Hessian Burials

Piney Boy

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Sep 19, 2005
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Williamstown, NJ
All,

I am lucky enough to have been awarded a grant to write a book on The Battle of Red Bank (Revolutionary war) in National Park. It was my graduate school thesis, and a topic I have accumulated primary documents on for years now. With the renewed interest in NJ and the Revolutionary war, Congress just allotted 20 mil. to preserve sites, I believe my time has come to get something out.
With this in mind I have been visiting many sites in that area; Woodbury Friends Meeting House, the battle field site, the Hessian travel route, etc, Strangers burial yard in Deptford, Ashbrook Cemetary in Glendora etc. One of my goals is to come up with some more Hessian burial sites.
So, as a font of knowledge on SJ sites I come to you. Anybody familiar with Hessian burial sites in Gloucester Co.? Thanks for any help you all provide.
Joe~
 
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Piney Boy

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Sep 19, 2005
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Williamstown, NJ
Thanks for the vote of confidence T_I_N. I've sold and published articles, but never something in book format so I'm a little nervous about the undertaking. I'm looking at a 1 1/2 as a target date.
I have also been going there since I was a kid, not quite 3 decades, but certainly a long while. I fondly remember Boy scout jamboree events were we ran round and round looking at the cannons, and watching ships out on the Delaware. With the new NJ preservation push thats gonna happen Red Bank may get some deserved respect in the Rev. war picture.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
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Pestletown
A Very Likely Source

With this in mind I have been visiting many sites in that area; Woodbury Friends Meeting House, the battle field site, the Hessian travel route, etc, Strangers burial yard in Deptford, Ashbrook Cemetary in Glendora etc. One of my goals is to come up with some more Hessian burial sites.
So, as a font of knowledge on SJ sites I come to you. Anybody familiar with Hessian burial sites in Gloucester Co.? Thanks for any help you all provide.
Joe~
He doesn't seem to post much here, but you want to get in contact with JERSEYMAN on this site. His knowledge of South and West Jersey history is quite good and the region you have asked about unless I am wrong.... My money is on him for details. He is an Author and has been active in local historical societies fitting your geography.

G.
 
Jul 12, 2006
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Gloucester City, NJ
One of the most disappointing aspects of the Whitman House (I think that's the name) refurbishing was when the bricked over the cannon balls that protruded from the walls of that building. A bunch of character and history was lost with those no longer being visible.
 

Piney Boy

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Sep 19, 2005
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Williamstown, NJ
Oh I most definitely agree, the Whittall House still has plenty of character, but the fact that the battle had touched a Quaker home made it all the more powerful.
 

grendel

Explorer
Feb 24, 2006
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Fredericksburg VA
The cannon balls were not actually from the battle.That whole wall collapsed in the battle and was repaired.The cannon balls were put there in the 1940's.
I grew up in National park ,I have not toured the House since the last restoration.
 

Badfish740

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Feb 19, 2005
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Copperhead Road
Hey congratulations and good luck to you! The Crossroads legislation is a HUGE step forward for Revolutionary war sites in New Jersey history, which have played second banana to places like Boston and Philadelphia for way too long. New Jersey deserves to be recognized! It's a big source of pride for me because I work for someone who was instrumental in getting the bill passed. Anyway, I look forward to the book-certainly an interesting topic!
 

4x4Jim

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Jan 20, 2006
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Hey Piney. I believe on of the major routes the hessians took was over the bridge that gaps deptford and runnemede. If you notice what used to be the RCA field.... It is being dug up and all kinds of fill dirt and construction is going on..... I beleive that there is probably some kind of camp site there and always wanted to metal detect it but it is very strict on the Private Propert aspect. That field has probably been vacant since the hessians passed through... Any ideas??? It is about to be asphalted and some kind of shopping center is going to go up there......:(
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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Hey Piney. I believe on of the major routes the hessians took was over the bridge that gaps deptford and runnemede. If you notice what used to be the RCA field.... It is being dug up and all kinds of fill dirt and construction is going on..... I beleive that there is probably some kind of camp site there and always wanted to metal detect it but it is very strict on the Private Propert aspect. That field has probably been vacant since the hessians passed through... Any ideas??? It is about to be asphalted and some kind of shopping center is going to go up there......:(
I believe you are correct on this, and they traveled up Davis road in Runnemede which was closed off at Fiberglass. It resurrects on the other side in Lawnside and then they continued to Haddonfield.

Jerseyman is the person to contact. He has followed the path of many of the routes through Marlton and other towns.

Guy
 

Piney Boy

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Sep 19, 2005
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Williamstown, NJ
The cannon balls were not actually from the battle.That whole wall collapsed in the battle and was repaired.The cannon balls were put there in the 1940's.
I grew up in National park ,I have not toured the House since the last restoration.
I realize that the cannon balls were not left in the wall from the battle itself, but the Anne whittall diaries do talk of cannon shot perforating the house, and getting her to retreat to the basement. To me, they just sort of represent a middle ground of sorts between the pacifism of the Quakers and the war itself.
 

Piney Boy

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Sep 19, 2005
365
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Williamstown, NJ
Hey congratulations and good luck to you! The Crossroads legislation is a HUGE step forward for Revolutionary war sites in New Jersey history, which have played second banana to places like Boston and Philadelphia for way too long. New Jersey deserves to be recognized! It's a big source of pride for me because I work for someone who was instrumental in getting the bill passed. Anyway, I look forward to the book-certainly an interesting topic!
Thanks so much, I've steadily collected documents for five years or so and am ready to take that next step. And yes, as the REAL crossroads of the revolution NJ deserves some respect in the role it helped play in establishing our country.
Kudos to your friend for a job well done.
 

Piney Boy

Explorer
Sep 19, 2005
365
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Williamstown, NJ
Hey Piney. I believe on of the major routes the hessians took was over the bridge that gaps deptford and runnemede. If you notice what used to be the RCA field.... It is being dug up and all kinds of fill dirt and construction is going on..... I beleive that there is probably some kind of camp site there and always wanted to metal detect it but it is very strict on the Private Propert aspect. That field has probably been vacant since the hessians passed through... Any ideas??? It is about to be asphalted and some kind of shopping center is going to go up there......:(
Lots of conjecture over this, but a real possibility exist that was indeed one of the routes. After the battle, stragglers camped in several locations on their way back to coopers ferry, so it could have seen Hessian soldiers pass through more than once.
Unfortunately, without a state sponsered dig or even some recognition, physical evidence will be lost. At this point I'm sure both property owners and builders want to keep all interested parties away for fear that found cultural evidence could foul their goals. Only other real choice I see is going to the press, recognition of a possibe Rev. war site puts pressure on politicians to protect it, whether they support it or not.
 
Piney Boy:

Your thread topic certainly caught my attention and your project sounds like a good one. I have had a similar project on my radar screen for years, but I may never get to it, so I am glad that you are undertaking it! The primary burial ground for the Hessians who died during the retreat from the battlefield is Ashbrook's Burial Ground in Glendora. As I recall, the main force of Hessians encamped at this cemetery overnight. Many burials occurred right at the battle site, including von Donop's remains, although he lingered three or four days. Following the battle and the Hessian retreat, local militiamen brought in African Americans to deal with the dead. After the surviving Hessians returned to Philadephia, the rumors of dumped fieldpieces began to circulate among the local American forces. When the American commanders ordered the militiamen to look for the discarded cannons, the searchers reportedly thrust pikes into the recent burials at Ashbrook's Burial Ground and promptly fell backwards from the stench emanating out of the graves. Most stories have the Hessians dumping two of their four-pound brass fieldpieces off the bridge over Big Timber Creek.

I have some primary source material related to Red Bank that is virtually unknown to most local scholars and I would be happy to discuss it and your project with you. I'll contact you off-list.

Jerseyman

P.S. LARGO and TeeGate, thank you both for your vote of confidence!
 

Badfish740

Explorer
Feb 19, 2005
589
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Copperhead Road
Lots of conjecture over this, but a real possibility exist that was indeed one of the routes. After the battle, stragglers camped in several locations on their way back to coopers ferry, so it could have seen Hessian soldiers pass through more than once.
Unfortunately, without a state sponsered dig or even some recognition, physical evidence will be lost. At this point I'm sure both property owners and builders want to keep all interested parties away for fear that found cultural evidence could foul their goals. Only other real choice I see is going to the press, recognition of a possibe Rev. war site puts pressure on politicians to protect it, whether they support it or not.
If I were you I would contact Rob Andrews' office. He was a co-signer of Crossroads and may not even know about the site. At the very least the person in his office who handles historic preservation could probably point in the right direction if its not too late.
 

Piney Boy

Explorer
Sep 19, 2005
365
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Williamstown, NJ
I have indeed been in touch with Mr. Andrews office about this project, while not that specific site. Although they had little time or interest in what this project represents or what i had to say, perhaps speaking on that specific site would prove different. Granted, this was more than 2 months ago, so perhaps with the Congressional allotment and NJ's new stance on this topic things may progress differently. Good call badfish740
 

Piney Boy

Explorer
Sep 19, 2005
365
1
18
Williamstown, NJ
Piney Boy:

Your thread topic certainly caught my attention and your project sounds like a good one. I have had a similar project on my radar screen for years, but I may never get to it, so I am glad that you are undertaking it! The primary burial ground for the Hessians who died during the retreat from the battlefield is Ashbrook's Burial Ground in Glendora. As I recall, the main force of Hessians encamped at this cemetery overnight. Many burials occurred right at the battle site, including von Donop's remains, although he lingered three or four days. Following the battle and the Hessian retreat, local militiamen brought in African Americans to deal with the dead. After the surviving Hessians returned to Philadephia, the rumors of dumped fieldpieces began to circulate among the local American forces. When the American commanders ordered the militiamen to look for the discarded cannons, the searchers reportedly thrust pikes into the recent burials at Ashbrook's Burial Ground and promptly fell backwards from the stench emanating out of the graves. Most stories have the Hessians dumping two of their four-pound brass fieldpieces off the bridge over Big Timber Creek.

Ahhh, the mystery fieldpieces, great story right. The local historian Frank Stewart did some extensive searches for them and turned up nothing, but that does not mean there still not out there just waiting to be found.