National Park in Gloucester County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Battle of Red Bank
Red Bank Battlefield
“Fire low men, they have a broad belt just above their hips – aim at that.”
On October 22, Colonel Carl von Donop advanced 1,200 Hessians on Fort Mercer. Dramatically outnumbered, American forces held the fort with 100 soldiers. They did, however, possess a distinct advantage. The previous day, a young American soldier named Jonas Cattell had overheard Hessian soldiers in Haddonfield discussing their plans to assault the fort. Cattell, a local hunter known for his knowledge of the South Jersey backwoods, ran ten miles to alert Greene’s men.
The Americans were extremely well prepared, despite their lack of men and inflicted heavy losses on the Hessians. It’s estimated that 400 Hessians, including von Donop, died during the battle. Most of the dead were buried on the Whitall property, including von Donop.
Erected 2015 by New Jersey Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Revolutionary. A significant historical date for this entry is October 22, 1777.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: National Park NJ 08063, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Flag of Fort Mercer (a few steps from this marker); African American Soldiers (a few steps from this marker); Fort Mercer (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Fort Mercer (a few steps from this marker); Fort Mercer at Red Bank / Fort Mercer is Alerted (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonel Christopher Greene (within shouting distance of this marker); Brigadier General Hugh Mercer (within shouting distance of this marker); The Soldiers (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in National Park.
More about this marker. The upper left of the marker contains a portrait of Colonel Christopher Greene by James Sullivan Lincoln, 1863. It has a caption of “Colonel Christopher Greene fought valiantly at Red Bank and later at the Battle of Rhode Island. Greene and several African American soldiers died on March 14, 1781 after being ambushed by a group of Loyalists perhaps angry that he had led African American troops against the crown.
Below this is a sketch of Jonas Carrell from ‘Memoirs of the Gloucester Fox Hunt Club’, with the caption “Cattell is remembered for his bravery in running the ten miles between Haddonfield and Red Bank to alert Colonel Greene of the Hessian advance.”
Also see . . . Red Bank Battlefield. Account of the action at Fort Mercer during the Revolutionary War. (Submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 581 times since then and 36 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week October 20, 2019. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.