Wampanoag Thanksgivings

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Portsmouth has its roots in Wampanoag culture and we should celebrate that. This is a reblog from a couple of years ago but it is relevant today.


At Thanksgiving time I am thinking about the Wampanoag heritage of Aquidneck Island. I recently read Mayflower by Philbrick for a book club. There is more scholarly work about the roots of our Thanksgiving feast. Often our focus is on the Pilgrims, but maybe we forget about the Native American traditions of thanksgiving. So many of our Thanksgiving stories are more legend than good historical research.

The Pilgrims did not introduce the concept of a harvest celebration. Wampanoag culture celebrated at least five thanksgivings – some believe there was one for each full moon. I came across the celebrations when I was a librarian at Elmhurst School. There were beautiful picture books about “Strawberry Thanksgiving” and the origins of the Cranberry Thanksgiving. Strawberry Thanksgiving is a summer celebration when the first berry ripens. Green Bean and Green Corn Harvest come in mid summer. Cranberry Thanksgiving celebrates the ripening of the…

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A Hessian View of the Rhode Island Campaign

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The diary of Johann Conrad Dohla gives us a unique account of the Rhode Island Campaign. Dohla was one of the Hessian (German) troops whose services were sold to George III to fight against the Rebels in the American Revolution. He arrived in America in 1777 as a private in the Ansbach-Rayreuth group of Hessians. In June of 1777 he arrived in Newport, Rhode Island. In this blog I will include part of his diary entries from August 1778 that help us understand what was happening on Aquidneck Island (Rhode Island) during the Rhode Island Campaign.

August 7, 1778

Our Bayreuth Regiment sent a large command to the region beyond Tonimy Hill. All Turkish and Indian corn and all other grains on Rhode Island were destroyed. All stone walls and fences around the fields were torn down. All trees were chopped down, and many houses torn down and burned down in order to detect sooner the arrival of the enemy crossing over from New England.

August 9, 1778

…. During the night, after tattoo (a military lights out), our regiment had to fall out in the greatest haste and march forward three English miles because the rebels were crossing over to Rhode Island in many boats. We remained under the open sky throughout the night and the next morning returned to our camp. Also during the night a Hessian ensign and three men, and an English lieutenant and two men, went over to the enemy.

August 11, 1778.

We moved our camp about one hour forward and again set up our tents near Tominy Hill. This Tominy Hill, an exceptionally strong hill fortification on a high cliff, is the place to which our troops would fall back in an emergency.

August 17, 1778

At work on the fortifications. We laid out a line and dug the trench. Everywhere batteries and redoubts, as well as connecting trenches, were completed all along our line, and everything soundly reinforced with wood. The fortifications work continued day and night without let up, and we had many hardships. Within or lines ten principal fortified points were played out namely: 1. Stone Battery, 2. The North Trench, 3. Somerset, 4. The Irish Redoubt, 5. Fort Fanning, 6. Fort Clinton, 7. Fort Percy, 8. the Ice Redoubt, 9. Prince Dauneck, and 10, Conanicut. The enemy, in a little less than an hour, set up a big camp opposite, set his posts and sentries very near us, and fortified himself in the region of Boxland Ferry.

August 19, 1778

At noon today the enemy, after completing his battery on this side of the heights, began to fire cannon at our camp and defenses and to throw in bombs. Therefore we had to change our front and camped all together behind the fortifications of Tominy Hill as we camped in front of it previously. eHere we were safe from the balls and bombs. The batteries and fortifications of both sides fired heavily, and that continued unceasingly, only ending during the blackness of night.

August 22, 1778

In the morning I went on work detail at the fortifications. During the night the French ships, which had been before the Newport Harbor, disappeared and no one knew where they had gone.

August 28, 1778

This night a 25 man picket from our regiment, commanded by Lt. Ciracy, was attacked by a strong party of Americans, who had crept up through a field of Indian corn. One of our men was killed in this action, and three men were wounded. The enemy, however, had to pull back and take flight. Also tonight, the Americans withdrew the artillery with which they had been firing at us and their heavy baggage to New England, but continuously harassed our outposts in order to cover their withdrawal.

August 29, 1778

When during the early morning, we began to fire our cannon at the enemy, there was no answer in return. Therefore, two thousand men from the army, including our two regiments, were ordered to search out and pursue the retreating enemy, They marched for about three English miles, where they caught up with the enemy, who opposed us as much as possible and, grouped together in order to frustrate our attack, amounted to about ten thousand men. Finally, when the cannon began firing at them, they took flight. They were pursued, and the firing from both sides lasted throughout the day. In our advance we had to climb over many stone walls, five to six feet high, which served as fences around the fields. The enemy often took post behind these and fired through the openings where stones had been removed. Despite this difficulty, we chased them back into their fortifications, of which one, called “Windmill Hill,” had many heavy cannon. Since a farther advance was not advisable, we stood still until the cannon arrived; from which time, throughout the day, each side fired against the other.

During this heavy fighting our regiment, as we were on the left wing, engaged in combat the entire day. We lost no more than three me….They were killed by a cannonball, and two men were wounded. …

August 31, 1778

In the morning, as it became apparent that the enemy had completely left the island, the vacated defenses were immediately occupied by the English and Hessians, and we began to set up camp near Windmill Hill.


Map: Partie de l’etat de Rhode-Island, et position des armees Americaine …

Dohla, Johann. A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution. Norman, Oklahoma,University of Oklahoma Press. 1990.

Durfee’s Account of Rhode Island Campaign

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This is an account by an eyewitness, but Joseph Durfee is penning his reminiscences many years after the events. At the time of the Battle of Rhode Island, Durfee was a major in Col. Whitney’s Regiment. The last blog related Durfee’s account of the “Battle of Fall River” and this blog entry is a continuation of the account beginning with the Americans crossing to Aquidneck Island.

Preparation for invasion of Aquidneck

” During a considerable part of the month of August following (the Battle of Fall River – see the previous blog), we were busily engaged in procuring arms, ammunition, and provisions for the soldiers, and in building flat-bottomed boats and scows for the troops to cross over the river on to Rhode Island, with a view to dislodge the British army, who then had possession of the island. A barn, now standing near the Stone Bridge, was occupied for a commissary store, of which I had the charge until things were in readiness and the troops prepared to cross over to the island, when I left the store in charge of my friend and relative, Walter Chaloner.

The Expedition Begins

In the fore part of August 1798, the American troops embarked in the boats and scows prepared for them and landed on Rhode Island, where I joined them, having been appointed a Major in Colonel Whitney’s Regiment. Our troops were then marched to a spot but a short distance to the North of what is called Butts’ Hill; where they encamped for the night with nothing but the canopy of heaven for a covering and the ground for our beds. But we were animated with the hope of liberty–with a belief that we were engaged in a righteous cause—and that He, who sways the sceptre of the universe would prosper our undertaking.

Waiting on the French

At this time we were anxiously looking for the French fleet from which we hoped for assistance against the enemy, whose numerous bodies of troops were before us. Soon the French fleet bore in sight, when the British set fire to the shipping in the harbor and blew up most of the vessels within their reach. Not long after the French fleet came up, the British fleet appeared in the offing. Immediately the French fleet tacked about, went about and attacked the British squadron, when broadsides were exchanged and a bloody battle ensued.

The Storm

A tremendous storm came on long remembered as the Angust storm, in which the two fleets were separated, and many who had escaped the cannon’s mouth found a watery grave. The French feet, or so much of it as survived the storm, went into Boston to repair and the remnant of the British fleet went into New York.

Siege of Newport

Soon after this storm, our troops marched in three divisions towards Newport. One on the East road, so called one on the West road, and the Brigade, commanded by General Titcomb moved in the centre, until we came in sight of Newport–when orders were given to halt, erect a marque and pitch our tents. General orders were issued for a detachment from the army of three thousand men – our number being too small to risk a general engagement with the great body of British troops then quartered on the South end of the Island. Early on the next morning a detachment of troops, of which I was one, was ordered to proceed forthwith and take possession of what was called Hunneman’s Hill. The morning was foggy and enabled us to advance some distance unobserved by the enemy — but the fog clearing away before we reached the hill, we were discovered by the British and Tory troops, who commenced such a heavy cannonade upon us, that it was deemed expedient by the commanding officers, to prevent the destruction of many of our brave troops, that we should fall back and advance under the cover of night. Accordingly when night came, we marched to the hill undiscovered by the enemy. We immediately commenced throwing up a breast work and building a fort. When daylight appeared, we had two cannon mounted–one twenty-four pounder and one eighteen–and with our breast work we had completed a covered way to pass and repass without being seen by the enemy. The British had a small fort or redoubt directly under the muzzles of our cannon, with which we saluted them and poured in the slot so thick upon them that they were compelled to beat up a retreat. But they returned again at night to repair their fort, when they commenced throwing bomb shells into our fort, which however did but little damage. I saw several of them fiying over our heads and one bursting in the air, a fragment fell upon the shoulder of a soldier and killed him.


At this time, we were anxiously waiting the return of the French fleet from Boston, where they had gone to repair. But learning that they could not then return, and knowing the situation of the British troops, that they were enlarging and strengthening their furts and redoubts, and that they had reinforcements arriving daily from New York, it was deemed expedient by our commanding officers, Lafayette, Green and Sullivan, all experienced and brave Generals, that we should retreat to the North end of the Island. Accordingly, on the 29th day of August, early in the morning we struck our marque and tents and commenced a retreat. The British troops followed, and soon came up with our rear-guard and commenced firing upon them. The shots were briskly returned and continued at intervals, until our troops were joined by a part of our army a short distance to the South of Quaker Hill, so called, when a general engagement ensued, in which many lives were lost on both sides. At night, we retreated from the Island to Tiverton. On the following day we left ‘Tiverton, crossed over Slade’s ferry and marched through Pawtucket and Providence to Pawtucket where we remained until our service expired.”


“Plan of the works, which form the exterior line of defence, for the town of New-Port in Rhode Island : Also of the batteries and approaches made by the rebels on Honeymans Hill during their attack in August 1778 / This plan surveyed and drawn by Edward Fage, lieutt of artillery, November 1778.”. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/w/wcl1ic/x-8373/wcl008443. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed November 21, 2022.

Reminiscences of Col. Joseph Durfee : relating to the early history of Fall River and of Revolutionary scenes. (1830s)

Prelude to Battle: Two Views of the “Battle of Fall River”

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In May of 1778, American forces were preparing the flatboats they would need to cross the Sakonnet River to drive the British out of Aquidneck Island in what would become known as the Rhode Island Campaign. The British were aware of these preparations and earlier in May they had successfully raided Warren and Bristol to destroy boat making facilities and saw mills. On May 31st the British turned their attention across to the mainland at Fall River. Fall River had a sawmill by the shore and nine longboats were being constructed for the Rebel invasion. At that time, Fall River was just a cluster of houses along the Taunton and Quequechan Rivers.

British soldier Frederick Mackenzie and American Colonel Joseph Durfee provide us with accounts of the May 1778 British raid on Fall River. Mackenzie’s diary entry was written at the time. Durfee’s remembrances were written much later. He incorrectly states that the raid was on Sunday, May 25th. The raid was actually on a Sunday, but it was May 31st instead. It is clear from both views that the raid was part of the prelude to the Rhode Island Campaign by the Americans.

Mackenzie’s View:

31st May…The General and the Commodore having determined to attempt destroying some Saw Mills, and a quantity of Plank for building boats, which they had upon Fall River; the Pigot Galley, A Gunboat, some Flat boats, and the boats of the Flora, Juno, Venus, Orpheus, & Kingfisher, under the direction of Captain Christian of The Kingfisher; with 100 men of the 54th Regiment under the Command of Major Eyre of that Regiment; were ordered for this service. At 12 oClock last night they passed through Bristol ferry, unperceived by the Rebels, and proceeded up Mount Hope Bay, except the Pigot, which unfortunately ran aground in the upper part of the Passage, which gave an alarm to The Rebels, who immediately communicated it by firing Signal Guns which were repeated on both sides of the Bay. The boats waited some time in hopes of being joined by the Pigot, but finding the Alarm was given, they moved on to their destination without her, and on approaching the shore near Fall River, they were fired on by a Guard of about 40 men; but pushing directly in, the Troops landed and dispersed the Enemy. They then proceeded to the First mills, where one Saw-Mill, a Corn Mill, 9 large boats and about 15000 feet of Plank were burnt. On advancing a small distance toward the other Mills, they found a considerable Number of the Enemy posted at, and above them, from whom they received a heavy fire by which 2 men were killed, and an Officer & 4 men wounded. It being then judged imprudent to attempt forcing the post, or to continue longer on shore, the troops returned to the boats, and re-embarked without molestation.

Durfee’s Remembrances

On the 25th May, 1778, early Sabbath morning, about one hundred and fifty British troops under the command of Major Ayers, landed at Fall River and commenced an attack upon the few people then residing here. The men rallied under the command of Col. (then Major) Joseph Durfee, and after a brave and spirited resistance, which took place near where Main street crosses the stream, repulsed the invaders, and compelled them to retreat. They left one man dead, who was killed directly opposite where the Pocasset House now stands, and about four rods from the front door; and another mortally wounded, and lying five or six rods further west, who soon died. When the enemy first landed, they set fire to the house of Thomas Borden, then nearly new, and standing at the head of the present Iron Works Co.’s Wharf, and also to his grist-mill and sawmill standing near the mouth of Fall River, which were consumed. When they were retreating they set fire to several other buildings, which were saved by the vigilance of the little Spartan band who had given them so warm a reception, and who closely pursued them in their retreat, killing one of the retreating party after they had entered their boats….. Much praise was due to the defenders of Fall River for their firmness and bravery, in resisting and repelling five times their number. But few, if any battles were fought, during the Revolution, in which so large a force was repulsed by so small a number. Through the interposing mercy of Divine Providence, not an individual of our defenders was either killed or wounded.

Keeping in mind the difference between an eyewitness account recorded at the time and one that is remembered later, can we compare the accounts.

Both agree that it was on a Sunday around midnight.

Both have the British commander being Major Ayers (Eyre).

Durfee said there were 150 British troops. Mackenzie writes of 100 of the 54th Regiment, but obviously there were other forces to operate the number of boats used in the attack.

Mackenzie said the British passed by Bristol Ferry without detection, but the Pigot ran aground and that set off Rebel signal guns which gave the alarm. The British were fired upon by a Guard of 40 men, but they overwhelmed the Rebels and advanced to burn a saw mill, a corn mill, 9 large boats and 15,000 ft. of plank. Advancing toward other mills they found Rebel resistance and they suffered two killed and 5 men wounded. At this point they went back to their boats.

Earlier in Durfee’s account he writes that by 1777 the citizens of Fall River proposed raising a guard to ward off the harassment from British troops. He sought the aid of General Sullivan and was given provisions for a guard of 20. They devised a warning system of night sentinels. In that early Sunday morning one of the guards discovered the British ship. He fired upon the boat and “this created an alarm and the whole neighborhood were soon in arms.” The British fired their cannons and fired grapeshot at the Americans. The enemy set fire to the Thomas Borden house and took Borden prisoner. They set fire to Borden’s gristmill and saw mill. The British set fire to some other buildings, but they retreated in a hurry and the citizens were able to save the buildings.

Both accounts are similar. Mackenzie mentions setting fire to boats and planks. In both cases the citizens of Fall River seem more on-guard than the communities of Bristol and Warren. The Fall River Rebels had a more organized guard system.

Note: If you want to learn more, you can visit Joseph Durfee’s house in Fall River. The Lafayette Durfee House is a house museum and is open to the public.

Durfee, Joseph, Reminiscences of Col. Joseph Durfee : relating to the early history of Fall River and of Revolutionary scenes.,
[Fall River, Mass.? :s.n.,1834?]
Public Domain, Google-digitized.
Permanent URL 

Diary of Frederick Mackenzie, Vol. I

“Plan of the adjacent coast to the northern part of Rhode Island, to express the route of a body of troops under the command of Lieut Colonel Campbell of the 22d: Regiment to destroy the enemies batteaux, vessels, galley &c &c &c which was accomplished May 25th 1778 / laid down and drawn by Edwd Fage, lieutt. of artillery.”. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/w/wcl1ic/x-628/wcl000739. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed November 09, 2022.

Prelude to Battle: Campbell’s Raids in Warren and Bristol


As the American forces were preparing for an attack on Aquidneck Island in Spring of 1778, the British forces were active in trying to crush the Rebel capability to transport troop across the river from Tiverton. British soldier Frederick Mackenzie’s diary shows that they were well aware of the impending invasion.

May 19, “The intelligence received from all quarters agree in stating that an attack on this Island is intended, and will probably be soon attempted.”

May 22, “The Rebels are certainly preparing for an attack on this Island; and the General having intelligence of the situation of their boats, is making arrangement for the destruction of them.”

The Rebels would need to reach Rhode Island (Aquidneck) by boat and the British planned to attack shipyards, lumber mills and military stores. On May 25, 1778, Mackenzie records that the 22nd Regiment, Companies of the 54th, Notenius’s Company of Hessian Chasseurs, ..etc. (500 men in total) moved to Arnold’s Point in Portsmouth. They embarked in flatboats and landed at the mouth of the Warren River. Campbell’s men were divided into two columns. In the town of Warren itself they burned down the Baptist meeting house and other buildings, ransacked homes and property. The other group of Campbell’s men headed to the Kickemuit River. By the Kikemuit Bridge they found and burned 125 boats, large batteaux capable of carrying 40 soldiers. They found a sloop loaded with military stores, a store house, and a corn mill and they burned them. They also burned houses, a bridge and gun carriages. They spiked cannons and set fire to new Privateer Sloop as well as magazines of gun powder.

Campbells troops returned by way of Bristol. About 300 Rebels were assembled behind walls, trees and houses. They burned houses, a church, ammunition magazines and twenty of the principal houses. The British boats came round from Papasquash Point to the Bristol Ferry. The British ships Flora and Pigot covered the British troops as they crossed over from Bristol Ferry.

Mackenzie writes: “69 Rebel prisoners were brought over from Bristol to Windmill Hill” (Butts Hill Fort).

Having raided Warren and Bristol and destroying American flatboats, Campbell’s forces made their way back to Newport on their own flatboats.

The raids certainly delayed the American troops as they prepared for the Rhode Island Campaign.

The next blog will cover the British Raid at Fall River.


Diary of Frederick Mackenzie, Vol. 1

Map: “Plan of the adjacent coast to the northern part of Rhode Island, to express the route of a body of troops under the command of Lieut Colonel Campbell of the 22d: Regiment to destroy the enemies batteaux, vessels, galley &c &c &c which was accomplished May 25th 1778 / laid down and drawn by Edwd Fage, lieutt. of artillery.”. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/w/wcl1ic/x-628/wcl000739. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed November 09, 2022.

Prelude to Battle: The Allied Troops Gather

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We often focus on the day of the Battle of Rhode Island, but the Rhode Island Campaign was more than just a day. It began with the cultivation of French help in the war and then the buildup of French and American forces in the Rhode Island area. This blog will focus on the American gathering of troops at Tiverton. The next blog will feature the amassing of flat bottom boats for the landing on Aquidneck Island.

7/22/1778 – Washington received word from Alexander Hamilton that the French were sailing for Rhode Island. Col. John Laurens was sent to Providence to be liaison officer with the French.

DuChesnoy Map

7/23/1778 – Varnum and Glover and Jackson marched toward Rhode Island. “The game for Rhode Island was on.”

7/27/1778 – Lafayette was ordered to surrender half his command to Major General Nathanael Greene.

7/29/1778 – The French fleet arrived off Point Judith. General Sullivan came aboard to tell French the Continentals and militia had not arrived. The Fleet had to wait.

7/31/1778 – General Nathanael Greene appeared in Rhode Island. He brought carpenters and boat builders under Major Benjamin Eyres. Greene devoted himself to supply and transportation issues. He wrote the Board of War. “It will be necessary for the board to order that one half of the militia fit for actual service be drafted and none others. If something of this sort don’t take place, there will be a great diminution of our expected force.” The Rhode Island Council of War waited until the French arrived to draft the militia and that call up was only for fifteen days so as not to delay the harvest. The militia were not due to arrive until August 6th.

Glover’s brigade arrived in Providence.

8/3/1778 – All the Continental forces had arrived in Rhode Island. Troops were camped in Swansea in Massachusetts and in Tiverton, Bristol and Providence.

8/4/1778 – Lafayette boarded the Languedoc – d’Estaing’s flagship.

A plan was agreed upon. The French were to block the entrance of the Newport harbor on August 8th. The next convenient day, after militia arrived, there were to be two simultaneous landings (1st – by Americans at Fogland Ferry. 2nd by French and some American reinforcements near Lawton’s Valley.). This would cut off Portsmouth and give Americans control of Northern forts.

The forces would unite and move against the works at Newport.

Sullivan’s address to his troops before moving onto Aquidneck Island: (quoted in Taylor’s Campaign on Rhode Island but I have not be able to find this in another source.)

“The commander in chief in Rhode Island takes this opportunity to return his cordial thanks to the brave officers and soldiers and volunteers who have with so much alacrity repaired to this place to give their assistance in extirpating the British tyrant from this country. The zeals which they have discovered are to him the most pleasing presages of VICTORY; and he is happy to find himself at the head of an army far superior in numbers to that of the enemy, animated by a sacred regard for the Liberties of their country and fired with a just resentment against the Barbarians who have deluged with innocent blood and spread desolation on every part of the continent where they have been suffered to march.

The prospect before you is exceeding promising. The several corps have now everything to animate them and to press them on to VICTORY. The tried bravery of the Continental officers and soldiers and the idea they must have of the dependence upon their valor of both the army and country stimulates them to support themselves in the character they most justly acquired. Independent corps and volunteers who have so cheerfully come to assist in the enterprise have every inducement to exert themselves to meet the expectations they have acquired by flying to the relief of their country. The state troops which the General has so long had the honor to command, he has the strongest reasons to believe will not suffer themselves to be outshined or excelled in bravery by any troops in the army. The militia composed of respectable freemen and citizens of America who have so ably fought and conquered the last year must now feel every inducement inspirit them on to Conquest and Glory.

The character of the several corps which compose the army; the expectations of their country; the safety of our land; the protection of our property; and, in short, everything which animates men to fight and conquer calls aloud upon us to act the part of freemen, becoming to the character of Americans.

The General, for his part, assures his brave army that he will with the utmost cheerfulness share with them in every danger and fatigue and is ready to venture his life in every instance where the good of his country calls for it – to them and to his country he stands ready to sacrifice his life if necessary – And from the brave officers and men which he has the honor to command, he expects to find the same disposition. Fired with the same sentiment and engaged in so just a cause, we must conquer. We must win the laurels which await us; and return into the arms of a grateful country.”

Major General John Sullivan.

Campaign on Rhode Island 1778 by Erich A. O’D. Taylor, 1928
The Rhode Island Campaign by Christian McBurney, 2011.

Map: Capitaine Du Chesnoy, Michel, and Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier Lafayette. Carte des positions occupeés par les trouppes Américaines apres leur retraite de Rhode Island le 30 Aout. [1778] Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/00555648/.

Occupied Portsmouth: Fogland Ferry Fortifications

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Erich A. O’D. Taylor’s pamphlet “Campaign on Rhode Island 1778” is among the resources in Jim Garman’s collection. It is richly illustrated with woodcuts by noted artist John Norman Benson. We always have to doublecheck the information in older histories, but I found some interesting information in this source that I believe is worth sharing. Some of the information is based on the diary of a Hessian soldier (Johann Conrad Döhla).

On October 22, 1777 there were rumors of a landing on Fogland. American General Spencer did not try that, but British General Pigott strengthened the works at Butts Hill, Fogland Ferry and Lawton’s Valley in Portsmouth. He enclosed Newport with enceinte (encircling walls), cutting off even the main roads with gates that were locked at night. This line was first manned December 17, 1777. NOTE: This confirms what I read in a letter by Mrs. Bannister in Desrosiers, The Banisters of Rhode Island in the American Revolution: Liberty and the Costs of Loyalties.

Turning to the Fogland Ferry area off Glen Road:

Ferries had crossed between the Glen area and Fogland in Tiverton since the 1640s. This was another narrow spot on the Sakonnet shore and the British considered this a very vulnerable spot. Barracks and defensive fortifications were constructed there.

Taylor wrote:
“The commander at Fogland Ferry had no small task before him to safeguard the nearby farms. It is interesting to learn therefore that this important position was usually assigned to Hessian regiments and was so well defended and its duties so well executed that the inhabitants complimented the commanders when they were relieved and returned to town. Among those who returned thanks to Captain Baron de Malsburg of the regiment Ansbach-Bayreuth on his leaving this post are to be found – Mr. Bowler, Restcome Sanford, Elisha Coggeshall, George Martin, Jonathan Davenport, John Lawton, Giles Slocum, George Taber, Giles Lawton and John Sanford… The farmers thoroughly understood the Hessian soldiers who came of a range of agriculturalists like themselves. During the quiet summers of 77 and 79 when no ‘assault was intended on the city,’ many of these Hessians hired themselves out to farmers, working for the small wage of (about 51 cents ) a day.”

Metcalf Bowler, Giles Slocum, John Sanford and others did indeed have farms in that area. The idea that the Hessians helped out on the farms is something new to me. I will be able to read Dohla’s diary and I will look for sources to confirm this. Metcalf Bowler, we discovered later, was acting as a British spy. Taylor hints that there were Loyalists among the Portsmouth farmers, but with the severe damage done to the farms during the Occupation I doubt many Portsmouth farmers appreciated the British Occupation.