National Park in Gloucester County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Red Bank Battlefield
Colonel Christopher Greene,
October 9, 1777
As early as the spring of 1777, American forces approached James Whitall to purchase his property for the construction of a fort. The high bluffs of the Whitall property provided a strategic location for controlling access to the river. The Whitalls refused to sell their property. Their Quaker faith prevented them from choosing sides in the war.
This did not stop the American forces from seizing the Whitall’s property. The Whitalls watched helplessly as soldiers ransacked their farm, taking cattle and supplies from their home. Their vast fruit orchards became the building materials for the newly constructed Fort Mercer, named after the Battle of Princeton hero, Hugh Mercer. The earthen fort became part of their river defense system which included Fort Billingsport to the south and Fort Mifflin located directly across the river. Together, the three forts worked
Erected 2015 by New Jersey Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts or Castles • War, US Revolutionary.
Location. 39° 52.26′ N, 75° 11.38′ W. Marker is in National Park, New Jersey, in Gloucester County. Marker can be reached from Hessian Road, on the right when traveling west. Marker is on the Red Bank Battlefield. 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. Fort Mercer at Red Bank / Fort Mercer is Alerted (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Fort Mercer (a few steps from this marker); Brigadier General Hugh Mercer (a few steps from this marker); The Battle of Red Bank (a few steps from this marker); Flag of Fort Mercer (within shouting distance of this marker); Archaeology at Red Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); The Naval Engagement (within shouting distance of this marker); African American Soldiers (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in National Park.
More about this marker. A map of Fort Mercer appears at the bottom left of the marker. It has a caption of “This map details the original boundaries of Fort Mercer. French officer Thomas-Antoine de Mauduit du Plessis oversaw alterations to the fort which contributed to the Hessian defeat.” The right side of the marker contains a 1791 sketch of Hugh Mercer by John Trumbull, with the caption “Hugh Mercer was a physician, soldier, and confidant to General George Washington. Mercer died from wounds sustained at the Battle of Princeton in 1777. His death became a rallying cry for the Patriot cause. Fort Mercer was named in his honor.”
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 230 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.