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Norfolk Abandoned

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

February 6. –The Virginia forces, under Colonel Howe, abandoned Norfolk this morning, after removing the poor inhabitants, with such effects as they could carry along with them, and demolishing the intrenchments, which Lord Dunmore threw up a little before he fled on board the fleet, now lying before that place. What few houses remained after the late bombardment were likewise destroyed, after being valued, to prevent the enemy’s taking shelter in them. Thus, in the course of five weeks, has a town which contained upwards of six thousand inhabitants, many of them in affluent circumstances, a place that carried on an, extensive trade and commerce, consequently affording bread to many thousands, been reduced to ashes, and become desolate, through the wicked and cruel machinations of Lord North and the junto, aided by their faithful servants, my Lord Dunmore, with his motley army, and the renowned Captain Bellew, commodore of his Britannic Majesty’s fleet in Virginia, and his generous and valiant crew. Truly may it be now said,

Never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc’d so deep.”

The troops are now stationed at Kemp’s Landing, the Great Bridge, and in and about Suffolk. 1


1 Constitutional Gazette, February 28.

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