MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
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MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter

MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
 
Key Battles

Several key battles of the Revolutionary War were fought in this area.

The Battle of Spencer's Ordinary was fought on June 26, 1781, between Continental troops and local militia from the army of the Marquis de Lafayette and Loyalist and Hessian troops under British Lieutenant Colonel John Graves Simcoe. On June 23rd the British commander Charles Cornwallis ordered Simcoe to take his Queen's Rangers and a detachment of Hessian troops and destroy boats and supplies on the Chickahominy River. 

Upon learning of the move on June 25th Lafayette directed Colonel Richard Butler with his regiment of Pennsylvanians, a detail of Virginia riflemen,120 cavalrymen, and Major WIlliam McPherson's light infantry to intercept Simcoe on his way back to Williamsburg.  After marching all night the patriot troops caught up with Simcoe near Spencer's Ordinary which is located at the fork of the Jamestown and Williamsburg roads (now Longhill & Centerville Rd) about 6 miles NW of Williamsburg. McPherson's light infantry made an immediate charge on Simcoe's Rangers and were repulsed. The Virginia riflemen arrived and back and forth engagement occurred. Simcoe broke off the fight to fall back to Williamsburg. He was concerned that Lafayette's main body was on the way. Butler also was anxious to end the battle and did not pursue the enemy. 

The Americans had 9 killed, 14 wounded and 32 captured while the British had 11 killed and 35 wounded. The Battle of Spencer's Ordinary is celebrated annually with a program and wreath laying on June 26th at Freedom Park. 

Just down the road from Spencer's Ordinary, The Battle of Green Spring was fought on July 6, 1781 near the Green Spring Plantation in James City County. On the morning of July 6th, Lafayette accompanied his advance guard under the command of General Anthony Wayne. Upon reaching Green Spring, the Americans began skirmishing. Lafayette thought he had caught the rearguard of the British army and he called for the rest of his forces to come and join the battle.  

This was not a good day for the Americans!  Lafayette reviewed the layout and realized that Cornwallis had set a trap. The trap was sprung and Wayne marched right into a veteran British brigade commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Dundas. The American right flank was smashed and the American left was pressed by the British ligh infantry. 
 
Lafayette ordered the entire American force to withdraw! Wayne’s men formed a rearguard and for fifteen minutes the two sides blazed away at each other. Eventually, Wayne decided that the carnage was too much and ordered a retreat. The Americans fell back to Richmond to regroup and re-supply. Lafayette asked Washington to send reinforcements from the main army to replace his losses. 
 
British reported 5 officers and 70 enlisted men killed or wounded, whereas the American casualities were about 140 including 28 killed. Conwallis was satisfied with the victory and did not pursue the retreating Americans and instead crossed the James and moved onto Portsmouth. His plans were countermanded by Clinton and, instead, he was ordered to to set up a permanent supply base at Yorktown....AND THE REST IS HISTORY!!
 
The Battle of Green Spring is celebrated annually with a program by the members of the Sons of the American Revolution, Williamsburg Chapter. They gather near the Church on the Main on July 6th to lay wreaths in memory of patriots who died at the Battle of Green Spring.
 
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter

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