Elizabeth Burgin Helps The Prisoners Somehow....

By Don N. Hagist
I was recently asked to speak about Elizabeth Burgin, an American woman who risked her life helping prisoners of war during the American Revolution. I’d never heard of her, but thanks to the magic of the internet I was quickly able to locate the key primary sources about her, and a large number of articles about her exploits. That’s where the surprise came in – the direct, documented information about this woman from her own writings and those of her contemporaries differs dramatically from the articles and other modern writings about her exploits. It seems that, in the absence of details, modern writers have chosen to fill in blanks with conjecture, and then pass that conjecture along as fact. Let’s sort out the facts from the conjecture.READ MORE
From the Online Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies

Brigadier General Cortland Skinner

Cortland Skinner, the last attorney general under the Royal Government of New Jersey, was commissioned a brigadier general on 4 September 1776, empowered to raise a regiment (actually a brigade) of six battalions, called the New Jersey Volunteers. The 1st battalion of this corps was already forming, with many more Loyalists only awaiting the arrival of British troops in New Jersey before joining them. READ MORE

 The Three Guides

by Todd Braisted

In November 1776, a British army under Lieutenant-General Sir William Howe was on the offensive, having successfully driven American forces off of Manhattan island and the surrounding regions east and north of New York City. The remnants of General George Washington’s defeated army had retreated across the Hudson River to the apparent safety of Bergen County, New Jersey. The Hudson was wide with a strong current, but the British had substantial naval assets to ferry troops across. What afford protection were the high sandstone cliffs on the western shore called the Palisades which rise over 300 feet above the river. READ MORE
Massacre Averted: How Two British Soldiers Saved 350 American Lives

By Todd Braisted
In the early morning hours of September 28, 1778, British Troops under Major General Charles Grey surprised and decimated an entire regiment of Continental cavalry commanded by Colonel George Baylor.  Over twenty were killed, more than forty captured, and many others wounded.  Their major lay dead, and their colonel nearly so.   And it could have been much, much worse. Now called the Baylor Massacre, the story of the British Light Infantry surprising the 3rd Dragoons at Old Tappan (modern River Vale) on that September morning is well known. Few are aware, though, that two other British detachments were in motion that evening with a much larger target in view. READ MORE
Flashback to great 'tea burning' of 1774, the pride of a South Jersey town

By Lisa Rose/The Star-Ledger
GREENWICH — On the night of December 22, 1774, a group of South Jersey patriots braved the cold to stage an incendiary protest against British taxation.The villagers hauled a stolen shipment of tea into the town square and set it ablaze, building a bonfire to express their defiance.The Greenwich Tea Burning may not be as famed as the Boston Tea Party but it has been a source of pride for generations of residents in the Cumberland County hamlet along the Cohansey River. The town’s centerpiece is a monument, built in 1908, listing the names of the tea burners. READ MORE
More TURN History

The Capture of Charles Lee

By Todd W. Braisted
There are plenty of tall tales concerning the capture of Charles Lee in 1776, even though the unembellished account of the capture contains plenty of drama of its own, as we see in this week’s guest post by Loyalist scholar Todd Braisted.
Major General Charles Lee, by nearly all accounts, was a difficult man to work with, and (as we’ll discuss in the future) had ego issues that made Washington’s job as Commander in Chief more difficult than it had to be. But depicting Lee as a philandering traitor to the American cause who was caught in the middle of a children’s game-turned-sex romp with a prostitute is a bit over-the-top in terms of gratuitous character assassination, don’t you think? I am especially grateful this week for Todd Braisted’s write-up of the REAL capture of Charles Lee, which will hopefully clear up any confusion about the accuracy of Lee’s questionable debut in TURN.
The Calamitous Captivity of John Graves Simcoe

By Todd W. Braisted
The story line in TURN has placed the British Captain John Graves Simcoe into the hands of his Rebel foes in Autumn of 1776. It seems that everyone rooting against the British wants Simcoe dead. Benjamin Tallmadge almost carries out the deed before halted in the nick of time by a superior officer. As with virtually everything in TURN, real events are twisted and fictionalized to suit the story – which is to be expected in any presentation of historical fiction. But did any of this ever happen? Are any elements of the show’s portrayal actually correct? READ MORE

William S. Stryker

Sullivan`s Expedition against the Indians  

The Last half of the year 1778 was an eventful period in the history of the fight for freedom in America. The plains of Monmouth, in New Jersey had just been the scene of a fierce conflict on a hot Sabbath day, between the Continentals and the British Line and the Royal army hand disappeared by a midnight flight. The weary patriots were celebrating of there boastful but unsecured independence when the young nation was startled by the news of a horrid massacre among the hills and valleys of beautiful Wyoming. Read More

From Greensleeves Typepad
"We are Avenging the Cause of Virgin Innocence"
(Knyphausen's Raid Part VIII)
In the weeks and months that followed her killing, a barrage of outrage and charges of the most unforgivable behavior were leveled against the Royalists in connection with the death of Hannah Caldwell. Her grieving widower, no stranger to the power of the pulpit, wrote a letter for publication in which he dismissed British claims that her killing was no assassination READ MORE
The New Jersey Volunteers
Loyalists in the Revolutionary War

By William Styker

As soon as General William Howe arrived at Staten Island, on the 7th of July, 1776, so pleased was he with his reception in the harbour of New York that he wrote these words to the British government: "I have great reason to expect an enormous body of the inhabitants to join the army from the provinces of York, the Jerseys and Connecticut, who, in this time of universal oppression, only wait for opportunities give proofs of their loyalty and zeal for government. Sixty men came over two days ago with a few arms from the neighbourhood of Shrewsbury, in Jersey,who were desirous to serve, and l  understand there are five hundred more in that quarter ready to follow". READ MORE

Chaplains of the New Jersey Brigade

The principal sources of information from which these sketches of the chaplains from New Jersey in the War of Independence have been drawn, are Stryker's '' Officers and Men in the Army of the Revolution" ; " New Jersey Archives" ; Sprague's "Annals of the American Pulpit" ; Hall's '' History of the Presbyterian Church in Trenton"; Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States ; Dubbs', also Good's " History of the Reformed Church in the United States" ; Griffith's &' History of the Baptists in New Jersey," and Fenwick's "History of Salem."  Read More

Mark E. Lender - The New Jersey Soldier 

With these sentimental lines, Emerson not only celebrated the bravery of the minutemen of 1775, but captured the popular view of all the revolutionary soldiers. Generations of Americans have glorified the patriot army in terms similar to Emerson's and built a patriotic stereotype of its soldiery. Without too much exaggeration,assumptions about the men can be reduced to this: the revolutionary soldiers were democratic "yeomen" farmers or "honest" mechanics. Read More
From Greensleve Typepad - Sullivan`s Staten Island Raid
On August 3rd, 1777, George Washington wrote to Col.
Elias Dayton, the senior regimental commander in the Jersey Brigade:

"Sir: The conduct of the Enemy is distressing and difficult to be understood. Since my last, directing you to proceed to Peeks Kill, their Fleet, or a pretty considerable part of it, has appeared off the Capes of Delaware, as we were advised yesterday by Express. In this state of uncertainty about their real object and design, I think it advisable, that you should halt your own and Colo. Ogden's Regiments where this Letter reaches you and there remain till further orders from me, unless you should receive authentic intelligence of the Fleets coming within Sandy Hook or going farther to the Eastward; in which case, you will proceed immediately to Peeks Kill, with all the expedition you can. You will hold yourself and every thing in readiness to march on the most Sudden emergency."
From The Journal of the American Revolution

Mutiny of the New Jersey Line

By Michael Schellhammer
Let’s start with the basics. Over the winter of 1780-81 the Continental Army was dispersed at winter camps in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.  The Army was also being reorganized and several regiments consolidated on New Year’s Day.  After that, the New Jersey Line consisted of about 500 soldiers organized in two regiments at Pompton, New Jersey, with other detachments quartered near Suffern and Chatham.   It was a mild winter and the soldiers lived relatively comfortably in log huts. That’s where the comfort ended READ MORE
Washington Authorizes Plan to Kidnap Future King

By Michael Schellhammer
In my recent book, Kidnapping the Enemy:  The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott (Westholme Publishing, 2013), I focus on two of the outstanding kidnappings of the Revolutionary War. The first was the stunning capture of Major General Charles Lee, second-in-command of the Continental army, by Lieutenant Colonel William Harcourt and a party of British dragoons on December 13, 1776. Second was the perhaps even more incredible capture of Major General Richard Prescott, the commander of British troops in Newport, Rhode Island, by state troops led by Lieutenant Colonel William Barton.  Barton seized Prescott so the Americans would have a British officer of the same rank to exchange for Lee.READ MORE

Dear Mr. History: Mutiney of the Pennsylvania Line

By Michael Schellhammer
When the soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line mutinied most of them had not been paid in almost a year.  A year.  I challenge anyone to work any job, let alone endure the harsh life of a Continental soldier that long without pay and not want to kick the bosses to the curb. And the lack of pay was only one of their complaints.  So I’ll go out on a limb and say that the soldiers definitely had legitimate gripes.  How that fits in with military professionalism becomes apparent after the whole picture is clear. READ MORE
Had all the Cavalry been in the front … not one man could have escaped …': Hopperstown, New Jersey, 16 April 1780," Part 2 of “'The Enemy was in Hackansack last night Burning & Destroing …': British Incursions into Bergen County, Spring 1780"

By John U. Rees

Paramus, New Jersey, and the associated community of Hopperstown, had been intermittently occupied by Continental or militia forces since December 1776, but not until 1780 did any serious military conflict occur there. The first clash took place on 23 March 1780, when two detachments of Crown troops attempted to capture and destroy the Continental Army post at Paramus, one column crossing the Hudson, coming ashore at Closter Landing, and advancing from there, with a second column moving from the southeast, via Hackensack village, which they plundered. The joint attack did not succeed in carrying the American post, and British and German troops involved were harried during their retreat by Whig regulars and militia. READ MORE

The Forgotten First Battle of Monmouth

by Michael Adelberg

 Fought on June 28, 1778, the Battle of Monmouth is correctly remembered as one of the largest battles of the American Revolution, and the last major engagement fought in the North. But almost no one remembers that a smaller clash took place on roughly the same ground eighteen months earlier. Although a much smaller and shorter engagement, this first Battle of Monmouth was more significant to the people of Monmouth County. Below is a primer on the forgotten first Battle of Monmouth.
In December 1776, the British Army chased Washington’s Continentals across New Jersey into Pennsylvania, sparking Loyalist counter-insurrections across the state. In Monmouth County, the Loyalists were especially well organized. The British commander, General William Howe, sought to “cover” the ascendant Loyalists as he assigned winter quarters for his troops. Monmouth County’s Whig (patriot) militia dissolved; several local Whigs later recalled this time period as the “Tory Ascendancy” during which “the militia laid down their arms.” Two of the county’s leading Whigs were captured, several others fled. In four of the county’s six townships, the British appointed a “commissioner” to work with the British military and administer Loyalty oaths the Crown. Broadsides went up through the county requiring all fit men to appear at the court house in Freehold on New Year’s Day to join the new Loyalist county militia under two Monmouth Loyalists, Lt. Colonels Elisha Lawrence and John Morris.READ MORE

Henry Knox to Lucy Knox
Trenton, New Jersey, December 28, 1776.
my dearly belov’d friend,
It grevies me exceedingly that I still date my Letters from this place & that I am so far
distant from the dearest object of my affections. This War with all its variety is not able to banish your much lov’d Idea from my heart. whatever I am employ’d about still you are with me – I often say to myself no my Lucy not so your Harry will return as the sacred calls of his Country will permit – will return with the permission of heaven and enjoy all the blessings of [struck: nuptial] conjugal affection, – I wrote you a few days past by Mr Shaw. it was short as my then hurry would not suffer me to [to do otherwise]You will before this have heard of our success on the morning of the 26th instant against the enemy – The enemy by their superior numbers had oblig’d us to retire on the Pensylvania side of the Delaware by which means we were oblig’d to evacuate or give up nearly all the Jersies, even after our retiring over the river the preservation of Philadelphia was a matter
exceedingly precarious – The Force of the enemy three or four times as large [2] as ours.however the Enemy seem’d contented with their success for the present and quarterd their troops READ MORE
The New Jersey Continental line in the
Virginia Campaign of 1781
By William Stryker
Six years of alternate victory and defeat to the American arms had passed away, and the seventh year opened with no brilliant prospect of the successful issue of the patriotic struggle for independence. On the first of the New Year of 1781 the Pennsylvania Continental Line again protested against the treatment which they had received from Congress-food insufficient in quantity and quality, great want of clothing, no pay for the entire previous year. 'The disaffection reached also, by January 18th, to the New Jersey troops, with whom for years they had been associated in camp, on the march and in battle.. READ MORE
The Militia of New Jersey During the Revolution
By Glenn Valis
The militia activity of New Jersey was a vital part of the war effort. The British captured Staten Island, Manhattan Island and Long Island in the summer of 1776. Thereafter, New Jersey became the target of foraging expeditions, raids and invasions. The Militia would resist these enemy movements, in small to large groups. All The British fresh food and animal fodder had to be bought or taken locally, and it was the militia's job to stop both the "London trade" and the raids and pillaging. READ MORE
From the History Girl

Rocks with a View:
NJ Revolutionary War Lookouts
Sometimes a historic site does not have to contain a structure or a museum with artifacts. In some cases, a historic resource can include strategic locations where events occurred and history was made. During the Revolutionary War, two locations along the first ridge of the Watchung Mountains provided a natural fortification for the American troops.READ MORE
The Whaleboat Wars of the Revolution

The New Jersey whaleboat men who braved the might of the Royal Navy to carry the war to the enemy.

By Glenn Valis
New Jersey was unique in having the British so close throughout the war.In the summer of 1776 the British took New York City and Staten Island, and stayed through the war. This put the enemy within sight of the New Jersey patriots. Soon the British found themselves assaulted on land and sea by men coming to them in whaleboats from New Jersey.
A whaleboat is a large boat, with pointed bow and stern, long and narrow. Think of the TITANIC lifeboats, but longer. They were 36 feet long or more, and sometimes carried several cannon and swivel guns. They were open boats, oared in pairs, but could step a mast or two. They would carry many men. They could be moved quickly and quietly by the men at the oars. READ MORE
The ambush of Geary's Dragoons. From Fact to Fantasy The British 16th Light Dragoons and the Raid on Flemington, New Jersey,
December 14, 1776.

 by Gilbert Riddle
New Jersey was unique in having the British so close throughout the war.In the summer of 1776 the British took New York City and Staten Island, and stayed through the war. This put the enemy within sight of the New Jersey patriots. Soon the British found themselves assaulted on land and sea by men coming to them in whaleboats from New Jersey.
A whaleboat is a large boat, with pointed bow and stern, long and narrow. Think of the TITANIC lifeboats, but longer. They were 36 feet long or more, and sometimes carried several cannon and swivel guns. They were open boats, oared in pairs, but could step a mast or two. They would carry many men. They could be moved quickly and quietly by the men at the oars. READ MORE

From Greensleeves Typepad

The Death of Captain Voorhees

The 1st New Jersey Regiment of the Continental line lost a number of its officers to wounds and disease during the course of the American Revolution.  Major Joseph Morris was mortally wounded in the fight at White Marsh, PA near the end of the Philadelphia campaign in December, 1777 while on detached service with Morgan's Rifle Corps.  Captain Andrew McMires (or McMyers) was killed before the Chew House at Germantown.  Ensign Martin Hurley, wounded in the same fight, was captured, identified as having deserted from the British Army at Boston, and summarily hanged. Major Daniel Piatt died of disease in April,1780. READ MORE

Charles Willson Peale: Painter, Patriot, Princeton Icon

by Dan Aubrey

There are two reasons to assume that American artist Charles Willson Peale’s 1784 painting “George Washington at the Battle of Princeton” on permanent view at the Princeton University Art Museum is an accurate depiction of our nation’s first president READ MORE

What Really Happened At: The Battle of Monmouth

 By Garry Wheeler Stone

On June 18, 1778, the main British Army under the command of General Sir Henry Clinton abandoned Philadelphia and began marching to New York City. The next day, the Continental Army, under the command of General George Washington, left Valley Forge and moved to harass the British. The morning of Sunday, June 28, 1778, found the British Army of 20,000 men camped around the village of Freehold, while the main American Army of 8500 men was camped at Manalapan Bridge, four miles west of Englishtown. In Englishtown, General Charles Lee and an advance force of 500 men had orders to attack the rear of the British Army READ MORE

From papers of Charles Lee - Letters from Monmouth 

To Benjamin Rush

Camp at Valley forge June ye 4th1778.
Tho I had no occasion for fresh assurances of your.Friendship, I cannot help being much pleased with the warmth which your letter, deliver'd to me by Mr. Hale, breathes, and I hope it is unnecessary to assure you that my sentiments with respect to you, are correspondent--You would think it odd that I shou'd seen to be an Apologist for General Howe. Read More

molly pitcherWill the Real Molly Pitcher Please Stand Up?
By Emily J. Teipe
© 1999 by Emily J. Teipe

At first glance, searching for the real Molly Pitcher, the fabled heroine of the American Revolutionary War, seems about as pointless as searching for Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe. Nonetheless, legendary figures hold some fascination and usually contain a kernel of historical authenticity. In the case of the patriot-cannoneer Molly Pitcher, culling the fictitious from the real can be somewhat of a challenge. She has held a revered place in the patriotic lore of the American Revolution, right next to Betsy Ross, READ MORE


"A British Prisoner Wrote..."

(Respectfully submitted by Matt Murphy, 2nd New Jersey)

A British prisoner wrote in 1779 as he spent the night at an inn in Easton, "the noise of the American soldiers who vociferate their songs so loud that the whole house rings with War and Washington, a favorite ballad." A doctor serving in the Continental army noted at Valley Forge that a destitute soldier "..labours thro' the Mud and Cold with a Song in his mouth extolling War & Washington." (Charles Royster, A Revolutionary People Remembered, pg. 248-249, 258-259)
The song is credited to New Hampshire lawyer and occasional poet Jonathan Mitchel Sewall (1748-1808). Let's try to learn this one:

War and Washington
(Tune of "The British Grenadiers")
Vain Britons, boast no longer, with proud indignity,
By land your conquering legions, your matchless strength at sea,
Since we, your braver sons incensed, our swords have girded on,
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza, for war and Washington.

Urged on by North and vengeance, those valiant champions came,
Loud bellowing "Tea and Treason," and George was all on flame;
Yet sacrilegious as it seems, we rebels still live on,
And laugh at all their empty puffs, huzza for Washington!

Great heavens! Is this the nation whose thundering arms were hurled
Through Europe, Africa, India? Whose navy ruled a world?
The lustre of your former deeds, whole ages of renown,
Lost in a moment, or transferred to us and Washington!

Yet think not thirst of glory unsheaths our vengeful swords
To rend your bands asunder, or cast away your cords,
'Tis heaven-born freedom fires us all, and strengthens each brave son,
For him who humbly guides the plough to god-like Washington.

Should warlike weapons fail us, disdaining slavish fears,
To swords we'll beat our ploughshares, our pruning-hooks to spears,
And rush, all desperate, on our foe, nor breathe till battle won,
Then shout, and shout America! and conquering Washington!

Christmas in the 17th and 18th Centuries     
Written by Donald N. Moran  

In 17th and early 18th century Colonial America, a Christmas celebration did not resemble the festivities that we are familiar with today. Christmas was considered the first day in a season of celebration, a season which would last, in some areas, until the end of January. The Christmas Advent season consisted of December 25th, The Nativity of Jesus; December 27th, The Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist (celebrated by the Masons); January 1st, The Circumcision of Jesus; January 6th, The Epiphany of Jesus (The they twelfth day of Christmas); and February 2nd, the Purification of the Virgin. Christmas celebrations varied throughout the colonies, from the Puritans in New England who did not celebrate Christmas at all, to the Southern Anglicans whose revelries most closely match modern Christmas celebrations.

The Puritans of New England outlawed Christmas until the mid-19th century. In the early part of the 16th century, the Puritans in England, under Oliver Cromwell, outlawed the celebration of Christmas, calling it "Popish" (Roman Catholic) and considering the secular celebration a continuation of pagan beliefs. The Puritans in Massachusetts and other parts of New England held on to these beliefs.

In 1659, a law was enacted in Massachusetts to punish anyone who " . . . is found observing, by abstinence from labor, feasting, or any other way, any such days as Christmas day, shall pay for every such with offense five shillings." The immigration of other religious denominations to the colonies saw this attitude in New England, but weren't able to change it until about 150 years ago.

Although Christmas wasn't outlawed outside of New England, several denominations, mostly found in the middle colonies, were opposed to the celebration. In 1749, a visitor among the Quakers in Philadelphia noted that: "Christmas Day. . . The Quakers did not regard this day any more remarkable than other days. Stores were open. . . There was no more baking of bread for the Christmas festival than for other days; and no Christmas porridge on Christmas Eve!"

At first the Presbyterians did not care much for celebrating Christmas, but when they saw most of their members going to the Anglican Church on that day, they also started to have services. Philip Fithian, a Presbyterian missionary working among the Virginia Scotch-Irish in 1775, remarked that: "Christmas Morning - Not a Gun is heard ­Not a Shout - No company or Cabal assembled - To Day is like other Days every Way calme & temperate."

To the Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Lutherans, the Christmas season was embraced and celebrated mainly by the Church of England and the Roman Catholics, and primarily in the southern colonies. (One exception is the Dutch in New York who celebrated Christmas with religious services.)

The celebration of the Christmas season in the southern colonies consisted of parties, hunts, visiting, feasts and church services. Christmas decorations generally consisted of holly and ivy strung throughout the house, with a sprig of mistletoe prominently displayed. A great effort was made to decorate the churches with laurel, holly, and other garlands.

The traditional feast varied from household to household (depending on how wealthy the family was) but generally, consisted of wines, rum punches, hams, beef, goose, turkey, oysters, mincemeat pies, and various other treats. The season was considered a grown-up celebration, but presents would generally be given to children. Irena Chalmers notes that in 1759, that George Washington gave the following presents to his children: a bird on Bellows; a Cuckoo; a Turnabout Parrot; a Grocers Shop; an Aviary; a Prussian Dragoon; a Man Smoking; a Tunbridge Tea Set; 3 Neat Books, a Tea Chest. A straw parchment box with a glass and a neat dress'd wax baby. Southern families usually supplied rum and presents (often candy) to their slaves on the first of the year.

Traditional symbols of the American colonial Christmas did not resemble our modern Christmas celebration. The Christmas tree originated in Germany in the 16th century, but did not gain popularity in America until after 1842 when it was introduced in Williamsburg.

Life on the American colonial frontier was, as it would be expected, quite different from the well established east coast.

The frontier at that time was heavily populated with the Scotch-Irish. They organized their lives by the events of the Christian calendar, but differed greatly from the rest of British America. For reasons unknown to us, they seemed to have preserved some of the ancient Christian rituals which had lingered along the border lands between England and Scotland decades after they were abandoned in other regions of the British Isles.

Our frontier people seemed to have kept a day which they called "Old Christmas", on January 6th. On that day, even in the poorest of homes, feasts were common, and they lit bonfires that night. They also celebrated by continual discharging of their muskets. This had been the custom in the British borderlands. On the Southern frontier some of these customs continued to the 20th century. Visitors to Appalachia and the highlands of North Carolina found the practice of "Old Christmas" with bonfires and the firing of guns, along with fireworks still exist.

One visitor noted: "In some parts of this country it is the custom to observe what is known as 'Old Christmas' ". Opinion varies as to the date: Some believe it is the 5th and some the 6th of January. This day is believed by these people who keep it to be the real date of the birth of Jesus. They say the Christmas we observe is a "man­made" Christmas."

The first Christmas card did not appear until about 1846 in England.

Christmas Carols were sung during the holidays, but most of the popular carols of today had not been written before the late 1700's.

The most enduring hymn that was popular in colonial America was Joy to the World, written by Isaac Watts of Virginia during the 1760s.  

Newspaper Extracts  - Sullivan's Staten Island Raid  

Source letters from Greensleves Staten Island Raid series 


Extract of a letter from Hanover (East Jersies) dated August 24 
"About eleven o'clock last night I returned to this place from an excursion upon Staten island.Thursday, at four o'clock in the afternoon, the division marched from this place, and arrived at Elizabeth town at ten in the evening ; moved down to Halsted's point, where there were boats collected, and at daybreak the division had compleatly crossed. Col. Ogden with his own regiment, Col. Dayton's and about 100 militia, crossed at the same time at the Old Blazing Star. General Sullivan moved with gen. Deborre`s brigade, to attack col. Barton's regiment that lay at the New Star.
General Smallwood with his brigade moved in another column to the Dutch church, to attack colonel Buscark's' regiment ; and colonel Ogden marched in another column to attack Allen's, Lawrence's, and Dungan's regiments, that lay about the Old Star. General Smallwood's guide, instead of bringing him in the rear of the regiment, led him in full front of them ; they formed on the east side of the bridge, and the gen. was moving over in a solid column to attack them ; but the enemy, unwilling to be shot at, retreated to their lines in the north east - part of the island. Instead of Busscark's it was a British regiment which retreated so precipitately that the gen. took their stand of colours, burnt seven small armed vessels, and a large barn full of forage. The gen. being ordered not to go any farther than that place, joined gen. Sullivan at the New Star, who had in a little time settled the matter with col. Barton's regiment, they being but few in number, and the greatest paltroons I ever saw. " They made a shew of fighting, but did not stand to receive our fire ; we took about thirty of them, and their colonel. Colonel Ogden's party advancing with the ut
most precipitation, drove the cowardly enemy before them, took colonel Lawrence, three captains, six subalterns, one doctor, and eighty privates. General Sullivan marched the division to the Old Star, and got them all over except the rear guard, which the enemy advanced upon and took. The bravery of the little party commanded by major Stewart would do honor to the first troop in the world ; they were posted behind a hedge, and kept up such a blaze upon the enemy, that they were forced to retreat every time they advanced ; the little party, consisting of not more than fifty men having bravely maintained their post and expended their ammunition, major Stewart, whose gallant behaviour would do honor to the first of characters, told his party that he had too great a respect for their bravery to sacrifice them, that he would surrender himself, and give those, that could swim an opportuility to get off; they all pulled off their hats and begged of him not to surrender, that some of them had two cartridges left, that they would fire them, and stand by him till they were cut to pieces; Stewart fixed a white handkerchief upon the point of his sword, and walked as cool as if he had been going to shake hands with a friend ; many of the party got over the river. The action was grand though horrid. I plainly saw the whole. We have lost three majors, some captains, subalterns, stragglers, and in all one hundred and twenty-seven privates."

The Pennsylvania Evening Post
August 26, 1777.

Extract of another letter from the same place, August 24.
" I have but just time to inform you, that our division made a forced march the 21st instant, to Staten Island, from 3 o'clock in the afternoon ; at day-break next day we got on the Island. General Smallwood went down the island, and by the error of his guide 200 men, with some principal officers, escaped in boats. Our brigade went towards Amboy, surprized about 150 of the enemy, 40 of whom we made prisoners, the others hid in marshes and corn-fields, so that we could not find them. Col. Ogden landed before day at the Old Blazing Star, and took 80 or more, with a large booty of every sort ;he deserves much credit. Our division were obliged to leave a part of their men behind ; boats sufficient, not having been secured to make safe our retreat. Major Stuart, of Maryland, with about 80 men attacked and' beat back their main body three times, he and his men did honour to their country. Many of our brave fellows
swam the Sound and others were, no doubt drowned in the attempt. All our regiment are well, except twelve
or thirteen straglers. The chief loss sustained is in Col. Price's regiment. "We have lost Col. Antill ; he refuses, it is said, to be exchanged ;' Majors Stewart, Tillard, Woodson and Powell Capt. Herron and ten other officers, with 130 or 140 privates. We have taken about 120 or 130 privates, two Colonels, three Captains, and seven or eight subalterns. It's certain that our men killed a great number; they fought until all their cartridges were expended. Gen.
Sullivan saw them, and with the other officers give the greatest credit to Jack Stewart and the brave Marylanders
he had left. We are in hopes to exchange parties immediately."

Another letter says, " We have lost Lieut. Col. Antil, Majors John Stewart, Woodson, and Tillard, Capt Carlisle,and Dr. Duffe taken prisoners, and that Capt. Hernand Lieutenants Lee, Anderson and Campble are missing
--Seven Officers swam across the Sound, and got off safe."

Submitted by Steve Santucci 2nd New Jersey

Thomas Brown – 2nd NJ Regt.

June 16, 1780 –“At a Brigade General Court martial held in General Maxwell’s Brigade the 15th instant whereof Colonel Spencer is President; Thomas Brown soldier of the 2nd Jersey regiment was tried for “Desertion and persuading another soldier to desert” found Guilty of both charges being a breach of the 1st and 4th Articles of the 6th Section of the Articles of War and sentenced (more than two thirds of the Court agreeing thereto) to suffer Death.The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it to be put in Execution tomorrow morning Nine o’clock at such place as General Maxwell shall think proper. The General Court Martial whereof Colonel Meigs is President will sit Tomorrow morning 9 o clock at the old house near the Forks of the road between the first and second lines.” General Orders

: Thomas Brown had previously been tried and sentenced on March 19th and received 100 lashes. On April 5, he was tried again and was sentenced to death but was reprieved on May 26, 1780 [see above]. He was one of the 10 men reprieved that day. One was still executed. But tried and convicted of desertion for a third time [June 15] he was executed on June 16 or 17, 1780 [see below].

Sentenced to Death but Not Executed

May 26, 1780 – “By His Excellency George Washington Esquire General and Commander in Chief of the Forces of the United States of America.

Whereas Emanuel Evans soldier in the 3rd, Cornelius Nix soldier in the 1st and Thomas Brown soldier in the 2nd Jersey Regiments – Also Joseph Infelt & John Earhart soldiers in the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment likewise Matthew Bell soldier in the 2nd, James Hanly soldier in the 4th and Lencaster Lighthall soldier in the 3d New York Regiments and Corporal Thomas Clark of the 4th and Thomas Calvin soldier in the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment after legal trial and Conviction of high crimes and Misdemeanors to them respectively imputed were sentenced to suffer death for the same , which sentences respectively were by me approved and ordered to be executed this Day.

Now be it known that for Sundry weighty considerations by virtue of the powers in me vested, I have thought fit to pardon the said Emanuel Evans, Cornelius Nix, Thomas Brown, Joseph Infelt, John Earhart, Matthew Bell, James Hanly, Lancaster Lighthall, Thomas Clark and Thomas Calvin – and they are hereby pardoned accordingly and the Sentences pronounced against them and each of them as aforesaid wholly remitted and released.Given under my Hand & Seal at Camp Morristown this Twenty Sixth day of May Anno Domini 1780       G. Washington

May 26, 1780 – “Eleven soldiers are condemned to suffer death for various crimes, three of whom are sentenced to be shot; the whole number were prepared for execution this day, but pardons were granted by the commander-in-chief to those who were to have been shot, and the seven others, while under the gallows. This was a most solemn and affecting scene, capable of torturing the feelings even of the most callous breast. The wretched criminals were brought in carts to the place of execution. Mr. Rogers, the chaplain, attended them to the gallows, addressed them in a very pathetic manner, impressing on their minds the heinousness of their crimes, the justice of their sentence, and the high importance of a preparation for death. The criminals were placed side by side, on the scaffold, with halters round their necks, their coffins before their eyes, their graves open to their view, and thousands of spectators bemoaning their awful doom. The moment approaches when every eye is fixed in expectation of beholding the agonies of death – the eyes of the victims are already closed from the light of this world. At this awful moment, while their fervent prayers are ascending to Heaven, an officer comes forward and reads a reprieve for seven of them, by the commander-in-chief. The trembling criminals are now divested of the habiliments of death, and their bleeding hearts leap for joy. How exquisitely rapturous must be the transition when snatched from the agonizing horrors of a cruel death, and mercifully restored to the enjoyment of a life that had been forfeited! No pen can describe the emotions which must have agitated their souls. They were scarcely able to remove from the scaffold without assistance. The chaplain reminded them of the gratitude they owed the commander-in-chief for his clemency towards them, and that the only return in their power to make, was a life devoted to the faithful discharge of their duty. The criminal who was executed had been guilty of forging a number of discharges, by which he and more than a hundred soldiers had left the army. He appeared to be penitent, and behaved with uncommon fortitude and resolution. He addressed the soldiers, desired them to be faithful to their country and obedient to their officers, and advised the officers to be punctual in all their engagements to the soldiers, and give them no cause to desert. He examined the halter, and told the hangman the knot was not made right, and that the rope was not strong enough, as he was a heavy man. Having adjusted the knot and fixed it round his own neck, he was swung off instantly. The rope broke, and he fell to the ground, by which he was very much bruised. He calmly reascended the ladder and said, ‘I told you the rope was not strong enough: do get a stronger one.’ Another being procured he was launched into eternity.”
Dr. James Thacher, Jackson’s Regt., Stark’s Brigade

Private Thomas Brown, 2 NJ is a continuation of the above story

April 5, 1780 –“At a division General Court Martial held March 30th. By order of Major General Lord Stirling of which Majr. Edwards was President: Thomas Brown of the 2nd. New Jersey regiment was brought before the court charged with “Desertion” and plead guilty. The Court on considering the charge against Thomas Brown and finding him to be an old offender, guilty of repeated desertion, do unanimously sentence him to be hanged by the neck until he is dead.
The Commander in Chief approves the sentence.”
General Orders

May 26, 1780 – “By His Excellency George Washington Esquire General and Commander in Chief of the Forces of the United States of America.
Whereas Emanuel Evans soldier in the 3rd, Cornelius Nix soldier in the 1st and Thomas Brown soldier in the 2nd Jersey Regiments – Also Joseph Infelt & John Earhart soldiers in the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment likewise Matthew Bell soldier in the 2nd, James Hanly soldier in the 4th and Lencaster Lighthall soldier in the 3d New York Regiments and Corporal Thomas Clark of the 4th and Thomas Calvin soldier in the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment after legal trial and Conviction of high crimes and Misdemeanors to them respectively imputed were sentenced to suffer death for the same , which sentences respectively were by me approved and ordered to be executed this Day.

Now be it known that for Sundry weighty considerations by virtue of the powers in me vested, I have thought fit to pardon the said Emanuel Evans, Cornelius Nix, Thomas Brown, Joseph Infelt, John Earhart, Matthew Bell, James Hanly, Lancaster Lighthall, Thomas Clark and Thomas Calvin – and they are hereby pardoned accordingly and the Sentences pronounced against them and each of them as aforesaid wholly remitted and released.

Given under my Hand & Seal at Camp Morristown this Twenty Sixth day of May Anno Domini 1780

G. Washington

By His Excellencys Command Rob. Harrison Secy.”

June 16, 1780
–“At a Brigade General Court martial held in General Maxwell’s Brigade the 15th instant whereof Colonel Spencer is President; Thomas Brown soldier of the 2nd Jersey regiment was tried for “Desertion and persuading another soldier to desert” found Guilty of both charges being a breach of the 1st and 4th Articles of the 6th Section of the Articles of War and sentenced (more than two thirds of the Court agreeing thereto) to suffer Death.
The Commander in Chief approves the sentence and orders it to be put in Execution tomorrow morning Nine o’clock at such place as General Maxwell shall think proper.
The General Court Martial whereof Colonel Meigs is President will sit Tomorrow morning 9 o clock at the old house near the Forks of the road between the first and second lines.”General Orders


March 23, 1780 –“Recruiting Instructions”


For of the Regiment of New Jersey in the service of the United States

Submitted by Steve Santucci 2nd New Jersey
transcribed by Eric Olsen MNHP Historian And Ranger


     By a Law of the State of New Jersey passed at Trentown the eleventh day of this Instant March Four Hundred able bodied and effective volunteers are to be inlisted into the three regiments of this state in the service of the United States to continue in the said service during the present war with Great Britain and for the better carrying the said___ to execution; as soon as possible officers are to be appointed and sent into the different counties of this state for the purpose of inlisting and forwarding such recruits as may engage in the service.

     You are therefore by order from the Commander in Chief appointed to proceed forthwith into the county of in this state and there use your best endeavors to inlist as many able bodied volunteers as you can on the terms and conditions of the said law, a copy of which you have herewith for the government of your conduct in carrying the same into execution.

     You are further to observe that the men you inlist be not only able bodied and effective but straight and well limbed of proper heighth and shape for a soldier not upwards of forty years of age nor under eighteen (unless the recruit should be of remarkable strength and growth) clear of rupture, unsoundness or any other defect, fixt or habitual desease that may render him unfit for an active soldier and you are by no means to enlist any deserter from the British Army. The men on their arrival in camp will be critically examined by the Inspector General or one of their sub Inspectors and if any one be found defective in any one of these points, they will be rejected  notwithstanding they may have been passed by the County Muster Master appointed by the act.

     You will be furnished with an active non-commissioned officer; two privates and one Drum from the regiment you belong to, in order to assist in this business and in bringing the recruits to the regiment. When you are from time to time to send to it as soon as you can make up a squad of five or six of them with a return of them to the commanding officer of the Regiment. You will take particular care that your party be kept in good order, and of decent friendly behavior to the people of the county and clean and well dressed as their circumstances will admit of.

     You will observe in the law before mentioned that each recruit is to receive a bounty of one thousand dollars, exclusive of the continental bounty and emoluments by these last words are to be understood the cloathing, land and such other benefits as may be hereafter allowed by Congress to soldiers serving during the war, you will therefore be carefull to explain it to the men you inlist that the one thousand dollars is the whole bounty in money they are to expect and you are to consider the two hundred dollars bounty allowed by the law to the recruiting officer for each volunteer he shall enlist agreeable to the ___ as the full intended compensation for your trouble & expense in the service however you and your party my ___your rations of provisions from the county commissary on your certificate of their numbers.

     On your arrival in the county of    you are to show those instructions to the county muster master and the county paymaster and request them to communicate the substance of them to the officers of Militia that such of them as may incline to inlist men by virtue of the Act may be informed of the requisites necessary to qualify a recruit to be received in the regiments and that they may act uniformly with you in carrying the law into execution.

     You are weekly to inform me and Genl. Maxwell of your success in this service with a return of the number you had inlisted by the last return, the number sinceand the number sent to camp.

     You are to use your utmost vigilance in forwarding this service as the law giving this bounty will expire on the 20th of May next after which you are with your party and recruits immediately to join your Regt.

     You are while on this service to use your utmost endeavours to detect all deserters from the Continental army and send them to camp or their respective regiments for which you will be allowed one hundred dollars each, payable by the paymaster of the regiment he belongs to and all men on furlough who have over staid their time and sick absent who have recovered are to be sent into camp as soon as possible.


Given in camp near Morris Town this twenty third day of March 1780 (copy) Stirling MG

Lord Stirling to Washington – Copy of Recruiting Instructions


Brigade Orders, NJ Brigade

December 23, 1779 – The Inspection review of the brigade will commence  on Saturday next, the first regt. to parade for that purpose at ten o’clock in the forenoon and the second at two o’clock in the afternoon of the same day, the third and fourth regts. to be inspected at the same hours of the day following. The comd. Officers of Companies will be previously furnished with blank returns on which are only to be inserted the names of the non commissioned officers and privates. It is directed that all officers be particular in attending their respective reviews and that as many of their men attend as can be possibly retain’d from duty. It is also directed that the soldiers arms be in the best condition.”

Division Orders, NJ Brigade, Spencer’s Regiment

March 1, 1780 – “The inspection and muster rolls of the division to be prepared immediately the latter to include those for which the troops have not yet been muster’d. Hand’s Brigade to parade for this purpose at ten o’clock on Friday and Maxwell’s on Saturday at ten o’clock. No officer to be absent from the review unless by permission on pain of being reported in the remarks of the inspection. Everyman to be paraded who can. Previous to the review only one muster roll and one inspection return to be prepar’d for each company. The latter to include the alteration since inspection.”

Regimental Orders, Spencers Regt., NJ Brigade

March 22, 1780 – “A Subaltern officer will be appointed every day to visit the Hutts and invirons of the Camp and make report daily of its situation to the commanding officer.”

 Division Orders [NJ & Hands], NJ Brigade, Spencers Regt., NJ Brigade

April 27, 1780 –“The division to be mustered on the day of Inspection. The companies as at the last review will be inspected by regimental returns containing the monthly alterations – the arms, accoutrements & cloathing by the account books.

Regimental Orders, Spencer’s Regt., NJ Brigade

April 28, 1780 –“Officers commanding companies are directed to compleat each man with arms and accoutrements in the best manner possible and in the cleanest and best order immediately. Returns to be made and sent to the QM for such articles as are wanting, who is without the least delay to make application to the Conductor for a supply. The returns are to include all such absent men as the officer is well assured will soon return, and has not already drawn the articles returned for. All waiters are to be completed with arms and accoutrements in the same order as the other soldiers in the regiment and always make their appearance on the parade on Inspection and Muster days in particular. Such cartridge boxes as are not on the new construction are to be turned in and proper boxes drawn.

     On Monday morning next at Nine oClock the regt. will be inspected by the Commanding Officer and no excuse for dirty arms or deficiency’s (of any Article which it is possible to procure) will be admitted but delinquents punished. The belts to be made clean and white as soon as Clay can be procured.”


 Brigade Orders, New Jersey Brigade, Spencer’s Regiment

May 28, 1780 – “Genl. Maxwell reminds the officers of the brigade that the inspection of arms for the month of June approaches, and hopes that the Command’g officers of regiments will pay just attention to their respective corps. That the brigade will not be inferior to the rest of the army in strength of brilliancy of arms.”

Brigade Orders, NJ Brigade on outpost at Connecticut Farms

June 3, 1780 –“On Monday next at ten oClock in the morning will be the review of Inspection and Muster.Tis expected that the men’s Arms will be put in the best possible order and that their appearance will be as clean and decent as circumstances will permit.”

Brigade Orders, NJ Brigade on outpost duty at West Farms, NJ [Westfield?]

June 4, 1780 –“The troops will parade tomorrow morning for inspection and muster at the beating of assembly.”

Newspaper Extracts - PHILADELPHIA

Extract of a letter from Haddonfeld, March 17, 1777

“ I have just seen a letter from Gen. Maxwell, dated at Westfield, on the 14th instant, in which he mentions a . skirmish of some importance with the enemy, on Saturday the 8th instant : As it is new to me I transmit it to you, ‘tho you may probably have had a better account of it. He mentions that the enemy had brought out all their troops from Amboy &c. supposed to be about 3000 and posted themselves on Yunkhill: They brought artillery and a number of waggons, as if to forage, ‘tho there was none left in that neighbourhood worth notice. General Maxwell, with the troops under his command, was on a rising ground to the northward, in plain view, tho’ at a good distance. The enemy were too well situated to be attacked : He sent a party to the left to amuse them, but his real design was to the right on the heights towards Bonamtown : He sent a strong party that way to examine their lines, if they had any, & to fall in near the end of them, that he might fall on their flank ; this was performed by part of Col. Potter’s battalion of Pennsylvania militia, and part of  Col. Thatcher’s of N. E. Col. Cook of the Pennsylvanians had been ordered from Matuching to come down on Carman’s Hill and keep along the heights till he met the enemy. About half a mile lower down between Carman’s Hill and Woodbridge, the two parties being joined, met a strong advanced party of the enemy. On the first firing Col. Martin and Lieut. Col. Lindleywere sent to support them ; they all behaved well, and kept their ground till they were supported from the main body, which immediately marched that way. The enemy also sent out a reinforcement; but on another regiment of ours being sent on the left to cut them off from their main body ; the party gave way in great confusion ; the flame catched their main body, and all went together. Our people pursued them and took a prisoner and a baggage waggon close in their rear, a good way down in the plain ground. Bonamtown lay too near on the right, and a plain open ground towards Amboy, to pursue far. They left four dead on the field, and we took three prisoners. By the quantity the enemy carried off in sleds, and waggois, itis supposed they had near 20 killed and twice that number wounded. Gen. Maxwell also mentions, that by a soldier taken about the 11th instant, he learns, that Gen. Howe was at Bonamtown during the engagement, till he saw his troops make the best of their way home, and then he thought itwas time for him to go. That the enemy’s real design in coming out that day was to secure the General’s safe passage to Amboy, and that he is since gone to .New-York. The soldier further says they talk no more of going to Morris-Town. Gen. Maxwell adds, that by every account from prisoners, deserters, and inhabitants,the killed, wounded and missing of the enemy, in the action of the 23d of February was upwards of 500.”
The Pennsylvania Journal, March 19,. 1777.

Extract of a letter from Morristown, dated March 10.
“General Maxwell attacked the enemy on Saturday last, near Quible or Squable-town, as they were penetrating into the country for provender, most kinds of which are much wanted among them. We had three men slightly wounded, none killed or taken ; the enemy left four dead on the field, and carried off numbers as usual, which, by accounts from the prisoners, were twenty, and ‘ numbers wounded. Their rear was so closely pursued that they left one waggon behind ; the three prisoners are just arrived, and eay the 42d, or Highland Watch, suffered greatly in the last action.“Yesterday Major Butler, whose station is near Samtown, had a brush with the enemy, drove in their piquet guard, took four slain on the field, and seven horses. The express waits, or I would be more particular.”-
The Pennsylvania Gazette, March 19, 1777.

Newspaper Extracts - Battle of Trenton

Extract of a letter from an officer of distinction at Newtown, Bucks county, dated December 27, 1776.

" It was determined some days ago, that our army should pass over to Jersey, in three different places, and attack the enemy. Accordingly about two thousand five hundred men, and twenty brass fieldpieces, with his Excellency Gen. Washington at their head, and Major Gens. Sullivan and Green, in command of two divisions passed over on the night of Christmas, and about three o'clock, A.M . were on their march, by two routs, towards Trenton. The night was sleety, and the roads so slippery that it was daybreak when we were two miles from Trenton. But happily the enemy were not apprised of our design, and our advanced party were on their guards at half a mile from the town, when Gen. Sullivan's and Gen. Green`s division soon came into the same road. Their guard gave our advanced party several smart fires, as we drove them ; but we soon got two fieldpieces at play, and several others in a short time ; and one of our Colonels pushing down on the right, while the others advanced on the left, into the town. The enemy, consisting of about fifteen hundred Hessians, under Col. Rohl,formed and made some smart fires from the musketry and six field pieces, but our people pressed from every quarter, and drove them from their cannon. They retreated towards a field behind a piece of wood up the creek, from Trenton, and formed in two bodies, which I expected would have brought on a smart engagement from the troops, who had formed very near them, but at that instant, as I came in full view of them, from the back of the wood, with his Excellency General Washington, an officer informed him that the party had grounded their arms, and surrendered prisoners. "The others soon followed their example, except a part which had got off in the hazy weather, towards Princeton, and a party of their light horse which made off on our first appearance. Too much praise cannot be given to the officers of every regiment. By their active and spirited behavior, they soon put an honorable issue to this glorious day.

"I mas immediately sent off with the prisoners to M'Conkey`s ferry, and have got about seven hundred and fifty safe in town and a few miles from here, on this side the ferry, viz. one Lieutenant Colonel, two Majors, four Captains, seven Iieutenants, and eight Ensigns. We left C'ul. Rohl, the Commandant, wounded, on his parole, and several other officers and wounded men at Trenton. We lost but two of our men that I can hear of, a few wounded, and one brave officer, Capt. Washington, who assisted ill securing their artillery, shot in both hands. Indeed every officer and private behaved well, and it was a most fortunate day to our arms, which I the more rejoice at having an active part in it. The success of this day will greatly animate our friends, and add fresh courage to our new army, which, when formed, mill be sufficient to secure us from the depredations or insults of our enemy.

" Gen. Ewing's division could not pass at Trenton for ice, which also impeded Gen. Cadwalader passing over with all his cannon and the militia, though part of his troops were over, and if the whole could have passed, we should have swept the coast to Philadelphia. We took three standards, six fine brass cannon, and about one thousand stands of arms."

Published by order of Council of Safety.

G. Bickham. pro tern.

By an authentic account received this morning, the following is a list of prisoners taken viz. : One Col. two Lieut. Cols. three Majors, four Captains, eight Lieuts,twelve Ensigns, two Surgeon Mates, ninety nine sergeants, twenty five drummers, nine musicians, twenty five servants, and seven hundred and forty privates. Philadelphia, Dec. 31. By the last advices from the Jersies, we learn the enemy are every where flying before our army, who frequently take small parties of them. Since the affair at Trenton, it is said, we have taken four hundred, amongst whom are several officers. Yesterday morning upwards of nine hundred Hessians, who were taken at Trenton, were brought to this city. The wretched condition of these unhappy men, most of whom, if not all, were dragged from their wives and families by a despotic and avaricious prince, rnust sensibly affect every generous mind with the dreadful effects of arbitrary power.Last Monday seven of the lighthorse belonging to this city, took nine lighthorsemen from the enerny, near Princeton, without firing a gun. Last Thursday afternoon C'ol. Rohl died, at Trenton,of the wounds he received that morning.

The Pennsylvania Evening Post December 31, 1776


We hear that on Thursday night last, General Washington (who then occupied one part of Trenton, whilst the main body of the British army were in possession of the other) having received intelligence that General Howe,' with four thousand men, was advancing to reinforce the main body of the enemy, he went off privately at midnight, in order to intercept Howe; and meeting with him and his army at Maidenhead, after making the necessary dispositions, an engagement ensued early in the morning, when the enemy, standing a smart fire for half an hour, gave way. General Washington has taken eight field pieces. He found his army so superior to the enemy, that he not only pursued them, but found himself able to despatch two brigades to the relief of that part of his army he left behind him, to amuse the main body of the enemy at Trenton, which decamped as soon as they heard of Washington's victory, and filed off towards Pennytown. Our men, it is said, behaved with the greatest bravery. It is very probable General Howe's expedition into the Jersies will be as fatal to him as that of Gage's to Lexington, and New-York will be evacuated like Boston, for a body of the New England forces are in possession of the heights above Kingbridge.-

The Pennsylvania Evening Post, January -I, 1777.


The Real Reason for the Hessian Defeat at Trenton

Extract of a letter from Chatham,* March 26.

April 5. The defeat of the Hessians at Trenton was primarily owing to a dispute which subsisted between the English and German troops. Col. Rhal, apprehending he should be attacked by superior numbers, required of Lord Cornwallis a reinforcement. Two regiments under Col.Grant were detached for the purpose. The English troops showed a reluctance to assist the Hessians. They halted for a few hours, during which interval Col. Rhal was defeated.The disputes between the English and the Hessian troops originated from the following incident. An officer of the regiment of Losberg engaged some English officers at Princeton, in a conversation respecting military discipline. An English officer, whether heated by liquor, or irascible through passion, replied to the German by throwing a punch bowl at his head. The insult was properly resented. But the seeds of discord being thus unhappily sown, a crop of evils ensued. The private men, adopted the quarrels of their officers, indulged themselves in frequent rencounters. If we credit the tale bearers of the ministry, the defeat of the Hessians at Trenton is to be ascribed the drunkenness of Col. Rhal. Lord Weymouth is the best judge, whether there is any virtue in such a palliative.The
Pennsylvania Evening Post, June 24, 1777.
*Chatham Dockyards, England.



 Documents Relating  To The Revolutionary History Of The State of New Jersey .

Volume I. Extracts From American Newspapers. 1776-1777

 Edited By William S. Stryker, A.M., LL.D. Adjutant -General Of New Jersey.

Trenton, N. J., The  John L. Murphy Publishing CO  printer  1901