Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871


CHAPTER X.

THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION, ETC., FROM 1779 TO 1781.

 

The storming of Stony Point occurred July 15-16, 1779. This famous incident of the war has a place here, because a company of Augusta soldiers participated in it. General Wayne commanded, on the Hudson river, New York, a brigade of four regiments, one of which was from Virginia. The field officers of this regiment were Colonel Febiger, Lieutenant-Colonel Fleury, and Major Posey.* One of the companies of the Virginia regiment was commanded by Captain Robert Gamble, of Augusta.

Stony Point is a hill which projects into the Hudson, a few miles below West Point. The Americans had occupied and partially fortified it, but retired before an overwhelming force of the enemy. The hill was then strongly fortified by the British, and garrisoned by about 600 men.

During the summer of 1779, Washington planned the capture of the place, and entrusted the execution of the scheme to Mad Anthony Wayne. Twelve hundred chosen men, led by Wayne, marched in single file over mountains and through morasses, starting after dark the evening of July 15. They depended on the bayonet alone, and not a gun was fired by them. The assault was made before daylight, on the 16th. The Americans were divided into two columns, for simultaneous attack on opposite sides of the works. One hundred and fifty volunteers, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Fleury, seconded by Major Posey, formed the van-guard of the right, and one hundred under Major Stewart, the van-guard of the left. In advance of each was a forlorn hope of twenty men, one led by Lieutenant Knox, and the other by Lieutenant Gibbon of the Virginia regiment. It was a desperate

*Colonel Christian Febiger was a native of Sweden. He went with Arnold to Quebec, and was conspicuous at Stony Point and Yorktown. After the war, from 1789 till his death in 1796, he was treasurer of Pennsylvania. Chevalier and Viscount Louis de Fleury, Lieutenant-Colonel, was a Frenchman, and a Marshal of France at the time of his death. He received the thanks of Congress and a silver medal for his conduct at Stony Point. Major Thomas Posey was subsequently known as General Posey, of Spotsylvania county, Virginia.


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