Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oct 24, 1775: British Navy attacks Norfolk, Virginia

Things did not go quite as planned for the British on this day in 1775. Virginia's last royal governor, Lord Dunmore, ordered a British naval fleet of six ships to sail up the James River and into Hampton Creek to attack Patriot troops and destroy the town of Norfolk, Virginia. British Captain Matthew Squire led the six ships into Hampton Creek and began bombarding the town, while a second contingent of British troops went ashore to begin engaging the rebel troops.

Expecting the Patriots and local militia to engage in open combat, the British were surprised to come under fire from expert riflemen, who began sniping and striking down British troops at a distance. Hearing of the British attack, Virginia's local militia leader marched an additional 100 members of the militia to defend Norfolk.

With reinforcements in place, the Patriots and militia pushed the British back to their ships, where the riflemen again began picking off British troops from the decks of their vessels. Facing a humiliating defeat at the hands of an outnumbered local militia, Captain Squire ordered a full British retreat. In the unorganized and hurried withdrawal that followed, two British ships ran aground and were captured. The Patriots, meanwhile, did not suffer a single fatality.

Live Long and Prosper,,,

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