The LAR was mixing it up with the rebels on this day as this letter from Benedict Arnold to Sir Henry Clinton attests:
"On the 31st of December, embarked the troops which had arrived in small vessels and boats (part of which were captured upon our first arrival) and proceeded up James River with the Hope and Swift. On the 3rd of January at 7 o'clock p.m., anchored at Flour de Hundreds about half a mile from Hood's Fort, which kept up a brisk fire upon us from a battery of three eighteen, one twenty-four, pounders iron and one brass eight-inch howitzer, which killed one man. Lieut.-Colonel Simcoe with a detachment of 250 men landed and took possession of the battery without opposition, spiked the iron guns, and brought off the howitzer . . .
"On the 9th we were joined by the troops who were in the missing transports and all the troops were reembarked. On the 10th we fell down the river as low as Flour de Hundred where we were informed there was a party of six or eight hundred rebels under the command of Baron Stubens. At 7 o'clock, landed 120 rangers, 170 Loyal Americans, 50 jagers and 30 artillery, when the boats returned for the 80th regiment. Three hundred men under the command of Lieut. Colonel Simcoe were ordered to march about two miles to the crossroads where the enemy were posted and attack them. The vanguard was commanded by Captain Hatch of the Loyal Americans who with great gallantry attacked a picquet of the enemy and drove them to their main body. A very heavy fire from the rebels killed three men, wounded Captain Hatch, Ensign Sword, and about twenty privates of the Loyal American Regiment, whose conduct on this occasion does them great honour. They charged the enemy with such firmness and resolution that they instantly fled on all sides and were pursued for about two miles. The darkness of the night, badness of the roads, and a heavy shower of rain which fell about this time, prevented our pursuing the enemy further."
-- From of a letter from Benedict Arnold to Sir Henry Clinton, dated the 21st of January at Portsmouth VA. It's found in Documents of the American Revolution 1770-1783, (Colonial Office Series), Volume XX, "Transcripts 1781" Edited by K.G. Davies, Irish University Press,1979.
Simcoe also had something to say about the Loyal American Regiment that day:
"On the 10th of January , Gen. [Benedict] Arnold embarked and dropped down to Flour de Hundred; at night he ordered Lt. Col. Simcoe to land; the General had information that a party of militia, with cannon, were assembled at Bland's mills, and he intended to surprize them . . . Gen. Arnold had scarcely landed, and Col. Dundas, with the 80th regiment, was not yet on shore, when a patrole of the enemy fell into the ambuscade of the [German] Yagers, and exchanged shot with them: the night was very dark.
Another report of the same event. This time, from Rivington's Gazette:
"Gen. Arnold directed Lt. Col. Simcoe immediately to march towards Bland's, Col. Robinson's regiment [LAR] and his own infantry; but the cavalry did not land. The detachment had not proceeded above two miles, when Robinson's corps in front received heavy fire. There was no room for disposition, for the road ran through a wood which was remarkably thick, at the forks of which, as the clearest ground, the enemy had placed themselves. Upon the firing, the troops were immediately ordered to charge; they rushed forward and the enemy fled: near twenty of Col. Robinson's regiment were killed and wounded; among the latter was Capt. [Christopher] Hatch who commanded the advance guard."
From Simcoe's Military Journal. A History of the operations of a Partisan Corps called The Queen's Rangers, commanded by Lieut. Col. J. G. Simcoe. New York: Bartlett & Welford, 1844. Pages 168-169.
"On the 9th the army was joined by the troops in the missing transports, and on the 10th the whole fell down the river to Flour de Hundred, where the general being informed there was a party of six or eight hundred rebels, under the command of Baron Steuben, he landed with part of his troops, and sent Lieutenant-Colonel Simcoe, with three hundred men, about two miles to the cross roads, where the enemy were posted; Captain [Christopher] Hatch, who commanded the van-guard, having with great gallantry, drove in their picket on the main body. A very heavy fire from the rebels killed three men, and wounded Captain Hatch, Ensign Sword, and about twenty privates of the Loyal American Regiment, whose conduct on this occasion does them great honor. They then charged the enemy with such firmness and resolution, that they instantly fled on all sides, and were pursued about two miles, but the darkness of the night, badness of the roads, and a heavy shower of rain falling about the time, put an end to the pursuit . . . "
Rivington's Gazette, February 7, 1781
- This seems to be a corruption of the original (and current) name Flowerdew Hundred, which is today is being archeologically excavated. Flowerdew Hundred is located west of Jamestown, on the south bank of the James River. (Many thanks to Stephen Gilbert for this info.)