Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Patriots Saved Pelham's Cattle from the British Early in the Revolutionary War

Throughout the Revolutionary War Pelham was subject to the depradations of British foraging parties. The very day of the Battle of Long Island (also known as the Battle of Brooklyn) on August 27, 1776, one such foraging party moved up the Long Island Sound to the Town of Pelham.

On August 28, 1776, Colonel Joseph Drake wrote a letter from New Rochelle describing what happened the previous day in Pelham. In it he described a British ship that landed troops on City Island (then part of the Town of Pelham) to plunder cattle and poultry. He wrote:

"The enemy lay yesterday and all last night by Hart Island; this morning they removed a little to the southward of Minefords (City) Island, where they at present lay. They have not been able to plunder much. They got from Minefords Island four horned cattle and some poultry, which is all we have been able to learn they have plundered. I immediately sent Captain Hunt, with about fifty men from New Rochelle who, with the help of a part of Colonel Graham's Regiment drove off all the cattle from the Island, to the amount of thirty odd head."

Source: Hufeland, Otto, Westchester County During the American Revolution 1775 ~ 1783, p. 108 (Privately Printed 1926) (citing Force, American Archives, 5th Series).

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