User:RekonDog/Definitive History of the United States Marine Corps/Operations
- 1 American War for Independence [1775–1783]
- 1.1 Hopkins's Expedition, 1776
- 1.2 Interim: March–December 1776
- 1.3 USS Andrew Doria—HMS Racehorse, 1776
- 1.4 Princeton, 1777
- 1.5 St. Mary’s Isle–Whitehaven, 1778
- 1.6 Lake Ponchartrain, 1778
- 1.7 Penobscot, 1779
- 2 References
American War for Independence [1775–1783]
Hopkins's Expedition, 1776
Commodore Esek Hopkins fleet—along with marine detachments of 230 men—departed Philadelphia on 4 January 1776. Samuel Nicholas's Continental marines embarked onto five vessels for their maiden voyage: USS Alfred—Hopkins flagship, USS Andrew Doria, USS Cabot, USS Columbus, and USS Providence; comprising the entirety of the Continental Navy. One of Hopkins's captains in command of USS Columbus, the recently commissioned Captain Abraham Whipple (and resigned Commodore of the Rhode Island Navy), performed this exact task in clearing the Carolina coast of enemy shipping many months earlier, before his commission into the Continental navy. This was the first amphibious/expedition for the Continental Navy-Marine Corps. Hopkins was given the task to patrol the southern American coastline to intercept and clear any presence of British troops along the Delaware River, and Chesapeake Bay, then return north to New England and perform similar services.
The next day [5 January], they sailed down the Delaware River and its approaches off Liberty Island (Mud Island). After dusk, the weather turned bitterly cold, freezing the river shore to shore. They remained stuck for more than a week. Momentarily, during the first thaw, USS Providence joined the Continental fleet. On 17 January, the ships dropped further downstream to Port Penn on the Delaware shore behind Reedy Island where cold weather returned and they were again ice-bound. They remained there until 11 February when Hopkins was able to move them to Cape Henlopen. On 13 February, the small sloops USS Fly, USS Hornet, and the schooner USS Wasp, traveling from Maryland, joined Hopkins's squadron off the capes of Delaware. However, two nights out, off the Virginia capes USS Fly fouled USS Hornet and both was forced to return to home port for repairs.
By 17 February, warmer temps thawed the ice and Hopkins's fleet sailed back out to sea. During this delayed period allowed Hopkins to monitor the British forces at Reedy Island for some six weeks. For reasons that remain obscure, he disobeyed his ambitious orders to safeguard the southern American coastline as he considered his orders discretionary and the enemy too strong; without proper authority he directed his squadron to head south en route to the West Indies bypassing the Chesapeake Bay.  Hopkins's orders made strategic sense. Since rebel warships were already active off the New England coast, and the Middle Colonies were forming their own coastal defense navies, he ultimately knew that the American colonies desperately needed gunpowder. He decided to attack the island of New Providence in the Bahamas to capture a large supply of that commodity as well as a great quantity of other military supplies reportedly stored there. On the morning of 3 March, Hopkins captured Fort Montague in the bloodless battle of Nassau, in which Continental marines under Capt. Samuel Nicholas conducted their first amphibious operation.
Battle of Nassau
Arriving in the Caribbean, Commodore Esek Hopkins's main Continental fleet—and Captain Samuel Nicholas's Continental marines—reached Abaco in the Bahamas, on the evening of 1 March 1776; the next day, Hopkins began laying plans for the raid on New Providence. On 3 March 1776, the Continental Marines made their first epitomized amphibious landing in American history when they attempted an amphibious assault during the Battle of Nassau. USS Wasp and USS Providence covered the marines as they went ashore to assault the British Fort Montagu hoping to seize supplies and provisions—of 234 of marines, and some fifty seamen—but their guns never fired because the landing force found the beaches unopposed. Because the landing went forward several miles to the east of the town, it caused them to fail in achieving a surprise attack. That evening, Hopkins issued a proclamation which promised not to harm: :"...the persons or property of the inhabitants of New Providence..." if they did not resist.
The following morning [4 March], they marched to Fort Nassau to seize more shots, shells, and cannons. However, the failure of surprise the day before had warned the defenders and allowed British Governor Montfort Browne to escape with a merchantman ship to St. Augustine, Florida, leaving all but 24 casks of powder out of the 174. And from other military stores captured, the marines and sailors took a large quantity of cannons—close to 90 pieces, and 15 brass mortars. . However, the cache had more than justified the enterprise. Hopkins's fleet remained at Nassau for about two weeks loading the booty of war. So large was the take that several local ships had to be pressed into service to carry the materiel back to New England. These acquired matériels were essential to the supply armament of the Continental Army. USS Fly was able to rejoin the squadron off New Providence 11 March—although USS Hornet remained behind—finding that the operation had been a great success, and that a large quantity of military stores sorely needed had already been acquired and loaded. After the marines and sailors stripped the forts of their guns and all remaining ordnance, Commodore Hopkins finally hoisted sail on 17 March and withdrew from New Providence, hoisted sail and set course back north toward the Atlantic seas. USS Andrew Doria became the fleet's hospital ship after the other ships had an outbreak of smallpox. USS Andrew Doria was not affected as its crew had been inoculated.  USS Wasp, however, parted with the main fleet and made her way independently back to the Delaware capes and thence into port at Philadelphia, where it arrived on 4 April.
USS Alfred—HMS Glasglow
Returning from the Nassau expedition in the Bahamas, the flagship USS Alfred led the Commodore Hopkins's Continental fleet homeward from Nassau harbor on 17 March 1776; the same day British troops were evacuating Boston. Hoping to catch more easy prizes, on the evening of 4 April, Hopkins sailed inbound to Block Island in Rhode Island. He encountered the British six-gun schooner HMS Hawk, and the next day [5 April], the eight-gun bomb brigantine HMS Bolton while off Montauk point, Long Island. The Continental sailors and marines boarded and seized both ships after a disgruntled close quarters fight, and claimed them as their prize.
Shortly after midnight on 6 April, Hopkins encountered the frigate HMS Glasgow, a 20-gun sixth-rate warship under the command of navy captain Tryingham Howe. While en route, HMS Glasgow was carrying dispatches of British troops that withdrawn from Newport, Rhode Island, and were sailing to meet the British fleet awaiting off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. This fleet had been assembled to launch an assault against the American forces in Charleston, which later it ultimately failed in the Battle of Sullivan's Island on 28 June 1776. A fierce cannonade was exchanged between the American small flotilla and the British ship Glasgow and its destroyer tenders; despite the superiority in gunnery and seamanship, after and hour, HMS Glasgow managed to effectively escape from the heavy-laden American ships. Also, the Americans aimed their cannons too high, injuring only the sails and rigging. After dawn, HMS Glasgow disappeared over the horizon. Some of Hopkins ships in the fleet did attempt to chase however, the cannonade had cut the tiller ropes of USS Alfred, leaving Hopkins' flagship unable to maneuver or to pursue the fleeing British ship. The USS Andrew Doria also sustained damage and was in need of repairs. Hopkins quickly became reluctant over his decision to chase HMS Glasgow due to the situation and continued to New London, Rhode Island. Four Marines wounded and seven killed; Lieutenant John Fitzpatrick was the first Continental marine killed in combat.
He formed his squadron into a scouting formation of two columns: the right (eastern) column was headed by the USS Cabot, followed by Hopkins' flagship, the USS Alfred; and the left (western) column was headed by the USS Andrew Doria, followed by the USS Columbus; behind these came the USS Providence, with USS Fly and USS Wasp, trailing further behind as escorts for the prizes. Hopkins's squadron reached New London on 8 April 1776.
After refitting the damaged ships in his fleet, Commodore Hopkins then proceed to Block Island, reaching it by 16 April 1776, with six of his warships, and his four small prize ships.
On the banks of Newfoundland, USS Andrew Doria captured two armed transports filled with soldiers, and made prizes of so many merchantmen that when he returned to the Delaware. Biddle retained but five of his original crew, the rest having been placed on board prizes.
Interim: March–December 1776
As the Commander-in-Chief Esek Hopkins's Continental fleet sailed on its maiden voyage for New Providence, in the Bahamas; in February, the Marine Committee fitted out other Continental vessels, two brigantines —the USS Lexington and USS Reprisal, of 16-guns each; and the sloops USS Independence and USS Sachem, of 10-guns each; and USS Mosquito of 4-guns. These ships cruised along the littoral edge of the Middle Colonies.
USS Lexington—HMS Edward
On 26 March 1776, Captain John Barry was issued orders from the Marine Committee to sail his seamen and Continental marines aboard the USS Lexington and USS Wasp (commandeered by William Hallock) down the Delaware River to dispose the British frigate HMS Roebuck that was recently sighted offshore the capes of Delaware. They set sail on 31 March, and managed to slip through the British blockade. However, the next day [7 April], USS Lexington encountered the sloop HMS Edward, off the capes of Virginia.
HMS Edward is a destroyer tender for the British man-of-war HMS Liverpool. After a desperate fight—of one hour and twenty minutes—between the American and British forces, the American sailor and marines eventually overwhelmed the British, HMS Edward finally struck her colors. This event became the American navy's first victory over a British warship. USS Lexington sailed back for repairs. April 7, in sight of the Virginia capes, Captain John Barry of the USS Lexington reported to the Marine Committee:
- "I have the pleasure to acquaint you that at one P.M. this day I fell in with the sloop Edward, belonging to the Liverpool frigate. She engaged us near two glasses. They killed two of our men and wounded two more. We shattered her in a terrible manner, as you will see. We killed and wounded several of her crew. I shall give you a particular account of the powder and arms taken out of her, as well as my proceedings in general. I have the happiness to acquaint you that all our people behaved with much courage."—Pennsylvania Gazette, April 17, 1776.
Once the ship was refitted, Captain John Barry (USS Lexington) sailed back out to sea on 26 April.
USS Lexington—HMS Roebuck
While sailing the Delaware Capes, on 5 May 1776, Captains John Barry (USS Lexington) and William Hallock (USS Wasp), and its destroyer tenders, encountered Sir Peter Parker's fleet of two British men-of-war, the 44-gun HMS Roebuck and 28-gun HMS Liverpool, escorted by a number of tenders and prizes, which were sailing to attack Charleston, South Carolina. In the past, they had been raiding colonies, destroying tobacco farms, blockading merchants, in an effort to disrupt the commerce that helps finance the American Revolutionary War. The British fleet, having the advantage in fire superiority gave chase after eight hours of close-proximity cannonade. However, Captain Barry (USS Lexington) finally managed to escape his pursuers and Captain Hallock (USS Wasp) retreated into Christiana Creek. The HMS Roebuck was considerably injured in her rigging and, in attempting to get near the galleys, grounded on a shoal; the HMS Liverpool anchored near by for her protection. USS Reprisal and USS Hornet was in the bay nearby, although they took no part in the action, may have contributed to the discomfort of the Englishmen's situation.
During the night, on 8 May, USS Roebuck finally cast off and the British dropped down the river. Captain Hallock (USS Wasp) slipped back out of Christiana Creek, joining Captain Barry (USS Lexington); both sailed out to join below Chester by thirteen Pennsylvania navy galleys. The galleys followed and another action took place, an engagement that lasted all the afternoon. An American prisoner, impressed on board the HMS Roebuck, says that the galleys:
- "…attacked the men-of-war the second day with more courage and conduct [and] the Roebuck received many shots betwixt wind and water; some went quite through, some in her quarter, and was much raked fore and aft… During the engagement one man was killed by a shot which took his arm almost off. Six were much hurt and burned by an eighteen-pound cartridge of powder taking fire, among whom was an acting lieutenant."
During the ensuing engagement, Capt. Hallock's seamen and the Continental marines captured the British brigantine HMS Betsey. The British ships then retreated. In his official report to the admiral the captain of the HMS Roebuck says:
- "On the 5th of May I took the Liverpool with me, sailed up the River as far as Wilmington, where I was attacked in a shallow part of the River by thirteen Row Gallies attended by several FireShips and Launches, which in two long Engagements I beat off and did my utmost to destroy… After having fully executed what I had in view, I returned to the Capes the 15th."
An evening later, lightning struck the USS Lexington, forcing the ship to return home for repairs. Captain Barry and Captain William Hallock took their ship prizes into Philadelphia to be fitted for naval service in the Continental navy, arriving on 26 September 1776. , the British officers were placed in jail. Captain John Barry cited his seamen and marines for fighting "with much courage." Two days later, Captain John Barry relinquished his command of the USS Lexington.
USS Lexington—Lady Susan
On 10 July 1776, the USS Lexington, commandeered by sailed out to sea. On the 27 July, USS Lexington encountered the privateer Lady Susan from Lord Dunmore's tory fleet, which had been operating in and out of the Chesapeake Bay. Lady Susan was commanded by William Goodrich, a member of the notorious Tory family who had been harassing the merchant water routes of the colonies of Virginia and Maryland. Seven crew members from the captured privateer signed on for service with the Continental navy aboard USS Lexington; one of the volunteers was Richard Dale becoming Capt. Barry's midshipman, who later won fame under John Paul Jones.
Pennsylvania Nancy—HMS Kingfisher
The Continental marines aboard Captain Lambert Wickes's USS Reprisal sailed the Delaware River, and its approaches; and had been assisting other Continental vessels in service, for a few months seeing no sea battles until May 1776, when two British frigates were raiding colony of Pennsylvania's system of forts, barriers, and small warships created by the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety.
On 10 June 1776, Captain Wickes, was ordered by the Marine Committee to proceed to the French island possession of Martinique, in the Caribbean. The Committee of Secret Correspondence of Continental Congress, issued orders for USS Reprisal to go acquire munitions and matériel, and bring them for General Washington's Continental army. In addition, Captain Wickes was also assigned a diplomatic mission to transport William Bingham, an ambassador for the United Colonies, to his awaiting post. However, they did not cast sail immediately at once to the West Indies; by end of the month Captain Wickes (USS Reprisal) was still in Delaware Bay.
Captains Lambert Wickes (USS Reprisal) and John Barry (USS Lexington) both met at the lower approaches of the Delaware River, on 20 June, as the both reached the Cape May) in the Delaware Bay. Momentarily, Captains Wickes and Barry enjoined USS Wasp and USS Hornet later the same day.
On 28 June, just as Captain Wickes (USS Reprisal) turned to sail toward the Atlantic inbound on their Caribbean assignment, they spotting the Pennsylvania navy's six-gun Nancy attempting to elude six British men-of-war blockaders and their tenders; still sailing, Nancy engaged the smaller tenders and managed to beat them off. The notorious British ship HMS Liverpool had been known to be enforcing the British blockade, preventing American ships from escaping to sea. The Pennsylvanian brigantine was returning from St. Croix and St. Thomas of the Virgin Islands, with 386 barrels of gunpowder, ammunition and military stores for the Continental army. The Reprisal and USS Lexington came to help aid Nancy's, while under cover of a fog she was run ashore near Cape May, as its captain made an attempt to save the ship's precious cargo. As the fog soon lifted, they seen British sending in boats. Under fire, both, all four Continental vessels concentrated their cannons and musketry in preventing the British crew of HMS Kingfisher from boarding Nancy. During the engagement, the Continental marines and sailors mounted a gun on shore and opened fire on the men-of-war. Captain Wickes's third-lieutenant and brother Richard Wickes, lost his life during the fight. The gunpowder was rowed ashore during the night, by morning the Americans left about 100 barrels of powder in the hold. Captain USS Nancy's captain and crew then set the brig on fire, with a large quantity of powder being still on board. The ship exploded as the British troops were boarding the brig Nancy:
- "and took possession of her with three cheers; soon after which the fire took the desired effect and blew the pirates forty or fifty yards into the air and much shattered one of their boats under her stern. Eleven dead bodies have since come on shore with two gold-laced hats and a leg with a garter. From the great number of limbs floating and driven ashore it is supposed thirty or forty of them were destroyed by the explosion."
However, the British have another account of the incident:
- "…boarded amidst a heavy fire from the shore, where thousands of people had assembled to protect her. Finding it impossible to get her off, we set her on fire, with orders to quit her without loss of time, as we found her cargo consisted of three hundred and sixty barrels of powder with some saltpeter and dry goods; but unfortunately, before we had all left her, she blew up and a mate and six men was blown to pieces in her. The oars of the other boats were all knocked to atoms and two men had their ribs broke; but considering the whole, we was amazingly fortunate, as the pieces of the vessel was falling all round for some time."
USS Reprisal—HMS Shark
Captain Wickes, and the Continental sailors and marines of USS Reprisal cleared Delaware Capes with thirteen merchantmen flanking at a safe distance; in the voyage they took and manned three prizes with sailors and marines, which left Captain Wickes'w fleet spread too thin while being very short-handed. After helping the captain and crew of the Pennsylvanian brigantine Nancy (who remained aboard USS Lexington), Wickes proceeds to the south for the Caribbean. They sailed on July 3 for the West Indies, with their passenger, William Bingham the American commercial and naval agent, appointed to Martinique.
On July 27, as they approached off the coast of St. Pierre, Martinique, Captain Wickes (USS Reprisal) encountered the British 16-gun sloop-of-war HMS Shark and accompanying fleet of ships coming out of the harbor. A brutal cannonade erupted between the British and Americans. Captain Wickes prevailed in the battle and was able to acquire a few prizes in the event, beating the British off and escaping into port. Captain Chapman of the HMS Shark says that at half-past five that afternoon a ship was seen coming around the northern point of the bay and was suspected of being an American. At seven the HMS Shark slipped her cables and made sail. Half an hour later the USS Reprisal attacked.
- "We wore and stood towards him & haild him twice in French, to which he made no answer; we afterwards haild him in English, he continued to make sail from us & made no reply. At 9 fir'd a shot ahead of him and haild in English, told him we was an English Man of War; he made no answer, but bore down and fired a Broadside into us, which we returned immediately and continued engaging 1/2 an hour, then he back'd his Maintops & dropt astern & afterwards tack'd; 1/4 past 10 we tack'd & stood towards him, at 1/2 past 10 they fired two shot at us from the shore, which occasioned us to bear away; he kept his Wind and anchord in the Bay." 
Wickes says that be replied to both the French and English hail of the HMS Shark and that the latter fired a shot at ten o'clock followed by three others in succession, to which the USS Reprisal returned four, whereupon the English made sail in order to withdraw from the contest. A French officer on shore thought that the English fire was the more rapid and better delivered. He says that after parting from the USS Reprisal, the HMS Shark chased a schooner, which took refuge under a battery; whereupon the battery fired two shots at the HMS Shark. The next day they returned to their anchorage in the harbor.
The USS Reprisal returned to Philadelphia on 13 September 1776 and the sloop USS Independence, commandeered by Captain John Young, was sent out to take command of USS Reprisal.
USS Lexington—HMS Pearl
With USS Lexington's repairs completed, Capt. William Hallock as its new commander sailed for Cap-Français (Cape Francois) to obtain a military cargo. On the return voyage, British frigate HMS Pearl overhauled the brigantine just short of the Delaware Capes, on 20 December, and captured her. The commander of the frigate removed USS Lexington’s officers but left 70 of her men on board under hatches with a prize crew. By luring their captors with a promise of rum, the Yankee sailors recaptured the ship and brought her to Baltimore, Maryland.
USS Andrew Doria—HMS Racehorse, 1776
Under order of the Secret Committee, Captain Isaiah Robinson sailed the Continental navy brigantine USS Andrew Doria down the Delaware River, on 17 October, for a Caribbean voyage to the Netherlands Antilles in the West Indies. Continental Congress issued authorization for the Marine Committee to obtain a cargo of munitions and military supplies from the Dutch island Sint Eustatius. Since the island sold weapons and ammunition to anyone willing to pay, the island was one of the few ways to obtain matériels for General Washington's Continental army; also the commerce established good relations between Sint Eustatius and the United Colonies.
Upon arrival on 16 November 1776, USS Andrew Doria fired its cannon a 11-guns salute; the Dutch governor Johannes de Graaff of Sint Eustatius decided to return the salute fire from Fort Oranje, rendering the foreign military first gun salute to an American guidon flying aboard an American naval ship, while anchored in a foreign port. Although the Dutch government later denied acknowledgment of the affair due to complaints by the British. However Governor Johannes de Graaff later recalled the statement. When the brig had loaded her cargo, she got underway for New England.
On 15 November 1776, while sailing past Puerto Rico on her homeward voyage, USS Andrew Doria encountered the Royal Navy's 12-gun sloop-of-war HMS Racehorse. The sailors and marines fought for two-hour battle until they force the British to strike their colors (or surrender). Robinson placed a crew of seamen and marines aboard the captured prize with orders to take her to back to Philadelphia, reaching it by January 1777.
In late November 1776, General Washington's Continental army positions along the Hudson River collapsed from the concurring assaults of British forces. In emergency response Washington requested assistance of a brigade of Philadelphia militia, a company of local seamen, and Major Nicholas's four companies of Continental marines. George Washington wrote a staunchly letter to John Cadwalader, a brigadier general of the Pennsylvania Associators:
- "...if they came out resolved to act upon Land...instead their Services to the Water only."—George Washington to John Cadwalader, 7 December 1776
On 2 December 1776, Major Samuel Nicholas and his three of his available companies—other two being Isaac Craig's and Robert Mullan's companies—of marines, garrisoned at the Marine barracks in Philadelphia, were tasked to reinforce Washington's retreating army from New York through Trenton, to slow the progress of British troops that were moving southward through New Jersey. The Major Nicholas and his companies of marines marched off to aid in support an American army for the first time in history; he led a battalion of 130 officers and enlisted men from Philadelphia,  leaving behind one company to man the Continental vessels. Unsure what to do with the marines, Washington requested that the marines be attached to a brigade militiamen from the Philadelphia Associators, in which were also dressed in green uniforms alike of the Continental marines. Thus, Nicholas and his marines joined Calwalader's brigade of Pennsylvania Associators, a force of 1,200 men. The marines lived side-by-side with the militia brigade in Bristol, Pennsylvania for two weeks waiting for an attack from the British. However, the British army instead went into winter quarters along the New Jersey shore of the Delaware River.
General Washington attack the German garrison at Trenton on 25 December, though Calwalader's brigade (including the Continental marines under Samuel Nicholas) were unable to arrive in time to affect the battle for Trenton, due to problems crossing the ice-choked Delaware River. Cadwalader finally crossed the river on 27 December on his own initiative, reaching Trenton by 2 January as Washington concentrated his army. As Cadwalader and his brigade managed to reach Trenton on 2 January from across the Delaware River, the Continental marines watched the cannonade between the Continental Army and Lord Cornwallis' British Army at Assunpink Creek. The marines helped defend a crucial bridge against a Hessian attack. 
On the night of 3 January, Calwalader's brigade (including Major Nicholas's battalion of Continental marines) and General Washington's Army silently departs the battlefield and marches toward Princeton. By daybreak, they launched a two-pronged attack. The first prong of attack, led by Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, a close friend of George Washington, attacked a British stronghold. Mercer's brigade ran into heavy, well-disciplined musketry of two British regiments that were emplaced in front of Princeton, Mercer's brigade position soon collapsed. Calwalader's brigade (and marines) came to the assistance, but too stumbled into the British infantry forcing them to fall back. The second prong of attack caught the British in open flank, scattering three British regiments. It gave Washington's forces the advantage to take Princeton. The battle for Princeton was the first engagement that the Continental marines fought and died in battle.
On 4 January, the remaining three marine companies encamped at its winter quartering at Sweets Town, not far from Washington's bivouac at Jockey Hollow, Morristown in New Jersey. From 1 February 1777 and throughout the winter, the two companies of Nicholas's and Craig's marines either transferred to Morristown to assume the roles in the Continental artillery batteries, or left the service altogether. Robert Mullan and his company went back to Philadelphia, only to find that they no longer have a ship to serve aboard.
St. Mary’s Isle–Whitehaven, 1778
On 23 April 1778, John Paul Jones and the Continental sailors and marines aboard USS Ranger made a raid on the British port of Whitehaven, Great Britain. The seamen of USS Ranger set fire to ships and spiked the cannon of the fort. Later that same day, they land on St. Mary Isle to capture a British earl, but find him away from home, and instead they take the family silver. The next day [24 April], USS Ranger and her marines defeat the British sloop HMS Drake in the Irish Sea.
Lake Ponchartrain, 1778
On 10 January, a company of Marines under Navy Captain James Willing depart Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania for an expedition, in the armed boat USS Rattletrap. They sail into the Ohio River en route to New Orleans.
Captain Willing and the Marines from USS Rattletrap captured the British sloop HMS Rebecca while sailing down the Mississippi River. They were able to temporarily weaken the British hold on the waterway from occupation. They raided British Loyalist plantations along on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain. Marines from the frigate USS Randolph help extinguish a huge blaze on 15 January in Charleston, South Carolina, that destroyed hundred of buildings. They seized the forts, and captured five ships in the harbor.
A group under Navy Captain James Willing left Pittsburgh, traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and captured a prize ship, which later becomes known as USS Morris in the Continental Navy Sailors and marines brought by ship from the Gulf of Mexico, raided British Loyalists on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain on 10 September 1779.
Continental Marines landed and briefly captured Nautilus Island and the Majabagaduce peninsula in the Penobscot expedition in 1779, but withdrew with heavy losses when Commodore Dudley Saltonstall's force failed to capture the nearby fort.
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