River Vale in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The British General
The British division commanded by General Cornwallis included troops lead by General Charles “No-Flint” Grey. Grey, a veteran of Britain’s war with France, was almost fifty years old when he came to America to fight against the rebels. He had fought at Germantown, and in the fall of 1778, he was fresh from successful raiding parties at Bedford, Massachusetts, and Martha’s Vineyard.
Grey had earned his nickname one year earlier on September 21, 1777 at Paoli, Pennsylvania. General Anthony Wayne had positioned American troops for a strike against the British. British intelligence discovered Wayne’s plan, and Major General Grey was sent to launch a night attack against
Grey ordered his troops to remove the flints from their guns so they would not accidentally fire and alarm the Americans. Shortly after midnight, they struck. Without flints, they were forced to use their bayonets to attack. The bloody assault against American troops surprised them from their sleep and left 150 American soldiers dead. Now, one year later, “No-Flint” Grey’s troops were again ordered out into the night.
“No soldier of [Grey’s] column was suffered to load, those who would not draw [unload] their pieces took out the flints…It was represented so the men that firing discovered us to the enemy, hid them from us, killed our friends and produced a confusion favorable to the escape of the Rebels.”
Major John Andre Journal September 20, 1777
“They [the British] are present busily employed in foraging in Bergen County and between Kings Bridge and the Plains. These parties obstruct our communication with the City, and have rendered it very difficult to obtain intelligence for some days past.”
George Washington to General Sullivan, September 27, 1778
Erected by Bergen County.
Location. 41° 0.787′ N, 74° 0.511′ W. Marker 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 Baylor Massacre” (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 an engraving of “General Charles ‘No-Flint’ Grey (1729-1807)” from the Library of Congress, and a painting by Xavier della Gatta of “The Paoli Massacre” Gousche on paper, 1782, courtesy of the Valley Forge Historical Society.
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 . . . OVERKILL: Revolutionary War Reminiscences of River Vale. Bergen County Historical Society. (Submitted on June 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Military • Notable Events • Notable Places • War, US Revolutionary •
More. Search the internet for The British General.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,411 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.