“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The American Revolution in 1778

The American Revolution in 1778 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), March 6, 2022
1. The American Revolution in 1778 Marker
"These are the times that try men's souls" —Thomas Paine, American Crisis
On September 30, 1778, near this very spot, 350 Continental soldiers successfully attacked a column of 100 British-allied Hessian soldiers. This dramatic engagement, now known as the Battle of Edgar's Lane, was one of the rare victories that took place in Westchester during the Revolutionary War.

In September 1778, George Washington's Continental Army was in its third year of what would be an eight-year War of Independence. Washington was sending light infantry units into Westchester to probe enemy defenses and to stop the foraging raids being conducted by British troops.

How did we get to this point? King George III had been taxing the American colonies relentlessly and the Patriot movement had risen up in revolt. Westchester's own Thomas Paine eloquently spoke out against "taxation without representation" and British rule. The American Revolution had begun in 1775 and George Washington was named commander-in-chief of the newly formed Continental Army. The Americans issued their Declaration of Independence
The American Revolution in 1778 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), March 6, 2022
2. The American Revolution in 1778 Marker
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on July 4, 1776.

Not all American colonists opposed the British. The Patriots were opposed by Loyalists, colonists who supported King George's rule. New York City had become a Loyalist refuge after British forces invaded the city in August 1776. Hessian soldiers fighting for the British occupied the northern reaches of Manhattan and by 1778 began foraging raids in Westchester, stealing crops, property, and livestock.

In June 1778, 15,000 troops under the command of British General Sir Henry Clinton abandoned Philadelphia and also made their way north to New York City. The war had become a stalemate, with much of Westchester as contested territory. As September 30, dawned, American soldiers secretly moved to a position south of Tarrytown with a battle plan to stop the Hessian patrols coming north from Yonkers. The two opposing forces clashed, right here on Broadway.

Pulling Down the Statue of George III at Bowling Green, William Walcutt, 1857
Painting of a jubilant crowd in New York City tearing down a statue of King George after hearing Washington read the newly signed Declaration of Independence. The statue was carted to a Connecticut foundry, where the lead was melted and made into bullets and musket balls for the Continental Army by Patriot women.

① The Battle of Cortland's Ridge (The Stockbridge
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Sachem Daniel Nimham, the leader of the Wappinger Mahican Indians of the Munsee Nation, joined the Continental Army with his Indian Company militia unit (also known as the Stockbridge Indians) at the beginning of the war. Nimham pledged "Wherever your armies will go, there we will go … we will fall where you fall, and lay our bones by yours." On August 31, 1778, Nimham and his men were ambushed by British troops in what is now Van Cortland Park in the Bronx. Nimham was killed and most of his men were chased down and massacred.

② Landing at Paulus Hook
On September 22, 1778, 6,000 well-trained British troops from Long Island, Staten Island, and New York City landed at the British post in Paulus Hook, New Jersey (now Jersey City) to form the army that British General Clinton sent north to raid New Jersey farms and towns for food. Days before the Battle of Edgar's Lane, they committed the Baylor Massacre.

③ The Baylor Massacre
Just three days before the Battle of Edgar's Lane, 600 British soldiers attacked Colonel George Baylor's 3rd Continental Dragoons in a surprise raid on their camp in Old Tappan, New Jersey. Sixty-nine American soldiers were killed, including some as they were attempting to surrender, and 80 horses were slaughtered. News of the massacre spread quickly.

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Raids and Reprisals of 1778

Map of the foraging routes of the British in New Jersey and the Hessians in Westchester as they searched for food to supply their troops and horses.

An Indian of the Stockbridge Tribe, 1778
Sketch of a Stockbridge Indian, with firearm, hatchet, and bow, done by Hessian Captain Johann Ewald.

Battles of Lexington & Concord:
April 19, 1775

Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1776
Battle of Long Island: August 27, 1776
Battle of White Plains: October 28, 1776
Battle of Fort Washington and the fall of New York: November 16, 1776

Battle of Saratoga: October 17, 1777
Continentals camp at Valley Forge: December 1777-June 1778
British evacuate Philadelphia, evacuate to New York: June 18, 1776
Battle of Monmouth: June 28, 1778
British begin Grand Forage at Paulus Hook: September 22, 1778
Battle of Edgar's Lane: September 30, 1778

Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansWar, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington series list. A significant historical date for this entry is April 19, 1775.
Location. 40° 59.883′ N, 73° 52.904′ W. Marker is in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, in Westchester County. Marker is at the intersection of Warburton Avenue and Broadway (U.S. 9), on the right when traveling south on Warburton Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 623 Warburton Ave, Hastings on Hudson NY 10706, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Seven Years of Fear: Hastings and the Neutral Ground (here, next to this marker); Washington's Continental Army (here, next to this marker); The Hessians: Hired by the King (here, next to this marker); The Battle of Edgar's Lane (here, next to this marker); After the Battle (here, next to this marker); The Skirmish of Edgar's Lane (a few steps from this marker); Community Gardens in Zinsser Park / Los Jardines Comunitarios en el Parque Zinsser (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Edgar's Lane (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hastings-on-Hudson.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 12, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 12, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 160 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 12, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Mar. 31, 2023