Hargrove's Tavern K-270 On 10 May 1779, during the Revolutionary War, a British expeditionary force commanded by Gen. Edward Matthews disembarked in Portsmouth to capture the major Tidewater Virginia towns. About 200 Nansemond County militia under Col. Willis Riddick immediately assembled in Suffolk and marched toward Portsmouth. While the main body camped about a mile west on the night of 11 May, Capt. King and Capt. Davis came here to Hargrove's Tavern. After a British advance party surprised them and killed Davis, King hastened to warn the Virginia camp. The militia retreated to Suffolk and later dispersed as the enemy approached. The British burned Suffolk on 13 May.