When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few.
July 28, 1779 Americans defeated at Penobscot
The British sent about 700 men aboard three small warships to land in Penobscot Bay. They intended to establish the province of New Ireland and to hold the coast for Britain. So they began to build a fort atop a high bluff overlooking the bay. The commonwealth sent a fleet of 42 ships — including 18 warships — to oust the British. It was the largest fleet assembled in the entire Revolutionary War. What followed was a series of terrible decisions, miscommunication and general battlefield incompetence. The commander of the American army, Solomon Lovell, refused to attack the fort unless the three British ships are destroyed and Commander Dudley Saltonstall, who led the American fleet, refused to attack the ships unless the fort was taken. The British, during that bungle, managed to get a message to New York to request reinforcements. A fleet of seven ships was immediately dispatched. In the meantime, the British — under siege by the immobile Americans — continued to build the walls of the fort higher and offload guns from their ships. The whole fleet is burned. Only one American ship out of 42 escapes.
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