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

The Day is Our Own!

 
 
The Day is Our Own! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 28, 2012
1. The Day is Our Own! Marker
Inscription. I then saw the horrors of war in perfection, worse than can be imagined; 10 and 12 bullets thro’ many; limbs broke in 2 or 3 places…Good God, what a sight! Captain Richard Kidder Meade, Southampton District, 2nd Virginia Regiment

British Captain Charles Fordyce emerged from the smoke of burning structures and cannon fire on the south island, leading his officers and grenadiers of the 14th Regiment of Foot. The troops advanced onto the narrow causeway, bordered by quick mire and two small streams.

Realizing that the smoke camouflaged the British movements, patriot Colonel Thomas Bullett alerted Lieutenant Edward Travis, who was stationed behind the breastwork with a company of men from Southampton District and a number of militia. The breastwork was positioned to permit a devastating crossfire directly onto troops crossing the causeway. Volleys of fire were exchanged as the grenadiers advanced.

Under orders of Lieutenant Travis, the patriots held further fire until the British were trapped on the causeway 50 yards from the breastwork, then “bullets whistled on every side.” Fordyce was struck in the knee, but rallied his troops, exclaiming “The day is our own!” Fordyce fell within fifteen feet of the breastwork, mortally wounded by 14 bullets. As more grenadiers fell,
1775 British Map of Great Bridge <i>Courtesy of William Clements Library</i> image. Click for full size.
2. 1775 British Map of Great Bridge Courtesy of William Clements Library
South is at the top of the map. The Village of Great Bridge is below the letter “D” which identifies the Patriot encampment. The Patriot breastworks are marked by the letter “B.” The causeway is marked as “C.” The upper portion of the causeway is today’s location of the A & C Canal and the modern bridge. Below the causeway is the South Island and the Great Bridge crossing the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River. Fort Murray is at the bottom of the map north of the bridge marked as “A.”
a retreat was sounded.

After nightfall, the British force retreated to ships in Norfolk harbor. Fifteen enemy bodies were recovered by the patriots from the causeway and marsh. Seventeen other grenadiers were wounded or captured, and an unknown number of dead and wounded were carried off by the retreating grenadiers. Losses were so devastating that the 14th Regiment of Foot returned to England to recruit replacements.

The site of the final phase of the battle is across what is now the A & C Canal, near the abutment of the canal bridge.
 
Erected 2012 by Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation.
 
Location. 36° 43.305′ N, 76° 14.384′ 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 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of the Original Causeway (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
From the painting entitled, “The Day is Our Own!” by artist Glenn Moore image. Click for full size.
3. From the painting entitled, “The Day is Our Own!” by artist Glenn Moore
(within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Murray (within shouting distance of this marker); Causeways (within shouting distance of this marker); Billy Flora (within shouting distance of this marker); Father & Son Canal Builders (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chesapeake.
 
Also see . . .  Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation. (Submitted on April 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. War, US Revolutionary
 
The Day is Our Own! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 28, 2012
4. The Day is Our Own! 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 609 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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