The Battle of White Plains, New York, occurred on October 28, 1776. General Washington was moving his troops northward from New York City into Westchester County after having suffered a major defeat by the British. It proved impossible to defend his position in the village of White Plains and so he retreated further north, eventually crossing the Hudson River, marching through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. Phoebe Oakley, fleeing her home, had stored her valuables at her brother-in-law’s house for safekeeping. Unfortunately the house was in White Plains near the site of the battle. it was plundered by American soldiers. Her complaint listed the items stolen:
a trunk filled with Linen & cloaths . . . five feather beads [beds] & bedding, one looking glass, one Copper Coffey-Kettle, with lamp and stand, two muffs in cases, a long blue cloth cloak, one pair of brass knobbed hand irons, one painted and one woolen floor-cloth, one copper Tea Kettle, two Pewter dishes & one dozen of plates, a whole set of Tea China, and a small red trunk . . . a pair of boots almost new, a pair of brass Candle-sticks and some books.
Some items were returned to her, but the rest disappeared.