Home History Illusion Wins the Day

Illusion Wins the Day

by Michael Polzella

Outnumbered five-to-one, Patriot Colonels Thomas Robeson and Thomas Brown knew they needed a lot of luck, and a little deception, to capture the Town of Elizabethtown, near Wilmington, in August 1781.

The Patriots marched through the night, swam the Cape Fear naked, holding their clothes and muskets above their heads, and then attacked from numerous sides in the morning. The commanders added to the illusion by calling out the names of Patriot commanders who weren’t even there!

The Tories thought there were thousands of troops, while in reality, there were only about 60 attacking, moving and attacking again.

Ron Smith, S&A Communications

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