Flag Raising at New Providence 28 January 1778

Shortly after his arrival at Georgetown, South Carolina, Captain John Peck Rathbun of the sloop Providence was informed by a merchant captain who had just returned from the Bahamas that the Mary had put into Nassau for repairs. The news immediately brought back memories of his brief encounter with the enemy brig off New York several months before. In the short but heated battle, Rathbun’s well-liked sailing master, George Sinkins, was killed. Now, wrote his captain of Marines, John Trevett, “we ware. Dererrnind to Take Fort Nassau and then we Could Have Command of the Town and Harber and take What we Pleased.”
About midnight on 27 January 1778, after a month’s sailing, the Providence dropped anchor off the western point of Hog Island, and the sloop’s barge was lowered into the water. Twenty-six Marines, under Marine Captain Trevett, filled their pockets with extra cartridges and went ashore, landing a mile west of Fort Nassau. Cautioning his men to remain silent, he and his Marines made their way through on opening in the palisade, over the fort ‘s stone wall, and quickly captured the two-man British garrison. At day­break the following morning, Trevett had the Stars and Stripes hoisted over the decaying fort. After capturing the Mary and two other schooners in the harbor, Trevett maintained an elaborate scheme to convince the islanders that there was a large force in the fort throughout the next two days. By the 30th of January, the captured vessels were manned and ready for sea. Only Trevett and a few Marines remained ashore to complete the evacuation. As soon as Trevett and his men were on board, the Providence and her captives put to sea for New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

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