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Chesapeake, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

At Dawn on December 9, 1775

 
 
At Dawn on December 9, 1775 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 28, 2012
1. At Dawn on December 9, 1775 Marker
Inscription. In late October 1775, the Virginia Committee of Safety ordered Colonel William Woodford and his 2nd Virginia Regiment, along with five companies of Culpeper Minutemen, to march towards Norfolk and protect “…all friends to the American cause.” The army departed Williamsburg in mid-November. After crossing the James River, Woodford detached a special unit led by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Scott to advance and explore Dunmore’s movements and position. Scott arrived at Great Bridge on November 28, 1775. Skirmishes broke out almost immediately, but the troops managed to throw up a breastwork at the northern end of the village. Woodford and the remainder of the army arrived four days later and began building two flanking earth works. Cannon fire from the British at Fort Murray was a daily experience.

After skirmishing and exchanging fire constantly for eleven days, Dunmore ordered his troops to attack at dawn on December 9, 1775. His forces, numbering more than 500, moved from the fort moments before daybreak.

Marching in cadence with the drums, a special assault unit of 60 grenadiers of the 14th Regiment of Foot, commanded by Captain Charles Fordyce, led the attack. Tall in stature and physically intimidating, the unit was one of Great Britain’s finest. They crossed the bridge and assembled on the south island,
At Dawn on December 9, 1775. image. Click for full size.
2. At Dawn on December 9, 1775.
Dunmore ordered a surprise attack against the patriot position, to commence at dawn on December 9, 1775. Painting by Jeremy Horne
then moved to the causeway to begin their march across the marsh that separated them from the patriot defenses at the north end of the village, a distance of approximately 200 yards. The attack began with the firing of cannon.
 
Erected 2012 by Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation.
 
Location. 36° 43.334′ N, 76° 14.375′ W. Marker is in Chesapeake, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Battlefield Boulevard (Business Virginia Route 168) and Watson Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chesapeake VA 23320, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 12 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Causeways (a few steps from this marker); Causeway Construction (within shouting distance of this marker); First Fire (within shouting distance of this marker); Liberty to Slaves (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of the Original Causeway (within shouting distance of this marker); The Day is Our Own! (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Murray (within shouting distance of this marker); Billy Flora
Orientation Overview image. Click for full size.
3. Orientation Overview
Photo courtesy of Backus Aerial Photograpghy, Inc.
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Father & Son Canal Builders (about 300 feet away); Civil War Anchor (about 300 feet away); Under Two Flags (about 300 feet away); Great Bridge Marshall Memorial (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chesapeake.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .  Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation. (Submitted on April 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. War, US Revolutionary
 
At Dawn on December 9, 1775 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 28, 2012
4. At Dawn on December 9, 1775 Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 736 times since then and 80 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week December 9, 2012. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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