Nassau Raid of Rathbun

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Nassau Raid of Rathbun

NASSAU RAID OF RATHBUN. 27-30 January 1778. Marines and seamen from Captain John Peck Rathbun's twelve-gun sloop Providence rowed ashore and landed on New Providence Island in the Bahamas at midnight on 27 January. Under the command of Marine Captain John Trevett, they marched overland and seized Fort Nassau in the dark. Reinforced by liberated prisoners of war, Trevett proceeded to capture five anchored vessels before the sloop could overcome adverse winds and enter the harbor. The Americans then dismantled Fort Montagu. Rathbun loaded sixteen hundred pounds of captured gunpowder, spiked the guns of the forts, and departed late on 30 January. This raid is considered to mark the first time that the Stars and Stripes flew over a foreign fortification.

SEE ALSO Bahamas; Rathbun, John Peck.


Rider, Hope S. Valour Fore and Aft: Being the Adventures of the Continental Sloop Providence, 1775–1779. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1977.

                           revised by Robert K. Wright Jr.