The Battle of Fort St. George
November 23, 1780 at present-day Manorville, New York
The Battle of Fort St. George (or Fort George) was the culmination of a Continental Army raiding expedition led by Benjamin Tallmadge against a fortified Loyalist outpost and storage depot at the Manor St. George on the south coast of Long Island on November 23.
Tallmadge's raid was successful; the garrison was surprised, and many provisions and prisoners were taken.
Facts about the Fort St. George
- Armies - American Forces was commanded by Benjamin Tallmadge and consisted of 80 militia. British Forces was commanded by ?? and consisted of 61 militia.
- Casualties - American casualties were 1 wounded. British casualties was approximately 7 killed and 54 captured.
- Outcome - The result of the battle was a American victory. The battle was part of the Northern Theater 1778-82.
Loyalist refugees from Rhode Island were resettled onto Long Island after the British withdrew their forces from Newport, Rhode Island in 1779. Some of these were established at Manor St. George on the southeastern part of the island (in present-day Manorville, New York). They fortified the property, erecting a stockade 12 feet high in a roughly triangular shape around the manor house. The stockade was lined with abatis and a deep ditch.
Major Benjamin Tallmadge led a force of about 80 men (drawn from his 2nd Continental Light Dragoons) that crossed Long Island Sound in whaleboats from Fairfield, Connecticut on November 21, landing at present-day Mt. Sinai. Leaving a guard of 20 men with the boats, the remaining men began to march across Long Island that evening, but bad weather forced them to return to the boats.
On November 22, after the weather improved, Tallmadge again set out in the evening, arriving near the property before dawn on November 23.
Ordering his men to leave their muskets unloaded and with bayonets fixed, Tallmadge divided his force into three, with each unit to attack one of the stockade's sides. Tallmadge's party was not spotted in the early dawn light until it was within 40 yards of the stockade, and a sentry fired his weapon to raise the alarm.
At this point, Tallmadge's men rushed the stockade. They cut its way through the stockade while the other two units scaled the wall. According to Tallmadge's report, the surprise was sufficient: the main house was surrounded and surrendered "in less than ten minutes".
However, some of the Loyalist garrison managed to reach a fortified house that formed part of the stockade. These men surrendered after a brief firefight.
Tallmadge's force destroyed stores and took captive not just the armed defenders but a number of non-combatants as well. These were then marched across the island, and taken on Tallmadge's boats across to Fairfield.