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Landings on Long Island

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

Unit/ Formation: His Majesty's Marine Forces

Location: North America

Period/ Conflict: American Revolutionary War (1775–83)

Year: 1776

Date/s: 22 - 27th August 1776

Amongst the augmentations to the British forces voted for in the year 1776, 2,378 men were added to the marines, making their total establishment 6,665 men.

The British fleet in the lower bay (Harpers Magazine, 1876) depicts the British fleet amassing off the shores of Staten Island in the summer of 1776

The fleet, with the army from Boston, reached Halifax on the 4th of April, where they continued in expectation of succours from England until the 12th of June, and arrived at Sandy Hook on the 29th.

On the 3rd of July, the grenadiers and light infantry were landed at Staten Island, without opposition, and the remainder of the army disembarked in the course of the day. As the rebels were strongly posted, both on Long Island and at New York, having upwards of 100 cannon towards the entrance of the north river, the commander-in-chief resolved to remain in his present position, and not commence offensive operations until he should be joined by the force under lord Clinton and the reinforcements from England.

Lord Howe arrived at Staten Island on the 12th of July, and assumed the command of the fleet; and on the 14th, commodore Parker, with the troops under general Clinton, arrived from the southward, which enabled general Howe to commence hostilities.

British troops in the type of flat-bottomed boat used for the invasion of Long Island

Preparations having been made for landing the troops in Gravesend bay, Long Island, the first division, amounting to 4000 men under lieutenant-general Clinton, was conveyed to the shore on the morning of the 22nd of August; and the debarkation continued to be so well conducted, that before noon 15,000 men, with forty pieces of cannon, were disembarked.

After several encounters with the rebel force, the Americans were routed from the island on the 27th, with loss of five pieces of cannon, 2000 killed, wounded, or drowned, and 997 prisoners; whilst the loss of the British did not exceed 300 in killed and wounded.

Captain Logan, 2nd battalion of marines, was killed; Lieutenant Nugent, 1st battalion, wounded; and Lieutenant Ragg, 2nd battalion, made prisoner.

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