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Lord Stirling’s attempt on Staten Island

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

January 16.—Early yesterday morning about two thousand American troops under the command of Major-General Lord Stirling, passed over the ice at De Hart’s Point, in Jersey, and landed at Staten Island, near Mercereau’s dockyard. When they came to the Blazing Star road, they divided into two columns, and one proceeded by Dongan’s mills, the other by the back road, towards the watering place. Both columns gained the heights above the enemy’s works about the same time. On the approach of the Americans, the enemy abandoned the strong fortified house called Decker’s Fort, near which the Americans seized nine sail of vessels, several of which were laden with wood. The enemy on all sides retired to their works, which, in addition to their usual defences, had an abattis of snow, near ten feet high, all around them. After fully reconnoitring the situation of the enemy, and finding that nothing of advantage could be done, the Americans began to retire about sunrise this morning, and in their way destroyed the vessels and works at Decker’s house. The enemy with horse and foot watched their motions, but could find no opportunity of attacking them with advantage. Their horse, indeed, made a charge on a covering party under the command of Major Edwards, and killed three of his men; but they were soon beat off with a loss of a sergeant of dragoons and his horse. The rebel army arrived in the highest good order at De Hart’s, by eleven o’clock this morning, without any loss except what is before mentioned. In the course of the excursion we took two sergeants and six or eight privates, and several deserters came over to us.1


1 New Jersey Journal, January 18.