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Long Beach Island Massacre Of 1783 Part II Of The Story Of Captain John Bacon
Last week, my blog entry concluded with Captain John Bacon and his band of Pine Robbers loyal to England heading south towards West Creek after killing one patriot colonist and wounding another, both members of the Manahawkin Militia, in a skirmish near the Baptist Church during the early morning hours of December 31, 1781.
Memorial Plaque in Barnegat Light
During the next ten months, Bacon and his men plundered farms in southern New Jersey in the name of loyalty to the King of England while keeping the spoils for their group. In late October 1782, Bacon learned that an American Privateer out of Cape May had intercepted a British cutter that had run aground on sandbar off Barnegat Light. The American Privateer, an armed galley named Alligator, was commanded by Andrew Steelman, and his crew seized the cargo from the British cutter which consisted primarily of Chinese green tea stored in barrels. This would have been considered a rarity to the rebel colonists in New Jersey and highly prized. John Bacon immediately assembled his group of Pine Robbers to go to the aid of the stranded British ship.
Captain Andrew Steelman and the crew of the Alligator captured the British cutter, firmly aground on a sandbar, and his men unloaded the barrels of tea carrying them across the sandbar and surf. The labor proved exhausting, and when the crew had finished, Steelman allowed his men to sleep on the beach next to their spoils of war. During the night, Loyalist John Bacon and his men crept into their camp and executed Steelman’s crew stabbing and shooting them en masse in vengeance for capturing the British cutter. It is estimated that twenty men were killed and perhaps five escaped.
Captain John Bacon and his men escaped into the night, and continued their violent exploits in southern New Jersey for another six months until Bacon met his demise near Tuckerton in April 1783 (which will be Part III of this story next week.)
From your “Running Realtor” Andrew Gonzales….