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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
National Park in Gloucester County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fort Mercer

Red Bank Battlefield

 
 
Fort Mercer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 18, 2015
1. Fort Mercer Marker
Inscription. The post with which you are entrusted is of the utmost importance to America . . . The whole defense of the Delaware absolutely depends upon it . . . ”
General George Washington to
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 to keep supplies from getting to the British who had occupied Philadelphia in the fall of 1777.
 
Erected 2015 by New Jersey Historical Commission.
 
Location.
Fort Mercer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 18, 2015
2. Fort Mercer Marker
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. Touch for map. Marker is on the Red Bank Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: National Park NJ 08063, United States of America.
 
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,
Marker on the Red Bank Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 18, 2015
3. Marker on the Red Bank Battlefield
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.”
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Revolutionary
 
Brig. Gen. Hugh Mercer image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 18, 2015
4. Brig. Gen. Hugh Mercer
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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