Penobscot Bay | Jul 24 - Aug 13, 1779
On July 24, 1779, the Massachusetts militia supported by a fleet of 20 transports and 19 armed vessels, began a siege of the British fortification in Penobscot Bay, Maine (at the time part of Massachusetts). Brig. Gen. Solomon Lovell, supported by artillery units commanded by Paul Revere, conducted a land attack on Castine Island against the British Fort George. American Commodore Saltonstall refused to support the land attack by attacking the British vessels in Castine Harbor. The siege stalled until August 14, 1779 when a British fleet arrived to reinforce the besieged British. The British fleet pinned the militia’s fleet in Penobscot Bay forcing the militia to retreat and scuttle their boats along Penobscot River.
The American loss at Penobscot Bay was significant in materiel, expense, and lives lost. Commodore Dudley Saltonstall was removed from the Navy and Massachusetts was left with a 1.74 million pound bill. Also the British were left in control of northern New England, cutting off trade in the region.