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A Naval Disaster: The Penobscot Expedition

Copy of letter from Francis McLean to Henry Clinton, 1779

Copy of letter from Francis McLean to Henry Clinton, 1779

Item 7477 info
Maine Historical Society

Brig. Gen. Francis McLean, then in Halifax, Nova Scotia, wrote back to Clinton, telling him that 500 men were ready to leave for Penobscot Bay and begin building a fort.



He commented that the British might need more naval power than the Albany, commanded by Capt. Henry Mowat.



McLean's troops arrived June 12 and soon occupied Majabigwaduce (now Castine), between the mouth of the Bagaduce River and a finger of the bay leading to the Penobscot River.



On the rise above the town the British forces built a small network of fortifications and redoubts known as Fort George, in honor of the King.



From there, McLean was to intercept privateer raiders headed for Nova Scotia harbors, and possibly establish a new Loyalist colony called New Ireland in eastern Maine.