Battle of Monmouth

battleAn article describing the re-enactment of this famous battle during the height of the Revolutionary War would not do it proper justice. Words on paper cannot paint a true picture of the bravery, the fear and the resolve of these men and women who came to Freehold over 200 years ago in the first real struggle for freedom in our nation’s history. The sounds of the cannon fire, the thunder of horse’s hooves, the smell of fresh bacon cooking on an outdoor campfire – none of these images can be experienced by simply reading about them. This is why, as an addition to this article, we have posted an classic – a video that shows exactly what it was like to be there on that fateful day (along with some colorful commentary from your editor-in-chief). You must check that out after you have read this piece.
As for the battle itself, we remember what history has taught us…

Monmouth was the largest battle of the American Revolution. On a hot, exhausting afternoon, the biggest field artillery battle of the war raged, and heat as well as bullets felled infantrymen. Although tactically a draw, it was a strategic victory and a political triumph for the Continental Army and General Washington. The Army had absorbed its Valley Forge training and stood as equals to the British in a large, European-style engagement. The battle also was the undoing of General Charles Lee, long a thorn in Washington’s side. His order to retreat resulted in his court-martial, effectively ending his military career.
The French entry into the war placed the British in a difficult position. If the French navy blockaded the Delaware River, it could starve out the British army in Philadelphia. The British abandoned Philadelphia on June 18, 1778, and began slowly making their way across New Jersey to New York. The Continental Army caught up with them at Monmouth Courthouse on June 28, 1778.

Bring your family to the Battlefield and travel back in time to the 1770s.  Two armies will be preparing to do battle.  Continental Army soldiers retrained at Valley Forge are itching to show off their new skills, while a British-German-Loyalist Army hopes to crush the rebels and restore good government.  Come early for a full day of living history.  The army encampments will welcome visitors beginning at 9 A.M.  Watch soldiers clean their muskets while their women prepare what may be their men’s last meal.  Some officers may be drilling their men while others plan for the battle and yet others play cards.  If someone is accused of cheating, there may be a duel.  Keep track of your children or they may be drafted into one of the armies.
The weekend is sponsored by the re-enactment community, the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield, and the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.  The Friends of Monmouth Battlefield will be requesting an $10 per vehicle donation to defray the costs of the weekend.
The reenactment of the Battle of Monmouth will take place June 20 & 21. Pass pacing sentries, see enlisted men clean their weapons or idle away their time gambling, and watch the women of the army cook, mend, and wash. You may 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. Keep an eye on your children, or the recruiting sergeant may have them drilling with wooden muskets

Monmouth Battlefield State Park
16 Business Route 33, Manalapan, New Jersey 07726
(732) 462-9616 • Monmouth County

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