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Bonnel’s Attack on Greenwich

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

June 19.—Yesterday morning, about four o’clock, thirty-two refugees, commanded by Captain Bonnel and other officers, landed at Greenwich, in Connecticut. A thick fog favored their entrance, and they marched through the town undiscovered; but the rebel guard being at length alarmed, and imagining the refugees to be more numerous than in fact they were, fled with precipitation before them; and so close was the pursuit, that some were overtaken and secured. The inhabitants of the town refused to open their doors to the refugees, and reduced them to the necessity of entering the windows; notwithstanding which, they plundered the houses of nothing but arms and ammunition; their principal object being horned cattle, of which they brought off thirty-eight, also four horses, and ten or twelve prisoners. Among the latter is a most pestilent rebel priest, and preacher of sedition, who, when taken, swore that there was no firearms in his house, but, upon his being cautioned against equivocation, and threatened with the consequences which would result from persisting in it, his timid spouse produced his firelock, and a cartouch box with eighteen rounds in it. The refugees proceeded about six miles into the country, collecting cattle, &c. On their return they were attacked by a body of rebels, supposed to consist of about a hundred and fifty, with two field-pieces; but they kept at such a distance, that one loyalist only was wounded by their fire. Before the refugees embarked, they landed a field-piece, which was of great service, and after engaging the rebels two hours, during which time they expended all their ammunition, they got safe on board, and arrived at Oyster Bay about noon with their cattle and prisoners. They were obliged to leave a number of the former on the rebel shore for want of boats to bring them off.1


1 New Hampshire Gazette, July 13.