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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 6 6 Browse Search
The Daily Dispatch: January 22, 1862., [Electronic resource] 1 1 Browse Search
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ies actually begun, the city was the scene of stirring events and suffered severely before the close of the war. Early in the difficulties, the British fleet, under Lord Dunmore, made Norfolk harbor its principal rendezvous. The Virginians commenced making preparations to defend themselves, and threw up fortifications around the town. The first battle fought was at "Great Bridge," on the north bank of the Elizabeth river, a few miles from the city, which took place on the morning of December 9th, 1775. Lord Dunmore dispatched 200 regulars and 300 blacks and tories to capture the bridge which was defended by 300 "shipmen" as they called the Virginians, but they met with a severe defeat and returned with a loss of 102 killed and wounded. This victory determined the Virginians to take the city of Norfolk; but, like the Yankees at Portsmouth, the British commanders became alarmed at the noise around them, and the fortifications were hastily abandoned. Twenty pieces of cannon were disma