Siege of Fort Mifflin - Result


At 6:00 AM on the morning of November 16, the Vigilant launched a boat manned by marines to haul down the American flag, which had been left flying. Two hours later, Osborn's troops landed amid snow flurries and took possession of the ruined fort. They were greeted by a lone American deserter who told them that Thayer's men suffered about 50 killed and 70 to 80 wounded. Historian Mark M. Boatner III estimated total American casualties at 250 from a garrison that counted 450 men plus reinforcements. British losses in the last phase of the siege were seven killed and five wounded. The victors were appalled at the damage and at the blood and brains strewn about the fort's interior. While the needy enlisted men were busy looting the corpses for shoes and clothing, a few of the British officers admitted in their letters that the defenders had been brave.

Lieutenant General Lord Charles Cornwallis crossed the river with 2,000 men. In the face of this threat, Colonel Greene evacuated Fort Mercer and Cornwallis seized the place on November 20. With the forts gone, Hazelwood set his ships on fire that night to prevent their capture by the British. The Delaware was now open to the Royal Navy and the army of occupation in Philadelphia could be supplied. The next action occurred at the Battle of Gloucester on November 25 as Cornwallis withdrew from New Jersey.

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