Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bound Brook and the Small Battles of the Revolution

April 13 represents the anniversary of the Battle of Bound Brook, one of the engagements during the "Year of the Hangman"--1777--and reflective of the tug of war in New Jersey.  As previously posted (February 26, 2012), this was a small "battle" in which the British drove the Americans from their small garrison, and then abandoned the place.

This is what remains of the stone bridge where Captain Johann Ewald and his Hessians were pinned down until relief came.  He wrote: "We had no choice but to lie down on the ground before the bridge, whereupon I ordered 'Forward!' sounded constantly.  Luckily for us, Colonel Donop's column appeared after a lapse of eight or ten minutes, whereupon the Americans abandoned the redoubt."

Most people know, or have heard of, the "major" battles.  The Revolution was a long war, though, and the majority of activity was in smaller engagements like this, like death by a thousand cuts.  Nathanael Greene wrote to John Adams: "The Enemy had Evacuated the Town before I got here. They held it about an hour." 

Howard Peckham puts the date as April 12, 1777, and reports 2 Americans killed, 20 captured, and 5 British wounded.  It is fitting as these dates come and go that we remember those killed for ephemeral advantage.

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