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.
November 16, 1776 Fort Washington taken by British
After winning a major victory on Long Island the British began to move against Manhattan in mid-September. Unwilling to abandon New York City, Washington ordered General Nathanael Greene to defend the stronghold. Though hastily constructed, Fort Washington prevented on British warships from sailing up the Hudson River. It was similarly successful in repulsing Hessian attacks in early November. These early successes gave Greene and Colonel Robert Magaw, the fort’s garrison commander, a false sense of security.
Seeing how precarious the American position was, General Howe launched a three-pronged assault on Fort Washington and its outer defensive works. The combined British-Hessian assault force of 8,000 men grossly outnumbered the fort’s 3,000 defenders. At 3:00 P.M., after a fruitless attempt to gain gentler surrender terms for his men, Magaw surrendered Fort Washington and its 2,800 surviving defenders to the British.
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