The Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet: America’s First Wile E. Coyote Moment

So, in early 1776, things weren’t going too well for the Americans in the Revolutionary War. Britain was being a dick and blockaded the Delaware Bay to starve my hometown into surrendering. Unfortunately for them, we here in Philly subside mainly on the five main food groups, none of which are from Britain: TastyKakes, soft pretzels, Rita’s water ice, cheesesteaks and Yuengling lager.

TastyKake, fuck yeah! Coming to save the motherfucking day yeah!

TastyKake, fuck yeah! Coming to save the motherfucking day yeah!

But Robert Morris wasn’t about to let those bloody Redcoats get away with that. He chartered the brig Nancy on March 1st, 1776 to help transport a shitload of guns, gun parts, gun ammunition, rum, sugar and other typical old timey goods.

 

I hope there’s pudding…

I hope there’s pudding…

Meanwhile, John Barry, the other “founder of the American Navy,” was commissioned captain of the fourteen-gun Lexington on March 14, 1776. He was alerted that the Nancy would need some babysitting going up to Philly because she only had a laughable eleven guys and six cannons onboard.

Then, a mighty Avengers-style task force assembled en route, with the mighty, eighteen gun (aka: a lot of cannons) Reprisal and the eight cannon Wasp joining them on the way.

So, take those three ships, take away the planes, missiles, torpedoes, radar, sonar and going underwater, make them made of wood, very tiny, take away the propellers and nuclear reactors add some sails and divide the number of sailors by twenty and you’ll have the right idea

So, take those three ships, take away the planes, missiles, torpedoes, radar, sonar and going underwater, make them made of wood, very tiny, take away the propellers and nuclear reactors add some sails and divide the number of sailors by twenty and you’ll have the right idea

The three British ships blockading the Delaware Bay were the mightily armed HMS Liverpool, Orpheus and Kingfisher, with twenty-eight, thirty-two, and sixteen cannons respectively. That’s a shitload of cannons against our heroic fleet. This would be like the USS Olympia trying to stand up against three Iowa class battleships.

Aw this little thang? She ain’t nothing, really…

Aw this little thang? She ain’t nothing, really…

And just to lower the odds from “impossible” to “just give me a chance man! JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE!” the entire hundred-ship fleet of Redcoats had just entered New York Harbor the day of the battle.

So, the lookout on the Kingfisher was actually competent and not only did not let his ship get hit by an iceberg or rocks next to Skull Island, but also spotted the Nancy trying to sneak past him.

Sneaky, sneaky. I’m an island, I’m an island…

Sneaky, sneaky. I’m an island, I’m an island…

So, Kingfisher and Orpheus gave chase like two Imperial class star destroyers. Nancy, in dire straits, called on the Lexington for help with flag signals. So, all three American ships set out rinky-dinky rowboats to help, because their actual ships would last about as long in a straight fight with these Brits as Dipper and Mabel against Slenderman.

I stand by what I just said

I stand by what I just said

Under the relentless pursuit of tea drinking, funny accented assholes, Nancy took cover in heavy fog in the horribly named Turtle Gut Inlet.

Yeah, I’m not showing youse a turtle’s guts. Here’s a turtle practicing his Second Amendment rights instead.

Yeah, I’m not showing youse a turtle’s guts. Here’s a turtle practicing his Second Amendment rights instead.

She ran aground in the inlet, probably getting stranded atop the ruins of no fewer than three castles built by a man who just would not give up building his castles that kept sinking into the swamp. No word on how many vicious gillmen, Slendermen and rodents of unusual sizes they had to fend off once grounded, but she did lose the British ships for the same reason a lot of ships can’t traverse the Panama Canal: they’re too fat.

I’m not fat! All this cargo makes me look… poofy!

I’m not fat! All this cargo makes me look… poofy!

Barry sacrificed his ship, exchanging cannonfire with the British to keep them from attacking the helpless Nancy while the other American ships sent sailors to transfer most of the grounded vessel’s gunpowder kegs to shore and hide them behind some sand dunes.

Bop, bop Americano, motherfucka!

Bop, bop Americano, motherfucka!

Then, Barry arranged perhaps the most elaborate and cruel practical joke in the history of cruel and elaborate practical jokes. He cleverly had the Nancy’s main sail wrapped with fifty pounds of gunpowder, creating a really big Wile E. Coyote style fuse running back into the ships’ hold, where a hundred kegs of gunpowder remained. They lit the fuse as the crew abandoned ship, with one last heroic sailor climbing the mast the take down the American flag, a very respectful and courageous gesture after you’re ship’s been set on fucking fire.

Those silly British thought we were surrendering when the flag came down, which we totally were.

Retreat hell! We’re just advancing in another direction!

Retreat hell! We’re just advancing in another direction!

So, the silly Brits boarded the stricken Nancy, but by then that Wile E. Coyote fuse had reached the hold and we killed an assload of British sailors in the first display of Fourth of July Fireworks- except it was on June 29th. Close enough! USA! USA! USA!

Interesting factoid: these fireworks are being launched less than a mile from the site of the battle.

Interesting factoid: these fireworks are being launched less than a mile from the site of the battle.

The battle, along with the miraculous evacuation of New York, demonstrated to the British that America had divine intervention on its side, and also that the fledgling nation was batshit insane. As such, they chickened out and moved their blockade away from Cape May.

In the year 1922, Turtle Gut Inlet was filled in by the county, killing off innumerable gillmen. They made up for this slaughter of a sapient species by putting a little memorial park in a very similar vein to Partisan Rock at the end of Red Dawn.

“… In the early days of World War 3, guerillas - mostly children - placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so that this nation should not perish from the earth."

“… In the early days of World War 3, guerillas – mostly children – placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so that this nation should not perish from the earth.”

 

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