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Friday, July 24, 2015

Simcoe on the Peninsula 1781

John Graves Simcoe
"The Queen's Rangers returned to Petersburg that evening; and his Lordship's whole army arrived there the next day, the 20th of May[1781]: they marched opposite to Westover, and passed the James river on the 24th. Lt Col. Simcoe, while at Westover, received a letter from Gen. Lee, with whom he had been acquainted whilst that gentleman was prisoner in the Jersies, pointing out the enormities committed by the privateers: the proper representation was made to Earl Cornwallis, who took measures to prevent the future misconduct of these licensed miscreants, by representing them to Sir Henry Clinton.
 The army marched towards the Chickahominy, and arrived at Bottom bridge on the 28th. Lt Col. Simcoe, with his cavalry, by a circuit, passed the Chickahominy, and patrolled to New-Castle, where he seized some rebel officers; and on his return, imposed upon and took several Virginia gentlemen, who were watching the motions of Earl Cornwallis. In the evening his Lordship marched; and Lt Col Simcoe halted during the night, and then followed the army; perhaps not without utility, as the rear was uncommonly long, and the road running, in many places, through thickets, patroles(sic) of the enemy might easily have taken a great many stragglers. He divided his cavalry into small parties, left them at different distances, and collected the tired men as well as possible, which was not in the power of the infantry, that formed the rear guard, to effect. Capt Cooke's troop joined the Queen's Rangers, from New-York, but army halted near New-Castle on the 29th, and marched to Hanover Court-house the next day, where some large brass cannon, without carriages, were found, and attempted to be destroyed."

-from Simcoe's military journal : a history of the operations of a partisan corps, called the Queen's Rangers, commanded by Lieut. Col. J.G. Simcoe, during the war of the American Revolution

More on Simcoe and the Queens's Rangers

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