Battle of Paulus's Hook


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Paulus's Hook, SURPRISE OF. In 1779 there was a British military work at Paulus's Hook (now Jersey City), garrisoned by 500 men, under Major Sutherland. A plan was formed for taking it by surprise, and its execution was entrusted to Major Henry Lee, then back of Bergen. With 300 picked men, followed by a strong detachment under Lord Stirling as a reserve, at 3:30 A.M. on August 19, he passed the unguarded outer works and entered the main works undiscovered; for the garrison, feeling secure, had not barred the sally-port, and the sentinels were all absent or asleep. The surprise was most complete. He captured 159 of the garrison, including officers. The remainder retreated to a circular redoubt. It was too strong to be affected by small arms, and Lee retreated, with his prisoners, back to camp. His loss was only two killed and three wounded. In September following Congress voted thanks and a gold medal to Lee for this exploit.



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