The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: August 17

WILLIAMSBURG, August 17, 1776.
By an express, who left New York on Tuesday se'ennight, we are informed, that General Clinton had abandoned his attempt against Charlestown, and had arrived at New York, and that it was supposed an attack would be made in a day or two, as the enemy were moving their baggage from Staten Island. He says our men were in high spirits, and ready for them. He expected to have met General Lee in this city. He says also, that General Washington had sent a floating-batteries and 6 row gallies up the river, after the men of war and tenders which had passed the town. He adds, that there was no apprehension of Burgoyne's reaching Albany, as our army had made a stand at Ticonderoga, and was considerably reinforced. … Tuesday the 1st Virginia regiment, in the continental service, marched from this city for New York.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) August 17, 1776
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As the Williamsburg populace was reading their newspaper, the British continued to amass troops for what would be the Battle of Long Island. The majority of the 1st Virginia Regiment that had been training for months in Williamsburg were marching towards New York, but were not in time for the Battle of Long Island that would take place on August 22. The British won the battle and the Continental troops withdrew to New York City. The Virginians arrived around the middle of September and their arrival encouraged the defeated army, "Great joy was expressed at our arrival and great things are expected of Virginians" wrote Capt. John Chilton.

Sources: Minnis

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