The Bagaduce Blunder: Commodore Saltonstall and the Penobscot Expedition

By Dean R. Mayhew, published February 1975


The occupation of the Bagaduce Peninsula in what today is Maine by British land and sea forces in 1779 prompted a hasty response by the Massachusetts government. Dudley Saltonstall was placed in overall command of a fleet of Continental and provincial warships, transports, privateers and a substantial military force, primarily of militia. Despite initial success by the American land forces, Saltonstall was reluctant to risk his ships by pressing the attack. The eventual arrival of a substantial British force of ships commanded by George Collier routed the Americans. Saltonstall was subsequently tried by court martial and dismissed from the service.

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Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography

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