join forces with other militia under Col. William Woodford, Lord Dunmore led some 350 British (regulars, Loyalists, sailors, and runaway slaves) from Norfolk to cut off the American militia. On November 14, Dunmore's larger force caught up with and dispersed the Americans, who suffered a few dead and wounded. An account in the New York Gazette and
Weekly Mercury declared that the public would be incensed "on finding Lord Dunmore had taken into his service the very scum of the country, to assist him in his diabolical schemes."
November 19, 1775 at Sorel, Quebec - On November 19, the
Patriot forces blocking the St. Lawrence River near Sorel captured 3 armed British ships and 8 smaller crafts with their crews and cargoes, and the British garrison from Montreal.
November 22, 1775 at Reedy River, South Carolina - On November
22, a Patriot force of more than 4,000 men overpowered a smaller Loyalist force at Reedy River. They captured the principal Loyalist leaders. The capture collapsed the armed Loyalist opposition in South Carolina.
DECEMBER OF 1775
December 13, 1775 at Norfolk, Virginia - On December 13, after
the American victory at the Battle of Great Bridge, the Patriot force occupies the town of Norfolk.
December 22, 1775 at Cane Break, South Carolina - Following
the truce that resulted from the Battle of Ninety-Six, a group South Carolina militia and newly raised Continentals, commanded by Col. Richard Richardson and Col. William Thompson, moved into the region between the Broad River and Saluda River. Their purpose was to break up the Loyalists that
were gathering there. Richardson and Thompson was soon joined by 700 North Carolina militia commanded by Col. Thomas Polk and Col. Griffith Rutherford, and 220 Continental regulars commanded by Col. Alexander Martin. All these American forces added up to a total amount of 4,000 troops. On December 22, the Americans attacked
and the Loyalists resistence quickly collapsed. Richardson's men managed to capture some Loyalist leaders, including Thomas Fletchall. There was a single Tory unit that did not disband with the initial assault, but they were soon routed by part of Richardson's command.
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