Attack on Sag Harbor

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From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

May 24. –Yesterday, General Parsons having received information that the British had collected, and were collecting large quantities of forage at Sag Harbor, on Long Island, together with about two hundred of the continental troops who had previously rendezvoused at Sachem’s Head, in Guilford, embarked on board a number of whale boats, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Meigs, to destroy it. At about six o’clock in the afternoon they arrived at the beach, on the side of Plumgut, and transported their boats about fifty rods over the beach, when they again embarked, and landed several miles from Sag Harbor, where (after leaving a suitable guard to protect the boats) they marched with such secresy as not to be discovered till within a few rods of the sentry. They soon set about destroying the forage, &c. As the enemy stationed there were entirely off their guard, the troops met with little opposition. An armed schooner of twelve guns, which lay not far from the shore, kept an incessant fire on them, but happily did them no damage. The Americans returned the fire with their small arms, but whether with effect is not known; five or six of the enemy on shore were destroyed, and three or four made their escape; the others were made prisoners. The Americans then set fire to the hay, (about one hundred tons,) which was on board transports, and on the wharves, and entirely destroyed it, with ten transport vessels, mostly sloops and schooners, and one armed vessel of six or eight guns, two or three hogsheads of rum, &c. They then returned to Guilford, having performed their expedition in twenty-four hours.1

 

1 Connecticut Journal; see Barber’s Connecticut, 217. –Return of Prisoners taken at Sag Harbor: –1 captain, 2 commissaries, 3 sergeants, 53 rank and file, 10 masters of transports, 27 seamen; in the whole, 90. The Americans brought off fifty muskets. One of the commissaries above mentioned, is Mr. Joseph Chew, formerly of New London, in Connecticut.

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