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American Revolutionary War Battles

Carleton's Raid

October 24 – November 14, 1778 at New York and Vermont shores of Lake Champlain

Raid Summary

Carleton's Raid was a British raid led by Major Christopher Carleton, conducted in fall 1778 from the Province of Quebec against targets in upstate New York and the Vermont Republic.

Facts about the Carleton's Raid

  • Armies - American Forces was commanded by Seth Warner and consisted of unknown number of militia. British Forces was commanded by Maj. Christopher Carleton and consisted of about 454 Soldiers and Sailors.
  • Casualties - American casualties were unknown killed/wounded and 79 captured. British casualties were 1 killed, 1 wounded, and 17 missing.
  • Outcome - The result of the raid was a British victory. The raid was part of the Northern Theater 1778-82.
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Prelude

On October 24, with snow already on the ground but before Lake Champlain had frozen, a fleet of ships left Ile aux Noix for the southern part of Lake Champlain. The ships were the HMS Carleton and HMS Maria, both of which had fought at the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776.

They were supported by 2 gunboats and many batteaux. The British Army forces were made up of regulars from the 29th, 31st, 53rd Regiments of Foot and the Royal Artillery supported by Loyalists from the King's Royal Regiment of New York, Hessian Jägers and about 100 Indian allies for a total force of 454 men. The force was led by Carleton of the 29th Regiment of Foot.

Raid Begins

On November 6, the fleet moved up the lake to about Crown Point, where parties of raiders were let off to attack Reymond's Mill on Beaver Creek in New York and Middlebury and New Haven on Otter Creek in the Vermont Republic.

On November 7, the fleet then moved to Buttonmold Bay, where more raiding parties were sent to attack military supplies and Black powder, the town of Monkton, Vermont, and to Moore's Mill near Shoreham, Vermont, a meeting place for the Green Mountain Boys.

At Moore's Mill, the raiding party ran into a group of local militia, and there was a 20-minute skirmish before the local militia retired. One British soldier was wounded during this fight while American casualties are unknown.

On November 14, when the force returned to Ile aux Noix, Carleton reported the raid had destroyed enough supplies for 12,000 men for a 4-month campaign. This included 1 saw mill, 1 grist mill, 47 houses, 48 barns, 28 stacks of wheat and 75 stacks of hay. Over 80 head of cattle were captured and brought back to Quebec. Also, 39 prisoners were taken to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and 40 to Quebec City over land through northern Vermont by Indians.

The only Continental Army units in the area were Whitcomb's Rangers at Rutland, Vermont and Seth Warner's Green Mountain Boys at Fort Edward. The raid had been expected by the American forces but the raid was so late in the year that almost all the forces had gone into winter quarters and were not in a position to stop the raid.

The British losses during the raid were 1 man killed by a falling tree, 1 bateaux lost with 17 men on the lake on the return voyage to Ile aux Noix and 1 wounded at the fight at Moore's Mill.

This raid was followed up in 1780 by multiple raids called the Burning of the Valleys, with Carleton leading a force down Lake Champlain again while Sir John Johnson lead a force in the Mohawk and Schoharie Valley, and Lieutenant Houghton leading a raid towards the Connecticut River in the Royalton Raid.