"British troops" at re-enactment of the Battle of Monmouth, 1978. (Monmouth Battlefield State Park)
Battle of Monmouth:
The Longest Battle of the American Revolution
Visitors to the Monmouth Battlefield State Park in
Freehold, New Jersey, can witness a battle re-enactment that
recalls the hot summer day of June 28, 1778, when the American and
British forces clashed under the direction of Continental Army
General George Washington and British General Sir Henry Clinton. On
June 24, Washington had called a council of war to establish a
strategy of battle against Clinton; the council agreed to avoid a
major confrontation with General Clinton, and instead to send a
small number of Patriot troops to harass the enemy's right and left
When Washington arrived at nearby Englishtown on that
morning of June 28, he ordered his generals to attack the British.
General Charles Lee, who had been opposed to an all-out engagement
with the British, was reluctant to attack, but he and his advance
force were drawn into battle by British forces. In the confusion of
battle, Lee ordered his troops to retreat. Angered, General
Washington, directed Lee and "Mad" Anthony Wayne to fight a
delaying action, while he took command of the Continental troops
and organized them in a defensive position. For the rest of the
day, the two armies clashed in the oppressive heat, finally
withdrawing after 5 o' clock from exhaustion. Washington planned to
resume the battle on the next day, but General Clinton and his men
slipped away, undetected by Washington's army, shortly after
midnight. Neither side emerged a clear winner of the battle, but
the American forces had proved themselves as a professional
Other American heroes also were present at Monmouth.
LaFayette and "Mad" Anthony Wayne took part in the battle. Molly
Hayes, known today as Molly Pitcher, was at Freehold that
unbearably hot day bringing water to her husband and his fellow
gunners as they fired their cannon. When she returned from fetching
water, she discovered that her husband had fallen in battle. She
immediately took his place, serving as a gunner for the remainder
of the battle. Legend says that she was presented to General
Washington after the battle.
Project documentation consists of photocopies of
brochures from Monmouth Battlefield State Park, photocopies from
Washington and the American Revolution: A Guide to the
Campaigns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by Anita D. Blackaby
describing the Battle of Monmouth, an article on the battle from an
historical journal, and six color photos and one black-and-white
photograph of the battlefield. Also included are materials on the
archaeological excavation of the Battlefield: six color snapshots,
a brochure, a press release, newspaper coverage, an article on the
New Jersey Outdoors, and information on
the Deep Search Metal Detecting Club.
Originally submitted by: Christopher H. Smith, Representative (4th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.