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Outnumbered? Try a little trickery

by Michael Polzella

When outnumbered, a little ruse can work wonders.

Late in the Revolutionary War (Aug. 27, 1781), Tories occupied the town of Elizabethtown in Bladen County and significantly outmanned the local militia. It wasn’t even close: More than 300 Tories against less than 70 from the local militia.

Some cunning was in order, so the patriot commanders sent Sallie Salter in to sell eggs … and to spy. Using her reconnaissance information, the commanders had their small force surround the town, then called out orders to phantom troops to confuse the enemy. The ruse worked and ended the British occupation of Elizabethtown.

Ron Smith, APR, S&A Communications

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