October 21, 1776 Report to the New-York Convention Regarding the Battle of Pelham
Only three days after the Battle of Pelham fought on October 18, 1776, the New-York Convention received a brief report regarding the battle. The report included estimates of the losses of both armies. This is particularly interesting because the losses of the British and German troops during the battle have been a raging controversy for a hundred and fifty years or longer. According to the report, the British and German troops lost about 100 men killed. That number is far below many reports of the total number of British and German troops killed during the battle. This author is particularly intrigued by the report because the high estimates of British and German battle casualties reported by British deserters after the battle (and by others) have never seemed consistent with reality. That said, no definitive record of the German troop losses has ever been discovered.
Immediately below is the report to the New-York Convention, followed by a citation to its source.
"INFORMATION RELATING TO THE ENEMY, COMMUNICATED TO THE NEW-YORK CONVENTION.
October 21, 1776.
On Friday last the main body of the enemy's army decamped from Frog's Point, and landed on Pell's or Rodman's Neck, east of the East-chester creek, commonly called the Manor of Pelham. Soon after their landing, three regiment's of my brother's brigade, commanded at present by Colonel Glover, attacked their advanced party, and repulsed them, killing it is supposed about one hundred; but they being sustained by their main body, our detachment was ordered off, and they accordingly retreated with the utmost good order, losing in the whole action only twenty-three killed and wounded. The enemy have since moved slowly eastward, and now lay from where they first landed extended about one mile east of New-Rochelle. Our army lays in their front, about two and a half miles distant; the left wing at White-Plains, the right at this place, where my brigade now is; but I think it probable in a day or two I shall be ordered to the left, in which case I shall be nearer to you, the only reason I can have to wish it.
A few days ago General Mercer went to Staten-Island, with about two thousand men, and took twenty-seven prisoners, Hessians and Highlanders, and killed three or four. He lost about three men, and indeed was very near surrounding and defeating the whole of the enemy. They have since ordered a brigade to reinforce that island, and I daily expect to hear some good news from Long-Island. The enemy has had a small reinforcement arrived of Light-Horse, &c., within a few days.
I don't recollect any thing else worth mentioning, nor have I time for recollection."
Source: Force, Peter, ed., American Archives: Consisting Of A Collection of Authentick Records, State Papers, Debates, and Letters and Other Notices of Public Affairs, The Whole Forming a Documentary History of the Origin and Progress of the North American Colonies; of the Causes and Accomplishment of the American Revolution; and of the Constitution of Government for the United States, to the Final Ratification Thereof. In Six Series, pp. 1167-68 (Washington, D.C.: 1837-53).
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I have written extensively about the Battle of Pelham fought on October 18, 1776. See, for example, the following 37 articles:
Bell, Blake A., The Battle of Pelham: October 18, 1776, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 41, Oct. 15, 2004, p. 10, col. 1.
Bell, Blake, History of the Village of Pelham: Revolutionary War, HistoricPelham.com Archive (visited May 9, 2014).
Mon., Feb. 28, 2005: Glover's Rock on Orchard Beach Road Does Not Mark the Site of the Battle of Pelham.
Mon., Apr. 18, 2005: Restored Battle of Pelham Memorial Plaque Is Unveiled at Glover Field.
Fri., May 27, 2005: 1776, A New Book By Pulitzer Prize Winner David McCullough, Touches on the Battle of Pelham.
Thu., Jul. 14, 2005: Pelham's 1926 Pageant Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Pelham.
Wed., Oct. 26, 2005: Remnants of the Battlefield on Which the Battle of Pelham Was Fought on October 18, 1776. Fri., May 19, 2006: Possible Remains of a Soldier Killed in the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776 Found in 1921.
Fri., Aug. 11, 2006: Article by William Abbatt on the Battle of Pelham Published in 1910.
Thu., Sep. 21, 2006: A Paper Addressing the Battle of Pelham, Among Other Things, Presented in 1903.
Mon., Oct. 30, 2006: Brief Biographical Data About Sir Thomas Musgrave, British Lieutenant Colonel Wounded at the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Wed., Nov. 1, 2006: Two British Military Unit Histories that Note Participation in the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Tue., Jan. 16, 2007: Brief Biography of British Officer Who Served During the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Fri., Feb. 09, 2007: Extract of October 23, 1776 Letter Describing British Troops in Eastchester After the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Mon., Feb. 12, 2007: Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Opens New Exhibition: "Overlooked Hero: John Glover and the American Revolution."
Thu., Jan. 18, 2007: Three More British Military Unit Histories that Note Participation in the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Mon., Jul. 16, 2007: Mention of the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776 in Revolutionary War Diary of David How.
Tue., Jul. 17, 2007: Mention of the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776 in Writings of Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Aide-de-Camp to British General Clinton.
Wed., Jul. 18, 2007: Another British Military Unit History that Notes Participation in the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Tue., Aug. 7, 2007: An Account of the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776 Contained in the McDonald Papers Published in 1926.
Wed., Aug. 8, 2007: A Description of an Eyewitness Account of the Interior of St. Paul's Church in Eastchester During the Revolutionary War.
Thu., Sep. 6, 2007: Information About St. Paul's Church, the Battle of Pelham and Other Revolutionary War Events Near Pelham Contained in an Account Published in 1940.
Mon., Oct. 8, 2007: American Troops Who Guarded Pelham's Shores in October 1776.
Fri., Oct. 12, 2007: Images of The Lord Howe Chestnut that Once Stood in the Manor of Pelham.
Fri., Oct. 27, 2006: Orders Issued by British Major General The Honourable William Howe While Encamped in Pelham After the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Thu., Jan. 22, 2009: Another Brief Biography of Sir Thomas Musgrave, a British Officer Wounded at the Battle of Pelham on October 18 1776.
Wed., Feb. 17, 2010: British Report on Killed, Wounded and Missing Soldiers During the Period the Battle of Pelham Was Fought on October 18, 1776.
Fri., Apr. 23, 2010: Charles Blaskowitz, Surveyor Who Created Important Map Reflecting the Battle of Pelham.
Thu., Feb. 06, 2014: A Description of the Revolutionary War Battle of Pelham Published in 1926 for the Sesquicentennial Celebration.
Mon., May 19, 2014: Biography of British Officer Who Fought in the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Wed., Jun. 04, 2014: An Account of the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776 Presented and Published in 1894.
Fri., Jun. 27, 2014: Newly-Published Account Concludes Colonel William Shepard Was Wounded During the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Mon., Jun. 30, 2014: A British Lieutenant in the Twelfth Foot Who Fought at the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Fri., Sep. 19, 2014: Abel Deveau, An American Skirmisher on Rodman's Neck as British and Germans Landed Before the Battle of Pelham.
Wed., Sep. 17, 2014: References to the Battle of Pelham in 18th Century Diary of Ezra Stiles, President of Yale College.
Fri., Oct. 17, 2014: First-Hand Diary Account of Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Mon., Oct. 20, 2014: American Diary Account of Events Before, During, and After the Battle of Pelham on October 18, 1776.
Tue., Oct. 21, 2014: November 1, 1776 Letter Describing the Battle of Pelham and Events Before and After the Battle.