Bedford-Fair Haven Raid, Massachusetts

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Bedford-Fair Haven Raid, Massachusetts

BEDFORD-FAIR HAVEN RAID, MASSACHUSETTS. 5-6 September 1778. Sir Henry Clinton's relief force—some five thousand troops on board seventy vessels—reached Newport on 1 September, but found that the Americans had escaped thirty-six hours earlier. The British sailed on to Boston, but saw no possibility of attacking the French fleet there. Clinton then headed back for New York, but detached Major General Charles ('No-flint') Grey to raid the Massachusetts coast. After capturing Fort Phoenix at the mouth of the Acushnet River, in a space of about eighteen hours Grey destroyed property in Bedford and Fair Haven. His men burned between seventy and a hundred vessels (including privateers and their prizes), almost forty warehouses, and many important naval supplies. The raiders then sailed on to Martha's Vineyard.

SEE ALSO Martha's Vineyard Raid; Newport, Rhode Island (29 July-31 August 1778).


Dearden, Paul F. The Rhode Island Campaign of 1778: Inauspicious Dawn of Alliance. Providence: Rhode Island Bicentennial Foundation, 1980.

                     revised by Robert K. Wright Jr.