Virtual Marching Tour of the American Revolutionary War

Howe's Orders to Move East

Howe ordered Knyphausen and Grey to ferry across the Elk River from Turkey Point to Cecil Court-House on the eastern shore. Howe wanted Grey to "move in time for him to take post one mile or two beyond the Court House on the road leading to Christien (Christiana) Bridge."

Knyphausen's troops, including General Erskine (Knyphausen's and Howe's liaison) crossed the next day, the 30th, at 6am. In the name of expediency, Knyphausen temporarily left the artillery behind as he wasn't concerned about running into a substantial enemy force. The forward part of his column "marched forward and took post on a height near Cecil church (while) a strong rear guard remained at the Court-house to bring up the artillery and baggage." The British, after driving off the ever-present militia at the church, took possession of two flags - "two pairs of colours" - found inside the church.

Knyphausen also ordered a prong of his column as far south as the Bohemia River, an arm of the Chesapeake, to capture cattle, horses, and steal wagons. British Sergeant Sullivan tabulated their booty in his journal: 261 head of horned cattle, 100 horses and 568 sheep. A very successful day! Meanwhile Knyphausen started moving north on the Newcastle road.