Hampton, Virginia

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Hampton, Virginia

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA. 24-27 October 1775. The conflict between Governor John Murray, Lord Dunmore and the rebels reached the shooting stage after the frustrated royal governor and his supporting naval forces left the York River. Following the arrival of two hundred reinforcements (Fourteenth Foot) from St. Augustine, Dunmore became more active in Hampton Roads. Captain Squire augmented his marines and sailors with some of the troops and fitted additional tenders. The shallow-draft raiders first probed the Elizabeth River towards Portsmouth and then five crossed over to the peninsula. Landing parties came ashore near Hampton after dark on 25 October and robbed several houses. Captain George Lyne, with the minute company from King and Queen County, responded to the news the following morning along with the local militia and started sniping at the tenders, which returned fire. Regular Virginia troops came up in support but were unable to lure the British ashore. Firing ceased at dark but resumed on the 27th, with the vessels bombarding the town about 8 a.m. During the course of the action, Colonel William Woodford assumed command and drove the tenders back to Norfolk. One tender, the Hawke, was captured along with ten crewmen; the Americans believed they had killed or wounded another nine. Squire admitted losing two killed, two wounded, and four prisoners. There were no rebel casualties.

SEE ALSO Murray, John; Virginia, Military Operations in; Woodford, William.

                              revised by Robert K. Wright Jr.

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