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The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies
Queen's American Rangers/Philadelphia Light Dragoons: Battle at Crooked Billet


On Thursday night last, a small party of the British infantry, dragoons, and Queen’s rangers, with a few of Capt. HOVEDEN’s Pennsylvania, and Capt. JAMES’s Chester dragoons, left this city about eleven o’clock, and proceeded up the Old York road.

About a mile beyond the Billet they fell in with Lacey’s brigade of militia, consisting of about 500 men, and immediately attacked them: Lacey, at first, made some appearance of opposition, but, in a few seconds, was thrown into confusion, obliged to retreat with precipitation, and were pursued about four miles.

They left between eighty and a hundred dead on the field; and on Friday, between fifty and sixty prisoners, besides waggoners, with ten of their waggons loaded with baggage, flour, salt, whiskey, &c. were brought in by the troops on their return: What number of rebels were wounded, we have not been able to learn.

Besides the above waggons, three were burnt after taking out the horses; also all the huts and what baggage could not be brought off.

The royal party did not lose a single man on this occasion, and have only seven men wounded, and two horses killed.

Royal Pennsylvania Gazette, (Philadelphia), May 5, 1778.

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