From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.
October 23. –Friday morning last, we were alarmed by the drums beating to arms, and the enemy landed at Rodman’s Point with their whole force. The brigade under the command of Colonel Glover, consisting of about seven hundred men, one regiment being absent for guard, marched down towards the place where the enemy were advancing, with a body of sixteen thousand, and a very large artillery. The first attack was made by a small party, on their advanced guard, which were effectually routed and forced to retreat to their main body, who, when they came up, were fired upon by two regiments, advantageously posted by Colonel Glover and Major Lee, (who behaved gallantly,) which brought many of them to the ground. Thus we continued fighting them and retreating the whole afternoon, until they came to a stand, where they now remain, stretching down along the Sound, towards Connecticut–we suppose for forage. Our men behaved like soldiers–conformed to the orders of the officers and retreated in grand order, which is the life of discipline. Our loss is about nine or ten killed, and about thirty wounded. The enemy, a deserter says, lost two hundred killed on the spot, and a great number wounded. People may think what they please of the regular and spirited behavior of the British troops, but I that day was an eye-witness to the contrary. I saw as great irregularity, almost, as in a militia; they would come out from their body and fire single guns. As to their courage, their whole body, of sixteen thousand were forced to retreat by the fire of a single regiment, and many of them old troops. The fourth regiment was one that run; and had we been reinforced with half their number, we might have totally defeated them; the shot from their artillery flew very thick about our heads. The next day, General Lee (under whose command we are) came and publicly returned his thanks to Colonel Glover, and the officers and soldiers under his command, for their noble, spirited, and soldier-like conduct during the battle, and that nothing in his power should be wanting to serve those brave officers and men; and General Washington has since expressed himself much in the same words in his general orders. General Lee says we shall none of us leave the army, but all stay and be promoted; but how that will be is uncertain. Yesterday one of the corporals and two men in our regiment, by leave from the colonel, went out to see what they could pick up, and by going in the mouth of the enemy they brought off a number of fat cattle. Flushed with their success, they went again this afternoon, and going directly in the rear of the Hessian camp, went into a house where they washed for the British officers, and were bringing off three tubs of shirts, but the man of the house informed the camp. They turned out four hundred, who obliged our lads to retreat; but meeting with some of their comrades, they attacked and drove the Hessians, killed the major, took his commission and ten guineas out of his pocket, and have taken three of them prisoners, besides a number killed; many of our officers who saw them, say they are ugly devils. They are now in camp. The enemy have so far quitted York, that our people have been down as far as a place called Bowery Lane, which is but one mile from the extent of the city. 1
1 Extract of a letter from Mile Square, in Eastchester, New York. –Freeman’s Journal, November 12.