Part 1 Raid on Paramus
- Taken from "The Revolutionary War In the Hackensack Valley" by Adrian
C.Lieby,Rutgers University Press 1962
On Sunday,april 16th,1780,the British Mounted an attack on Paramus
church,the section of what is today part of Ridgewood and Hohokus,N.J.It was
being used almost continuously as a forward reconnaissance outpost for the
Continental Army and militia.Paramus was the target of at least 5 attacks
during the war starting as early as Dec 1776.This was to be the largest raid.
At one o'clock on Sunday morning,under orders from New York
headquarters,about a hundred cavalry from Staten Island-twenty drawn from the
17th Dragoons,forty five from the mounted Queens Rangers and forty from the
Hessian cavalry-joined forces at "English Neighborhood" with three hundred
Hessian Infantrymen,who had been ferried across the Hudson atr Ft Lee earlier
in the night.The whole force fell upon the Continental picket at New
Bridge,an outpost held by a captain and thirty men,an hour later.
There the Americans put up a spirited but futile opposition,after which the
British pushed on to the North,leaving fifty men for the protection of the
bridge and to facilitate the return to New York.
Two hundred fifty troops of the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment,at Hopperstown
(Paramus),under Major Thomas Langhorn Byles were stationed along the road
west of Paramus Church (Glen Ave),Washington had continued the post
there,even after it was shown to be vulnerable,"to restrain the traffic
there,between that part of the country and New York,which from the
disposition of the inhabitants has been very considerable.This consideration
has induced me to station a party there,though at some hazard"At the Bridge
over the Saddle River,where the road from New Bridge entered the town ,a mile
and a half east of the American headquarters and immediatly below the
church,a subaltern and twenty Continentals were posted as a second Picket.By
daybreak on Sun Morning,Major Byle's mounted night patrols,(he had earlier
sent out two parties) each under a commissioned officer had been out and
returned,and he had just finished morning drill and dismissed his men to
their separate quarters in the farmhouses scattered a;long the road.
The British reached a point one mile below the American picket at
Sunrise.There Colonel DuBuy halted his men and laid out his plan of attack on
Hopperstown.Cornet George Spencer,of the Queen's Rangers,described the Attack
PART 2 : the British Forces description of the attack- next posting!