The 4th of July is fast approaching! As usual Balladeer’s Blog is posting relevant material and in keeping with my blog’s overall theme here’s a forgotten American victory from the Revolutionary War.
BATTLE OF MILLSTONE
Date: January 20th, 1777
Location: Weston, NJ (Now called Manville)
American Commander: General Philemon Dickinson (Younger brother of John Dickinson)
British Commander: Colonel Robert Abercromby
The Battle: The forces of the United States and the British Army (augmented by their Hessian allies) clashed frequently in the winter of 1777. These battles were often the result of both armies attempting to provision themselves off the increasingly barren New Jersey No-Man’s Land.
At a site called Van Nest’s Mill (the alternate name of the battle) roughly 450 American militiamen battled approximately 500-600 British and Hessians. The Brits had been conducting their usual activities of plundering food from hapless American citizens then burning their homes and businesses.
Dickinson – despite facing superior numbers who possessed field artillery (which, as so often, the ragtag American rebels lacked) – defied conventional military thinking and divided his force. The two divisions encircled the British by fording Millstone River, with many men having to wade through freezing waters. The resulting battle succeeded both in forcing the British forces to retreat AND in seizing all of the Empire’s wagons loaded with plundered supplies.
The British lost 25 killed or wounded plus 15-30 taken prisoner. The Americans lost just 5 killed or wounded. In addition to the 42-50 British supply wagons the American forces recovered 107 horses, 115 cattle and 72 sheep as well as dozens of barrels and bags of flour and assorted other supplies.
FOR REVOLUTIONARY WAR BATTLES PRIOR TO JULY 4th, 1776, CLICK HERE: Before the Fourth
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
16 responses to “MILLSTONE: FORGOTTEN REVOLUTIONARY WAR BATTLE”
Most guys write war in a boring way. You keep it brief enough to be interesting.
Really awesome! These dudes had guts.
I can’t imagine how cold that water was in the Millstone River in winter.
I know what you mean!
I love forgotten history like this! I am definitely bookmarking this website.
Thanks! Glad to hear it!
I like these out ofo the way actions.
Thanks! I think a lot of people are tired of hearing about the same dozen or so battles from the Revolutionary War.
How come other sites don’t cover battles like this?
Because they have that foolish snobbery toward any military action that doesn’t involved thousands upon thousands of men per side.
These kinds of little battles are fun instead of the same few big battles over and over again.
Thank you. I agree.
Why do fun battles like this get so overlooked?
Because Military Historians snobbishly look down on battles that did not involve tens of thousands of men.