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Skirmish in Eastchester, N. Y.

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

January 18.—Early this morning, a detachment of rebel militia, collected from the neighborhood of Horseneck, under the command of a Captain Lockwood, attacked a house between King’s Bridge and De Lancey’s Mills, in which Lieutenant-Colonel Hetfield, Major Huggerford, Captain Knap, a quarter-master and ten private refugees of the lieutenant-colonel’s corps, were quartered; the house being bravely defended for fifteen minutes, the rebels were enabled to set fire to it, from their having gained possession, of the ground floor; in consequence of which, this small party were reduced to the necessity of abandoning their post, and laying down their arms; they were, of course, taken prisoners, and the enemy immediately began their retreat.

Major Huggerford soon after effected his escape, and returning, formed a small body of refugees, consisting of thirty-five dragoons and twenty-eight infantry, under the command of Captain Purdy, instantly pursuing the rebels with this detachment. The infantry took post upon the heights beyond Eastchester, and the mounted, consisting of Cornet Hilat, Adjutant Pugsley, two sergeants, and twenty-nine privates, under the command of Lieutenant Kipp, continued the pursuit, and came up with their rear between New Rochelle and Mamaroneck, and resolutely closing with them, killed twenty-three, and took forty prisoners, some of whom are wounded.

Too much praise cannot be given to this handful of brave men, who have set so bright an example to their injured countrymen, and their behavior upon this occasion has gained just and universal applause. The only weapon used by Major Huggerford and his determined band of refugees in their attack and defeat of Captain Lockwood’s party, was the sabre, and had not their horses been jaded to a stand still, every one of the enemy would have fallen into their hands.1


1 Rivington’s Gazette, January 22.