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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Green Brook in Somerset County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Washington Rock

Washington Rock State Park

 
 
Washington Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 17, 2008
1. Washington Rock Marker
Inscription. You are standing on a rocky outcrop that was a strategic lookout for General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. At that time, the land was mostly fields and meadows offering a clear view for 30 miles. In June of 1777, the ability to monitor British troop movements from this location proved crucial to the survival of the Continental Army.

In the spring of 1777, over 8,000 Continental troops were camped in the Watchung Mountains – 3 miles to your right. The high elevation and mountainous terrain provided good defensive cover for Washington’s army. Despite several attempts by British General Howe to entice them down onto level ground to fight, General Washington refused to move from his secure mountain stronghold.

Frustrated that his tactics had failed, Howe moved his troops to Perth Amboy and then to Staten Island. The following day, observing that the coast was clear, Washington sent a contingent of men down to Quibbletown (now the New Market section of Plainfield).

Hearing of Washington’s movements, Howe recalled his troops and organized and led a division to attack Quibbletown. General Cornwallis took another British division to circle behind the Continentals and cut off their retreat route to the mountains.

Watching these maneuvers from this lookout and realizing what the
Marker in Washington Rock State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 17, 2008
2. Marker in Washington Rock State Park
British were attempting, Washington ordered his troops to return immediately and refortify their mountain positions. This action assuredly saved the Continental Army from a disastrous defeat.
 
Erected by Washington Rock State Park - State of New Jersey.
 
Location. 40° 36.765′ N, 74° 28.342′ W. Marker is in Green Brook, New Jersey, in Somerset County. Marker is on Washington Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in Washington Rock State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Dunellen NJ 08812, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Washington Rock (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Washington Rock (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of the Blue Hills Fort and Camp (approx. 1.6 miles away); World War II 50th Anniversary Commemorative Memorial (approx. 2.1 miles away); Drake House (approx. 2.1 miles away); Drake House Flag Pole (approx. 2.1 miles away); Mt. Bethel Meeting House (approx. 2.8 miles away); Samptown Cemetery (approx. 3.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Green Brook.
 
More about this marker. The left of the marker features a picture of “Washington
View from Washington Rock image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 17, 2008
3. View from Washington Rock
Gen. Washington used this observation point to monitor the movements of the British Army in the spring of 1777.
Rock Illustrated by Jules Tavernier, 1872. Source: The Library Company of Philadelphia.”

The lower right of the marker contains a “Manuscript Chart of the First Middlebrook, NJ Encampment. By Robert Erskine for Capt. Henry Lee, Circa May 28 – June 14, 1777.”
 
Additional comments.
1. Photo showing George Washington's encampment and surrounding towns
Thank you very much for posting this photo. One of my ancestors was born on land "under Washington Rock", aka Bound Brook, and until I saw this photo, I could not see where his birthplace lay in relation to Washington Rock.

Ancestor- John H. Marsalis was born 1745 in Bound Brook, son of Harman Marselis and Hannah Hutchins.
During the American Revolution, the land that was to become Dunellen, New Jersey was known as the "Militia Post in the Blue Hills 1776" as written by C. C. Vermeule, whose plantation was utilized as a fort.
The land known as Dunellen now, was occupied by Peter Marselis, Zachariah Pound and David Coriell.
Elisha, David Coriell and John and Peter Marselis were members of the Middlesex Militia.
    — Submitted September 20, 2012, by Shannon Gorman of Columbia, Mississippi.

 
Categories. MilitaryNotable PlacesWar, US Revolutionary
 
Washington Rock State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 17, 2008
4. Washington Rock State Park
The marker can be seen in this photo to the right of the flagpole.
Detail of Map from Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 17, 2008
5. Detail of Map from Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,089 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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