This Day In U.S. History November 23, 1780 – Connecticut Patriots conduct a daring raid and capture a British fort on Long Island


forest fight Orskany battle of no border


I beg of you to accept my thanks for your judicious planning and spirited execution of this business and that you will offer them to officers and men who shared the honors of the Enterprise with you.

George Washington

george washington large johnward dunsmore gws


This Day In U.S. History November 21-23, 1780 – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – The American Revolution: American Patriots conduct a daring raid in Coram (Smith Point), Long Island, New York. A force of 300 Continentals from Connecticut, commanded by Major Benjamin Tallmadge, captures the fort without encountering any resistance. He burns over 300 tons of British hay intended for cavalry and livestock and is later praised by Congress for this action.

Source “The American Revolution Day By Day – Lighting Freedom’s Flame”



One of the most daring exploits of the Revolution in Brookhaven Town was planned and carried Out by Major Benjamin Tallmadge in November 1780. This was the burning of the 300 ton stack of hay at Coram, which had been collected by the British, and the capture of Fort St. George at Smith Point Mastic, which had been constructed by the British. It had strongly barricaded houses at two angles, and the third angle was a fort 96 feet square.

Evidently General George Washington considered the burning of the hay at Coram to have been more important than the capture of the fort at Mastic.

Back at Fairfield, Tallmadge wrote to Washington, telling him of the luscious plum, and knowing his cavalry-conscious commander, clinched the matter by mention of a British forage collection point at Coram. It lay only a little off the route to Smith’s Point. In a few days he had his answer. More …


Further reading: Footnotes to Long Island History, Mastic Scene of 1780 Battle


Benjamin Tallmadge, pictured with a sword, at Fort St. George in Mastic.  Vance Lock Mural- Setauket School

Benjamin Tallmadge, pictured with a sword, at Fort St. George in Mastic.
Vance Lock Mural- Setauket School


The British account gives the following in the Pennsylvania Packet, December 12th:


A party of rebels, about eighty in number, headed, it is said, by a rebel, Major Talmadge, assisted by a certain Heatheast, Muirson, Benjah Strong, Thomas Jackson and Caleb Brewster, officers belonging to said party, all formerly of Long Island, came across in eight whale-boats, etc., just after daylight arrived at Smith’s Point, St. George’s Manor, south side Long Island, where they surprised a respectable body of refugees belonging to Rhode Island and the vicinity , who were establishing a post in order to get a subsistence for themselves and families, etc.”


Connecticut and the American Revolution
Connecticut was the only one of the 13 colonies involved in the American Revolution that did not have an internal revolution of its own. It had been largely self-governing since its beginnings. Governor Jonathan Trumbull was elected every year from 1769 to 1784. Connecticut’s government continued unchanged even after the revolution, until the United States Constitution was adopted in 1789. A Connecticut privateer was the Guilford, formerly the Loyalist privateer Mars.


Second Regiment of Connecticut Light Horse Militia, 1777

Second Regiment of Connecticut Light Horse Militia, 1777


Several significant events during the American Revolution occurred in Connecticut. Notably, the landing of a British invasion force in Westport, Connecticut which subsequently marched to and burnt the city of Danbury, Connecticut for safeguarding Patriot supplies and was engaged by General David Wooster and General Benedict Arnold on their return in the Battle of Ridgefield in 1777, which would deter future strategic landing attempts by the British for the remainder of the war. The state was also the launching site for a number of raids against Long Island orchestrated by Samuel Holden Parsons and Benjamin Tallmadge, and provided men and material for the war effort, especially to Washington’s army outside New York City. General William Tryon raided the Connecticut coast in July 1779, focusing on New Haven, Norwalk, and Fairfield. The French General the Comte de Rochambeau celebrated the first Catholic Mass in Connecticut at Lebanon in summer 1781 while marching through the state from Rhode Island to rendezvous with General George Washington in Dobbs Ferry, New York. New London and Groton Heights were raided in September 1781 by Connecticut native and turncoat Benedict Arnold. Source Wikipedia.



Timeline of the American Revolution – From the French-Indian War 1754-1763 to the Signing of The U.S. Constitution 1788.


America remember and honor your history – it will give direction, purpose and security to your future.


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