Critical Revolutionary War Battles in New Jersey
June 2012 marks the 234th anniversary of the largest field artillery battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Monmouth.
The battle was of critical importance to America’s goal of independence from the British. To commemorate the event, the state’s Division of Parks and Forestry hosts the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Monmouth at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan.
The 2012 reenactmant has been cancelled due to construction, but is expected to be held in 2013).
The battle of June 28, 1778 marked the beginning of the end of British rule over the 13 American colonies. The annual re-enactment draws thousands of visitors to see some 200 re-enactors present an authentic recreation of the battle that involved infantry and artillery units exchanging bullets and cannonballs during a daylong fight in blistering heat.
The annual event is the state’s biggest Revolutionary War re-enactment and one of the largest such events in the country. A numbr of demonstrations precede the battle.
If you visit the park, you’ll also see pacing sentries and enlisted men cleaning their weapons or idling away their time gambling as the women of the army cook, mend and wash – all in authentic period clothing.
Visitors may even encounter a drum major drilling his musicians or the court-martial of a rebel. At the parade ground, watch soldiers drill or artillerists fire their cannon.
Another historically significant Revolutionary War event occurred on Jan. 3, 1777, when the peaceful fields and woods of Princeton were transformed into the site of what is considered the fiercest fight of its size during the American Revolution.
Coming at the end of “The Ten Crucial Days,” which saw the well-known night crossing of the Delaware River and two battles in Trenton, the Battle of Princeton gave Gen. George Washington his first victory against British Regulars.
The battle extended over a mile and a half away from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Today, visitors can retrace the historic events of January 1777 at Princeton Battlefield State Park.
The National Park Service operates Morristown National Historical Park, in Morristown, which features a preserved area that was occupied by Washington and the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
The area was selected by Washington because of its logistical, geographical and topographical military advantages and its proximity to New York City, which was occupied by the British.
The 1779-80 winter encampment site of the Continental Army is part of the 1,200-acre park, which includes a three-mile tour road, 25 miles of hiking trails, a visitor center, an 18th century farm and several reconstructed soldier huts.
Tours, special events and re-enactments are held throughout the year.
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