Mamaroneck, New York

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Mamaroneck, New York

MAMARONECK, NEW YORK. Raid of 22 October 1776. During the American withdrawal from Pell's Point and Harlem Heights to White Plains, New York, the village of Mamaroneck was abandoned by the Americans—unjustifiably, in General George Washington's view. The area was then occupied by Major Robert Rogers and his notorious "Queen's American Rangers," an aggressive band of Loyalists who had been attacking local militia companies and raiding supply depots. They formed a detached camp of about 500 men near the British right wing at New Rochelle. Colonel John Haslet was selected to lead his Delaware Regiment, reinforced by certain Virginia and Maryland companies to a total strength of 750, in a raid against Mamaroneck. With accurate information about Rogers's dispositions, Haslet started out near White Plains, marched some five miles, slipped undetected past the British flank, and silenced the single sentinel who covered the approach to Rogers's bivouac. During the day, however, Rogers had realized the possibilities of surprise along this route and had posted sixty men between the lone sentinel and his main camp. Haslet's advance guard stumbled on this unsuspected force, and a melee ensued. The enemy added to the confusion by echoing the cry, "Surrender, you Tory dogs! Surrender!" The Americans managed to capture thirty-six prisoners, sixty muskets, sixty highly prized blankets, and a pair of colors, all of which they evacuated safely. Rogers's main camp forced the raiders to withdraw after an exchange of fire. American casualties were three killed and twelve wounded; there is no record of enemy losses. The incident boosted American morale.

SEE ALSO Haslet, John; Rogers, Robert.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington, 7 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1948–1957.

Ward, Christopher. The War of the Revolution, 2 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1952.

                               revised by Barnet Schecter