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[222] the British, having cut their way through the sunken
Chap. LV.} 1775. Oct.
boats, renewed the attack; but the riflemen poured upon them a heavy fire, killing a few and wounding more. One of the tenders was taken with its armament and seven seamen; the rest were with difficulty towed out of the creek. The Virginians lost. not a man. This is the first battle of the revolution in the Ancient Dominion; and its honors belonged to the Virginians.

While yet a prey to passion after this repulse,

Dunmore was informed that a hundred and twenty or thirty North Carolina rebels were marching into the colony to occupy the Great Bridge, which, at a distance of nine or ten miles from Norfolk, crossed the Elizabeth river. It rested on each side upon firm dry ground, which rose like islands above the wide spreading morasses, and could be approached only by causeways; so that it formed a very strong pass, protecting the approach to Norfolk by land from the county of Princess Anne and from a part of the county of Norfolk. He had twice received detachments from the fourteenth regiment, which had been stationed at St. Augustine: collecting all of them who were able to do duty, and attended by volunteers from Norfolk, Dunmore on the fourteenth of November hastened to the Great Bridge. Finding no Carolinians, he marched rapidly to disperse a body of militia who were assembled at Kemp's Landing, in Princess Anne. They lay in an ambuscade to receive him, and fired upon his party from a thicket; but being inferior in numbers, in discipline, and in arms, they soon fled, panic struck and in confusion, leaving their commander and six others as prisoners. On his return, he

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