Whaleboat Soldiers Launch First Amphibious Assault
As battles go, it was no big deal. It took place on 11 August 1775, when Colonial General David Wooster dispatched 120 soldiers from Oyster Ponds Point at the end of Long Island’s North Fork by boat to nearby Plumb Island. They landed under fire from British regulars and fired one return volley. Then, fearful of being cut off by British warships, the Colonials retraced their route under attack by an enemy man-of-war. No casualties were reported.
The brief skirmish did not affect the outcome of the American Revolution. It did not even stop the British from raiding Eastern Long Island for provisions. But the incident is significant, because historians believe it represents several firsts in the war.