By Ed Randolph
It was a hot but beautiful afternoon when a regiment of British soldiers and loyalists arrived to harass Coram local and former patriot minuteman, Gold Smith Davis. Spectators stood in surprise and suspense awaiting his fate as the infamous “Long Island Lobsterback” and members of the 22nd Regiment of Foot tied Mr. Davis to a wooden column on the porch, beating him with the butt end of a musket and stabbing him with a disjointed bayonet.
Though blood was splattered on Mrs. Davis’s pristine white porch, Mr. Davis survived the ordeal and was rescued by Setauket local and hometown hero Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge. Accompanied by members of the Third NY Regiment, he surrounded the British forces in a tactical ambush.
Musket fire was exchanged between the rivaling forces. Outgunned and cornered, the lobsterbacks were forced to retreat in haste as the patriots secured an unlikely victory in the heart of Long Island. Other eyewitness reports suggest Mr. Davis was hung upside down over a well, but these claims remain unconfirmed. Both reports suggest he was reunited with his wife Elizabeth.
Unsuspecting visitors found themselves thrust into the middle of an 18th-century reenactment battlefield as a volley of musket fire echoed through the crisp summer air. After the spectacle, those in attendance enjoyed the Davis Meeting House Society’s outdoor Yard Sale and Craft Fair. Numerous vendors and visitors were in attendance and enjoyed the splendid sound of fife and drum. This event was hosted by the Davis Meeting House Society on Sept. 10 and was made possible by the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation.
For more information on Gold Smith Davis visit www.davistownmeetinghouse.org.
For more information on becoming a Revolutionary War reenactor visit www.3rdny.com.