“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

River Vale in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

“The Baylor Massacre”

September 28, 1778

"The Baylor Massacre" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 23, 2008
1. "The Baylor Massacre" Marker
Inscription.  Late one night in 1778, the woods you are standing in suddenly echoed with the sounds of battle. A surprise attack by British soldiers nearly destroyed an American regiment, Baylor’s 3rd Continental Light Dragoons. Today, this park tells the story and honors the memory of the men of “The Baylor Massacre.”

Who was Baylor?
George Baylor was born to advantage. His father, Colonel John Baylor, a prominent member of the Virginia aristocracy, raised fine race horses on his plantation north of Richmond. Colonel Baylor’s wide circle of influential friends included General George Washington, with whom he had served in the French and Indian War. Washington visited the Baylor plantation often, and young George Baylor became his protégé.

In 1775, at the age of 23, Baylor received a commission as a captain in the newly formed Continental Army. Washington favored the young soldier with an appointment as his first aide-de-camp (an officer assigned to assist a general). Baylor’s duties were ordinary ones – he bought supplies, performed secretarial duties, kept track of Washington’s personal effects, and served as an
Markers in Baylor Massacre Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 23, 2008
2. Markers in Baylor Massacre Park
escort to Mrs. Washington – but the honor of serving the Army’s Commander in Chief far outweighed the routine nature of his responsibilities.

Baylor distinguished himself as the Battle of Trenton when he accepted the surrender of a group of Hessian soldiers. General Washington and the Continental Congress soon rewarded him with his own command of cavalry, the Third Continental Light Dragoons.

“Sir: I have the pleasure of congratulating you upon the success of an enterprize, which I had formed against a detachment of the enemy lying in Trenton, and which was executed yesterday morning…Colonel Baylor, my first aid de camp, will have the honour of delivering this to you, and from him you may be made acquainted with many particulars; his spirited behaviour, upon every occasion, requires me to recommend him to your particular notice.”
George Washington to John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, December 27, 1776.
Erected by Bergen County.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington series list.
Location. 41° 0.787′ 
Baylor Massacre Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 23, 2008
3. Baylor Massacre Markers
Several wayside markers are located in this park. "The Baylor Massacre" marker is on the extreme left in the photo. The Baylor Dragoons Memorial Committee Monument can be seen in front of the other markers.
N, 74° 0.511′ W. Marker is in River Vale, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is at the intersection of Red Oak Drive and Rivervale Road, on the right when traveling east on Red Oak Drive. Marker is in Baylor Massacre Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Westwood NJ 07675, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Night of “Savage Cruelty” (here, next to this marker); The British General (here, next to this marker); The Third Continental Light Dragoons (here, next to this marker); The Price of Freedom: A Patriot’s Grave (here, next to this marker); Propaganda: The Mighty Pen (here, next to this marker); 200 Years Later (here, next to this marker); Baylor Massacre Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Gravesite (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in River Vale.
More about this marker. The marker features several pictures, including a portrait of George Baylor (1752-1784) from the Baylor University Texas Collection, the “Battle of Trenton” from Harper’s Monthly, 1853, “Hessians fleeing from the battle of Trenton, December 26, 1776” from the New York Public Library Picture Collection, and a 1792 Oil on canvas of “George Washington at the Battle of Trenton” painted by John Trumbull (1756-1843), courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This series of markers tell the story of the Baylor Massacre of September 28, 1778.
Also see . . .
1. OVERKILL: Revolutionary War Reminiscences of River Vale. Bergen County Historical Society. (Submitted on June 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Dragoon Diary: The History of the Third Continental Light Dragoons. Another reference for study. I began to research this subject
Soldiers Graves image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 23, 2008
4. Soldiers Graves
Six of the soldiers killed at the Baylor Massacre are buried at this site, located a short distance from the marker.
back in 1977 in preparation for the bi-centennial of the massacre in 1778, used the basis for my Master's thesis and for the next thirty years covered the history. The missing artifacts were not discovered until several years later by a young attorney and me and the who, what and where of the dragoons history and of the artifacts is covered in this book. (Submitted on July 20, 2009, by C. F. William Maurer of Park Ridge, New Jersey.) 
Baylor's Dragoons Memorial Monument image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 23, 2008
5. Baylor's Dragoons Memorial Monument
200 years later we remember
September 28, 1978
Baylor Massacre Burial Site image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 23, 2008
6. Baylor Massacre Burial Site
The marker is located in this Bergen County Historical Site on Red Oak Drive, in River Vale, NJ.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 4,995 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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Aug. 10, 2020