Battle of Bordentown June 9-10, 2007


Historical Facts of Bordentown and surrounding areas during the War of Independents

by Carl Szathmary, 3th PA Light Infantry

December 22nd, 1776

Bordentown, NJ

Colonel von Donop – Commander at Bordentown

An alarm gun brought Colonel von Donop from Bordentown to review the situation at Black Horse (Columbus). He concluded that the Americans might well over-run the Hessian position at Black Horse and move on to back his own troops against the Delaware at Bordentown. Overlooking his prior responsibility as a back-up for the 1500 Hessians at Trenton, von Donop returned to Bordentown and ordered his entire force to make ready to march south the next morning, against Colonial Griffin's regiments.

December 23rd

The blare of a Hessian band may well have alternated with the skirl of Scottish pipes and the clank of gun carriages on crusted earth, as von Donop's army marched against Petticoat Bridge (Re-enactment held 1992). Below the stream, American Sharpshooters were hidden in the trees and brought the Hessian advance to a halt- but the weight of the enemy columns and the range of the rumbling British artillery dictated the next move. Running and firing, skirmishing and retreating, the Americans returned to Mount Holly. Hessians Surgeons treated numerous casualties in the meeting-house near the Bridge

(Still there today), while von Donop made the blunder some decision to follow the Americans to Mount Holly with his entire force.

December 24th

With double teams von Donop dragged his "6-pounders" to the summit of the Mount, and bombarded the American guns on Iron Works Hill.
(Bought of these positions are still there)

December 25th

The American were gone, marching on the road to Moorestown. The army of von Donop held its Mount Holly position, making merry over the contents of the local brewery.

December 26th

The first hint to the Hessians that something was amiss came in the morning, with the dull distant thunder of guns echoing from the north. The Battle of Trenton was making history, bringing and overwhelming victory to the Americans. With von Donop many miles from the scene, he could do nothing.

He had simply been decoyed away!

Note: These entire sites are with in 5 miles of Bordentown and are easy to get to. If you come a few days earlier take the time to visit the area.

The Bordentown Navy

The Continental frigates, Effingham and Washington, were being built at Philadelphia in 1776 and Captain John Barry was ordered to take command of them. While the Effingham and Washington was being built Capt. Barry recruited a company of volunteers for land service. Barry acted as an aide to General Cadwalader, and sent on several occasions as a bearer of important dispatches. His next duty was assisting in the defense of Philadelphia and operations in the upper Delaware River. When the British took possession of Philadelphia in September 1777, Captain Barry was ordered to take the uncompleted Continental frigates Effingham and Washington up the Delaware River with the other ships Mercury, Race Horse, Fly, Hornet, Wasp, Sachem and other small ships to a place of safety (Bordentown). As the British were closing in on Barry at the upper part of the Delaware River, efforts were made to hide the ships by moving them up Crosswick Creek where the masts and rigging would be hidden in the trees along the banks of the creek. New Jersey Militia engaged the British troops from the shore that were rowing up the Delaware starting at Burlington, NJ. They continue firing on the troop barges, which were sitting ducks, as they continue rowing up the Delaware to destroy the shipping. When British troops landed at Douglas Point in White Hill (Fieldsboro) they moved toward Bordentown, took the town and started to destroy the ships that where pulled up Crosswick Creek. A total of over 20 ships of all types were burned and supplies destroyed. Many of these ships still lie where they were destroyed in the creek and a few where the Yacht Club is today. (One lies under the train bridge and the outline can be seen from the train bridge at low tide) On October 25th General Washington asked for the crews and the cannon of the Effingham and Washington and from the other small ships to be used in the fleet, and two days later the Effingham and Washington were ordered sunk or burned. Effingham and Washington were sunk 2 November just below Bordentown, NJ to deny their use to the British. These ships where later raised by the British and used as prison ship. The other ships were sunk and burned.



Logistics contains directions on how to get to the Battle of Bordentown event from various locations. Its also contains links to accommodations near Bordentown, New Jersey and attractions in the surrounding area.


The news section contains all the latest news about the Battle of Bordentown and any recent important updates to this web site. It also contains links to press articles that talk about the Battle of Bordentown and the 325th Anniversary of the city of Bordentown.


This section contains information living historians need for the Battle of Bordentown. This includes participant schedule, list of registered units, command structure and other important information that participants will need. It also includes information for Sutlers/Merchants.
The online unit registration is now closed.

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