Sunday, June 10, 2012

Monmouth Courthouse

     June 28 marks the anniversary of the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, fought in 1778 on a brutally hot day.  Considered by many an American victory, since the British left the field, it was a costly engagement that nonetheless failed to destroy the British army, which continued on its retreat to Sandy Hook.  I wandered out there today, along County Road 522 and the route from Englishtown to Freehold taken by General Charles Lee.  On the way back, I stopped at Old Tennent Church and was intrigued to find the graves of several Americans adjacent to that of British Lieutenant Colonel Henry Monckton:

     Monckton's grave is on the far right.  To the immediate left is the grave of American Captain Henry Fauntleroy of Virginia.  Next is the grave of Captain Joshua Huddy, a New Jersey militiaman hanged by the British in a matter that rose to the level of Washington's attention.  The stone on the farthest left commemorates six others buried in the graveyard.  In another part of the church cemetery is a marker for unknown American soldiers killed at Monmouth.

     Monckton, just shy of 38 when he was killed, had been wounded during the Battle of Long Island, fought at the Trenton-related skirmish at Assunpink Creek, as well as at Brandywine and Germantown.  He was removed from the battlefield by members of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment and died in the church, which served as a hospital after the battle.

     More on Monmouth as the month progresses, but this juxtaposition of graves by men who were sworn enemies and fought to the death on the fields of Monmouth is a statement unto itself.

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