Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lieutenant Colonel Edward Vaughn Dongan (Loyalist Staten Islander)

Lieutenant Colonel Edward Vaughn Dongan, commander of the 3rd Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers in Skinner's Loyalist brigade was mortally wounded in a skirmish, midway between the Old Blazing Star Ferry and Prince's Bay. He was taken to a local farm (which I have yet to identify).  It may very well be The Abraham Manee Farmhouse in Prince's Bay, where British redoubts have been discovered nearby.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lookout Place, the British Garrison at Richmondtowne, Staten Island

Lookout Place or Fort Hill was a Revolutionary War British garrison, or earthen mound-fortress at the top of LaTourette Hill in Historic Richmondtown, Staten Island, New York. The redoubt was constructed in 1776 by British Regulars during the occupation of Richmond County. General William Howe planned his successful capture of New York City while encamped on the Island, along with 30,000 British and Hessian soldiers joining after the arrival of his brother Admiral Richard Howe. The fort overlooked the Old Mill Road, Fresh Kills St. Andrews Church and the town of Richmond, then referred to as Cuckoldstown, in the valley just below LaTourette Hill.

The hilltop was widely denuded of trees by the British during the war, allowing the soldiers to have unobstructed views of Lower New York Bay and the Arthur Kill. Extensive archeological digs have taken place at the turn of the last century, revealing all manner of British accuetrament, from remnants of weaponry to soldier coat buttons, shoe buckles and pottery fragments.

Robert Rogers created a new unit while encamped at Richmondtown called The Queen's Rangers named after Charlotte, wife of King George III. It grew to 937 officers and men organized into eleven companies of about thirty men each and an additional five troops of cavalry.

Rogers did not prove successful in this command and he left the unit on January 29, 1777.  On October 15, 1777, John Graves Simcoe was given command. He turned the Queen's Rangers into one of the most successful British regiments in the war.

The Narrows, the entrance to New York Harbor (c. 1800)