The Attack on Stonington Harbor, August 1775: Its Impact on the Colonists, their Military and Political Leaders, and its Ramifications for British Naval and Military Leaders
In the summer of 1775, the American colonies were not officially at war with England, but they were far from being at peace. A full year before independence was declared in July 1776, there were several military engagements that would make the eventual declaration of war inevitable. The most significant battle, the Battle of Bunker Hill, was one of the bloodiest of the entire war, and it is etched in the collective memory of the United States. Another engagement that summer, a small skirmish between a Royal Navy warship and hastily gathered militia in the village of Stonington, Connecticut, is now largely forgotten, but it had far reaching consequences for the colonists and the British. The skirmish lasted only one day, and there were no fatalities on either side, yet this seemingly minor skirmish, and the events of July and August that led up to it, would have an immediate and powerful impact on British military policy, on American military and civilian leaders and on the colonists of New London County, who confronted British naval power and held their own.
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