Peekskill Raid, New York

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Peekskill Raid, New York

PEEKSKILL RAID, NEW YORK. 23 March 1777. Peekskill served as an important riverside depot for American forces in the Hudson Highlands during the winter of 1776–1777. To disrupt the fortification efforts and the assembly of newly raised Continental regiments, William Howe dispatched a small raiding force upriver on 22 March. Lieutenant Colonel John Bird, with five hundred men and four light guns, provided the land contingent; the frigate Brune, three galleys, four transports, and eight flatboats made up the naval component. After feinting to draw the American defenders off, Bird's men landed at Lunt's Cove about 1 p.m. on the 23rd; Brigadier General Alexander McDougall's small garrison burned some of the stores and withdrew. One American was killed; Bird had no casualties. Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett led a Patriot force from Fort Constitution against the raiders on the 24th and captured a cloak that would become part of the Fort Stanwix flag later in the year. This action confirmed Washington's belief in the importance of the forts and passes of the Hudson; it encouraged the British to undertake the Danbury raid on 23-28 April.

SEE ALSO Danbury Raid, Connecticut; Howe, William; McDougall, Alexander.


Hufeland, Otto. Westchester County during the American Revolution, 1775–1783. New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1926.

                              revised by Robert K. Wright Jr.