“Ihave ever cherished hopes, but my patience is almost thread-bare.”
Colonel AlexanderScammell, 6 September 1780.
ThisSaturday, May 4th, at 11:00 am, I will be leading a Battlefield Tourat Historic New Bridge Landing, in River Edge, New Jersey. The focus of this year’s tour will be thefive week period covering Washington’s 1780 forage of Bergen County and theevents surrounding his much-desired goal of attacking the British in theirstronghold of New York City.
Thisperiod of the Revolution, August-September 1780, was one of the most criticaltimes of the war, and one of the least studied. Washington’s Army was flush with thousands of 6 month levies from the states,but food was so critically short that men did without for days on end. The Army of General Horatio Gates, includingnumerous troops recently sent from the North, was virtually destroyed atCamden, South Carolina. ContinentalCurrency was rapidly depreciating, leading to rampant inflation and troopsgoing unpaid. Lack of pay, clothing andfood combined to produce a powder keg situation amongst the troops, scores ofwhom took to plundering the inhabitants or deserting to the enemy. But at the same time it was a period of hope,with the promise of French assistance. That hope was eventually dashed, when only one of two promised divisionsof French troops and ship arrived, and those that did make it to Newport weremostly too ill for any immediate campaigning. And then came, or rather went, Benedict Arnold…
Joinme as we discuss all this, and more, at one of America’s most historicsites. Admission is $7.00. For more information, directions, etc. gohere: http://www.bergencountyhistory.org/
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