3 March 1776

Two weeks to the day after leaving Cape Henlopen, Delaware, ships of the Continental Fleet under Esek Hopkins rendezvoused three leagues north of Nassau harbor in the early morning hours of Sunday, 3 March 1776. The sounds of alarm that greeted the Americans’ careless show of force argued the wisdom of an in­direct attack against Fort Monragu, the weaker of the two forts which guarded the island of New Providence. A short time before noon, 230 Marines and 50 seamen under the command of Marine Captain Samuel N icholas jumped from longboats into the surf, about two miles east of the fort. Carrying Tower muskets, cartridge boxes, bayonets, and wearing a variety of civilian coats, white vests and breeches, and hats, the Marines gathered ashore in preparation for their march toward the fort. The Continental Marines; in their first amphibious assault, cap­tured Fort Montagu in a battle as “bemused as it was bloodless.” After resting the night in their prize, the invasion force completed the job of securing the island by taking Fort Nassau and arresting Governor Montfort Browne the next morning. But Browne and his council had the last laugh, for while the Marines rested in Fort Montagu and the Continental Fleet stood far to the east, Browne managed to deprive the Americans of the gun­powder they had sought by sending it out the unguarded harbor to St. Augustine, Florida, and safety. Angered by the loss, Hopkins had the forts and town stripped bare of cannon and cartridge before departing the island with the fleet on 17 March 1776.

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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