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"One of the best in the army." An Overview of the New Jersey Brigade, 1775-1783 

by John U. Rees

The Jersey Brigade had a long, varied, and distinguished history, but General George Washington's brief, candid comment to Major General William Alexander, Lord Stirling, concerning the condition of the brigade at the midpoint of its career speaks volumes about its shifting fortunes: 22 January 1780,

"... I am sorry to find the Jersey brigade appears to have fallen off from what it formerly was – one of the best in the army. The emulation of the officers I am persuaded will not permit them to let it remain inferior to any."1 READ MORE

"Politeness","Mirth" and "Vocal Musick": Sidelights of General John Sullivan's Indian Campaign of 1779

by John U. Rees

Many histories of the American Revolution dwell on the larger aspects of the war, dealing mainly with politics, leaders, campaigns and battles. The following anecdotes show the human side of the war, particularly regarding interaction among the soldiery, both officers and rank and file. The first passage relates to the period when various regiments and detachments under General John Sullivan prepared for an expedition against the Iroquois in northern Pennsylvania and New York. READ MORE

The American Crisis Before Crossing the Delaware?

By Jett Conner

Does saying so make it so? Perhaps, if said convincingly and repeatedly. But sometimes it’s fair to ask: Who says so? And how do they know? It is said that George Washington ordered the first number of Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis series to be read to his ragged troops before boarding boats to cross the Delaware on the eve of the Battle of Trenton. Inspired by Paine’s words, so the story goes, the suffering soldiers marched through that cold and stormy night and achieved a much-needed victory the next morning at Trenton. The details of Washington’s success at the first battle of Trenton are well known and documented, but what about Paine’s role in the affair? READ MORE

A Dutiful Soldier Misses the Battle

By Todd W. Braisted

We sometimes use the phrase “at the right place at the right time” when describing the circumstances of someone’s good fortune. In war, the “right place” is often the place where the most important events were not happening. That sounds convoluted, but the case of George Shall will clarify the point. Shall, a native of York, Pennsylvania, was a soldier in Colonel George Michael Swope’s Regiment of the Pennsylvania Flying Camp. The Flying Camp was a force formed in June 1776, so called because it was expected to be highly mobile in response to the British army’s ability to strike anywhere along the Atlantic coast. It was recruited from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, often from the ranks of militia units. Regiments of the Flying Camp participated in many of the actions around New York in August, September and October. READ MORE

Almost Yorktown  By Michael Adelberg

The circumstances that forced the surrender of Cornwallis’s army at Yorktown are familiar enough. The British were trapped on a peninsula, Washington’s Continental Army preventing a land escape, a large French fleet preventing their escape by sea. Pounded by artillery and short on supplies, Cornwallis had no choice but to surrender his army. Afterward, the British Army ceased offensive actions and began peace negotiations premised on recognizing the independence of the American Colonies. What is less familiar is that a similar set of circumstances nearly came into existence three years earlier, off Sandy Hook, New Jersey in July 1778. The British Army was completing its evacuation from Philadelphia and withdrawal across New Jersey. Washington’s Continentals had engaged them successfully at the Battle of Monmouth (June 28), but did not deter them from their larger objective of heading for Sandy Hook, where Admiral Richard Howe’s fleet prepared to ferry them across to safety in New York. The vanguard of General Henry Clinton’s Army reached the Navesink Highlands (on the New Jersey Shore facing New York) on July 1. From there, it was only a mile to Horseshoe Bay on the Sandy Hook Peninsula, the closest deep water anchorage.READ MORE

The Skirmish at Petticoat Bridge: December 23, 1776

Written by Rev. Dr. Norm Goos and Earl Cain

What you are about to learn in this story, I hope, will change the way you think about that most famous battle on Christmas night, 1776, forever. The British spy, Barzella Haines reported to the Hessian commander at Bordentown, Col. Carl Von Donop, Barzella said: "They were not above 800 (at Mount Holly), near one half boys, and all of them Militia, a very few from Pennsylvania excepted…He knew many of them who came from Gloucester, Egg Harbor, Penn’s Neck and Cohansey. They were commanded by Col. Griffin."  READ MORE

The Battle of Millstone by Steven M. Richman

The Battle of Millstone in central New Jersey on 20 January 1777,[1] is a “local interest” battle, the kind that is often known only to locals and specialists, but on closer examination permits greater insight into other facets of the American Revolution.  By one account, there were 1,331 military engagements in the war throughout the colonies.[2] In New Jersey alone, at least 500 separate military incidents have been identified.[3] We need not belabor the definition of “engagement;” if shots were exchanged or the threat of death was real, then each was very real to the individuals involved. Each of these engagements may seem less significant in itself, though often people died or were wounded; when aggregated, their costs and results rival most of the larger-scale and more well known battles. The Revolutionary War was not a few major rainstorms; it was a steady drizzle of engagements between local and “national” forces on both sides with the occasional downpour. Millstone reminds us of that. READ MORE

Memorial Ceremony at the Battles of Trenton 2013

Hidden Trenton Battle Tour E Book with Overlay Maps of Trenton and Princeton

Our Self-Guided Tour to the Battles of Trenton and Princeton tells you the story of the battles in satisfying detail, and gives you precise directions on how to visit the exact spots where the events took place. Some of the events and places will be familiar, some won’t be, but once you “take the tour”, you’ll never think about the greater Trenton area in quite the same way. This is a 60-page, profusely illustrated book (so it’s a largish download, about 8 MB). We’ve put up additional information in the form of KMZ files you can use in Google Maps and Google Earth to aid your own exploration and planning. All of the battle maps in the guide are available in kmz form, so you can load them into Google Earth and view them at any scale. In addition, we’ve provided a kmz with markers for every tour stop recommended in the guide, and another with the markers and overlays that we used to create the “Old Trenton” illustration in the beginning of the guide. READ MORE