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‘Beardless boy’ kept Delaware coast secure during Revolutionary War



In his memoirs, Enoch Anderson, a freshly minted lieutenant in the First Delaware Regiment, described his rude introduction to Gen. John Dagworthy, a no-nonsense veteran of decades of military service.

In 1776, the American colonists had been fighting the British for over a year; and the drift toward independence appeared inevitable.

Dagworthy and others formed a Council of Safety to defend Sussex County from the British. The members of the council were well aware that the American soldiers were mostly rank amateurs, and the British forces were hardened veterans of numerous campaigns.

The Delaware Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Caesar Rodney Chapter held a Patriot grave marking and memorial service for local Revolutionary War patriots on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 at the Lewes Presbyterian Cemetery in Lewes, Del.

When young Anderson was introduced as the man who would help lead the defenses of coastal Sussex County, Gen. Dagworthy exclaimed, “Why this is but a beardless boy!”

A year after the battle of Lexington and Concord, the situation in southern Delaware was grim. The British Navy included hundreds of powerful warships, and it was considered the most powerful in the world.

A flotilla of British ships, led by the frigate HMS Roebuck, patrolled Delaware coastal waters and gave the English the ability to land raiding parties on any part of coastal Sussex County.


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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service