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Rebel Attack on Fort Slongo

Compo Point October 3rd 1781

Dear General

I am happy in having occasion to congratulate you on the success of an enterprize against fort Slongo on Long Island.

After making many attempts to embark, and being prevented by bad weather, last evening at eight o’clock I ordered fifty men from captain Richards company of the Connecticut line, and fifty more from captain Edgar’s dismounted dragoons to embark at this place.

The smallness of the garrison at Slongo, and the difficulty of procuring boats, making it unnecessary to employ but a part of my detachment on this service, at the request of major Trescott, he was honored with the command.

Having obtained several very accurate draughts of this post, and even the places where the sentinels stood, I made every disposition for the attack previous to the embarkation of the troops.

I have enclosed a copy of my orders to major Trescott, which he has most faithfully executed, and his return of prisoners, &c. &c.

It becomes necessary for me to observe, that for the execution of this service, captain Edgar’s dismounted dragoons were ordered to surprize the garrison and carry the works, while captain Richards with his company were to surround the fort, and prevent the garrison from escaping.

Lieutenant Rogers of the 2nd regiment light dragoons with ten chosen men, was appointed to lead the attack against the fort, followed by major Trescott and captain Edgar, with the remainder of the dismounted dragoons, the rear of which was brought up by cornet Pike.

Captain Richards and ensign Pinto were disposed of as above observed, to surround the garrison.

The attack commenced at three o’clock this morning, and was conducted with great good order; but notwithstanding the greatest exertions of captain Richards and his officers, some of the garrison jumped over the works and escaped.

Major Trescott speaks highly of all the officers and soldiers under his command, as well as of the boat-men employed on this service.

It was fortunate for major VANALSTINE who commanded the garrison, that he was absent at New York.

It gives me peculiar satisfaction that I have occasion to report not a man killed of our detachment and but one wounded.

After the troops have refreshed themselves, I shall forward the prisoners, together with the standard of the garrison to head-quarters.

The plunder that was brought off from the garrison, I presume may be divided among the troops and boatmen who were on the expedition.

The piece of brass artillery I shall annex to my command for the present.

Some of our baggage being left at Fairfield and other reasons of a private nature, which I shall soon communicate, have induced me to march the detachment to Fairfield, from whence I shall write you again to morrow. I am, my dear General,

With every sentiment of esteem,
Your most obedient servant,
Benjn. Tallmadge
Major 2nd reg. LD


General Heath

Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 4, Reel 81, 13 September 1781 — 4 November 1781.

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