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New York Volunteers
Attack at Fort Washington

HARTFORD, Nov. 25. [1776]

By a Gentleman from Head-Quarters, who came to town on Saturday last, and who was at Fort Lee during the battle at the Lines at Harlem, and an eye witness of the whole, we have the following particulars of that unhappy affair, viz.

That on Saturday the 16th instant, about 2 o’clock afternoon a large body of British troops from New-York, with a body of Hessians from Kingsbridge, made an attack upon our lines at that place.

At the same time a number of boats from the shiping came up Harlem river, and landed a party of men, who advanced forward with an intention to cut off our retreat, which in part they effected:

but a part of our men taking advantage of a hill got safe to the fort; the other part being almost surrounded, were obliged to fight their way through the enemy, by which means the heaviest fire from our troops was directed against the Hessians, who were beat back, and were obliged to be reinforced three several times by large detachments from their main body.

In this manner our small army under the command of Col. Magaw, retreated, sustaining with unexampled resolution, a continual fire of the cannon, field pieces and musketry of more than five to one in number, till they reached the fort, when the engagement ceased.

Soon after the engagement ended, the enemy made a demand of the fort, and Col. Magaw finding it impossible to defend it, surrendered the same to the enemy about sunset.

The number of our men who were killed in the above engagement is uncertain, but the whole loss in killed, and taken prisoners, is upwards of 2000.

What loss the enemy sustained is likewise uncertain, but if we may believe the account given by a deserter who came to head-quarters since the engagement, the Hessians had between 4 and 500 men killed on the spot.

The Freeman’s Journal or New-Hampshire Gazette , (Portsmouth), Volume 1, No. 28, Tuesday, December 3, 1776.

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