River Vale in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Price of Freedom: A Patriotís Grave
Imagine the scene in the early morning daylight of the morning of September 28, 1778 at Overkill:
. American soldiers were dead, wounded and missing. Some escaped, others were British captives.
. Major Charles Clough lay dying.
. Col. Baylor, seriously injured, was a prisoner of his attackers. Although, as an officer, he was to receive the treatment due a gentleman, including a doctor to see to his wounds.
.Members of the local militia unit were burying the dead.
As today when something goes terribly wrong, an official investigation was initiated. Baylorís Dragoons were reorganized – although without Baylor – and served with distinction to the end of the war.
Baylor never fully recovered from his injuries. He died in 1784 on the island of Barbados, where he had gone to try and recover his health.
In 1967, a local resident summoned archaeologists to this site, over concern of a proposed housing development. They discovered the remains of six men who, it was discovered, died in the attack on Baylorís Dragoons.
Apparently the men had been hastily buried, near the stream, in three abandoned wooden tanning vats from the old 18th century tannery. From the silver stock buckle discovered during the excavation, one of the fallen men was identified
In October 1970, the remains of the six patriots were re-interred next to the river. The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Bergen County Park Commission dedicated this site as a memorial park in 1972.
For over 60 years, the millstone marking the gravesite was in front of River Valeís Holdrun School. Believed original to the siteís 18th century tannery, it was donated by the town as a fitting grave marker for the six patriotís grave.
The final resting place of the others who fell in the “Baylorís Massacre” has never been discovered.
Erected by Bergen County.
Location. 41° 0.787′ 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. Touch for map. Marker is in Baylor Massacre Park. Marker is in this post office area: Westwood NJ 07675, United States of America.
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” The British General (here, next to this marker); The Third Continental Light Dragoons (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 bottom left of the marker contains a photograph of the “Archaeological dig, August 1967” provided by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.
There is a picture of the Silver stock buckle on the marker supplied by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. It has a caption of “The buckle, used to fasten a neck cloth, bears the makers mark ĎZ.Bí for Zachariah Brigden, a Boston silversmith. Research in the Brigden records indicated that such a buckle was purchased by Sgt. Issac Davenport, who served with Baylorís Dragoons.”
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. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Military • Notable Events • Notable Places • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary •
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 2,002 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.