History of the Battle of Cricket Hill

Louise Spencer Wright, one of the officers and founding members of Cricket Hill Chapter, NSDAR, wrote the following account of the Battle of Cricket Hill. It is reproduced here, in the same format as when it was typed in 1923. The original letter can be found here.

The following is an historical account of “Cricket Hill” so far as we have been able to ascertain from History and Legend.

One of the decisive battles of the Revolutionary War was fought in Mathews County, Virginia, several months after the burning of Norfolk, Virginia.

Lord Dunmore, the last Royal Governor of Virginia, left Hampton Roads with his whole fleet. He landed about June the first 1776 on Gwynn’s Island, where he fortified himself. General Andrew Lewis with his Virginia troops arrived on the mainland opposite the Island, Monday June the eighth 1776.

June the ninth, Lord Dunmore looked across the channel called “Milford Haven” and seeing the Virginians busy making their fortifications said, As soon as I eat my breakfast, we will drive the “Crickets off the Hill.” About eight o’clock that morning, General Lewis announced his orders for attacking the enemy by putting a light to the first gun, an eighteen pounder himself, and struck the Dunmore sending a ball through her hull, doing considerable damage.

The second shot the Dunmore received, killed her boatswain and wounded several others. The next shot a nine pounder from the battery, splintered a large timber, some of the splinters striking Lord Dunmore, wounding him in the leg and smashing his valuable china about his ears.

The fire soon became so hot that the Dunmore was obliged to cut her cables and haul off. The furious attack of the Americans on the Shipping Camp and fortification of the enemy, soon silenced their guns.

Instead of driving “The Crickets off the Hill” Lord Dunmore was driven off the Island with great slaughter, also from off the Virginia Coast.

Some of General Lewis’ fortifications are still standing and the place has been called “Cricket Hill” ever since.

Signed: Louise Spencer Wright

“The Anchorage”