Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Infamous Capt. "Bloody" John Bacon and the Last Battle of the Americ...

Painting of the Cedar Bridge Affair

The Last Battle of the American Revolution,

Capt. "Bloody" John Bacon and the "Refugees"

The Pine Robbers, Battle of Manahawkin, The Long Beach Island Massacre, and the Cedar Bridge Affair.

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey are steeped in lore. During the American Revolution was no exception. Bloody John and his gang The Refugees were Loyalists but more so opportunist criminals who used the vast ancient forest as a base of operations during the conflict. Also known as the Pine Robbers this motley crew wrecked havoc on Patriots and Tories alike. This brief bio also highlights three action participated in by these enemies of the people. Music The Devil Tires- Boxcar Hex Remixed by Flip Taylor Web Citations aerial video taken from David Falo for educational purposes.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Hong Kong Heroine Uncovers Crime of the Millennium: Dr. Yan Risks It All to Release Truth About Communist Chinese Biological Attack


Hong Kong University Doctor May Have Saved Humanity

By Phillip Szabo 9/19/2020

     As the world  runs low on heroes and conviction of truth seemed to all but evaporate from humanity a heroine appears. Once again sobering reality is supplied by those who face digestion in the belly of the dragon. Hong Kong is a shimmering light of what's right in the modern world. A flame that refuses to extinguish despite an eminent subjugation. 

     The University of Hong Kong virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan MD, PhD(1) exposed the scary truth about the world wide pandemic attacking humanity. In short Dr. Li-Meng Yan claims confirm what many of us including GHI have came to understand over the last half year. This was an attack. Covid 19 was created by man. She is preparing to release the evidence she compiled since the very beginning of the outbreak. According to Dr. Yan she began her investigation in secret utilizing her network of researchers in China to amass the proof of this shocking revelation. Yan's credentials are diamond clad. The Doctor is among the top in her field, worked in the W.H.O reference lab and was immediately at ground Zero for the pandemic. If anyone had the ability, opportunity and clout to  prove this despicable act it is her. Yan's claims should be taken seriously if not accepted as fact.

      At best the virus escaped and The Communist Chinese Party failed to contain then allowed months go by covering up the facts already known by them. Their malicious cover up aided along by the W.H.O whom they control even pressuring the U.N appointment of it's head.(2) At worst the virus was released intentionally to inflict death and chaos upon the world. As Dr. Yan answered on her recent Tucker Carlson appearance, the reasons why can only be answered by the culprits.

However, GHI has a few possible scenarios for Communist China's actions.

 1. The United States winning the trade war of 2017-2018

     With exits of several large corporations from China looming and China's biggest importer (The United States) seemingly holding all the cards the Communists may have believed it was now or never to reverse the economic downturn starring them in the face. The damage to the world economy a Frankenstein virus could supply would serve to halt that trend. This as movement is restricted keeping businesses there for a time while Communist China retains the worlds' highest productivity. Adding that during this pandemic almost all of the United States medical supply chain is dependent on China the U.S would need to navigate through a devastating one two punch. Or at least that may have been the idea.

 2. Preparing for war, escalations in the South China Sea

     With the escalations in the South China Sea over the last decade the possibility of a large scale conflict with the West is brewing. The United States has spent the last 4 years rebuilding it's aging military capabilities. Communist China has been building up it's modern arsenal even longer. Prior to the Trump administration's rearmament, Red China was set to eclipse America becoming the strongest Military Power. The release of this engineered virus may be a dry run and prelude to total war. Seeing the effectiveness of the Covid chimera would allow Xi and his officials hell bent on world domination to measure the response of the Reds' enemies. Using the W.H.O to cover it up early on would also allow them to faux partnership with the West using science as a trojan horse. Thus, obtain critical data for plans to release a far more pervasive and deadly strain.

3. Hong Kong Protests

     With the Hong Kong protesters standing tall refusing to submit the Communist Chinese  risked condemnation by the World. Despite the Maoists Propagandists best efforts it became impossible for the liars to keep a lid on Xi's violation of Hong Kong's human rights. Every day the protests continued the likelihood of dissention spreading and International involvement became more likely. Releasing the Corona virus put a stop to the protests, gave the dictator plausible justification for enacting more draconian edicts and put most discussion about the plight of the Heroes of Hong Kong back behind the silk curtain. 

4. Uyghur Genocide

     The Communist Chinese genocide of Uyghur minority in the west of the country is unconscionable. How long would it be allowed to go on? Well, sadly very little has been done at all even prior to the virus. The understanding that Islam by it's own tenants is a threat to any "infidel" nation hasn't helped the Uyghurs plight. Xi and company use this as pretense. Releasing  Covid upon the world may seem to be extreme as a smoke screen for the evil they were already getting away with. However, there may be more to this possible reason. The Uyghurs though now exhibiting a mostly East Asian appearance to outsiders are not exactly that. They are a multi-racial people with genetic contributors spanning back long before the first emperor. 

     It is true that China is a vast land and though mostly East Asian it is anything but homogeneous. That said the Uyghurs present a unique problem for the façade of Communist Chinese uniformity. This people group carries quite a bit of indigenous Caucasian blood. The Aryan Tocharians  first to settle the region of the Tarim basin, Scythians, and Turkic tribes among other Caucasoids all have added to genetic make up of the region. East Asian contributors did not appear  significantly in the Tarim region until the 7th century CE. The Tang dynasty briefly held the area during that century in a three party conflict with Tibetans and Turkic tribes. The Uyghurs, originally a Caucasian group share affinity with the Magyars of Central Europe, ruled the region for 1000 years starting in the 8th century CE. Though during that millennia the ethnic composition of the Uyghurs did hybridize along the silk road the modern Chinese did not control the region until 1884.This is damaging to the Communists world view. Unleashing the virus gives the Chinese time and cover to complete the entire removal of all traces of pre-Chinese Tarim.

Any or all of these are plausible motivations for the depraved Communist Chinese biological attack on the world..

      Dr. Li-Meng Yan MD, PhD of Hong Kong University is an example of courage beyond belief for today's sensibilities. She calmly continued her investigation for months knowing at anytime she could be found out. Knowing that she would simply disappear and the world would never know  the extent of the Communist Chinese threat. Yan got out and was granted asylum in the United States were embedded Red Chinese operatives will remain a constant fear. The information she holds and has given to the U.S. State Department will certainly fuel the fire in this chaotic world civilization. Her continued work will be needed during this plague. Dr. Yan releasing her findings  to the planet may just save it. Godspeed Doc.

Dr. Yan interviewed by Tucker Carlson (link above)

(1)Li-Meng Yan MD, PhD

The University of Hong Kong

Dr. Yan received her MD degree from Xiang Ya Medical College of Central South University (China), and PhD from Southern Medical University (China).  Her research interests include investigations of infectious diseases or inflammation via different animal models.  Her research has recently focused on study of universal influenza vaccine, cross-reactive antibodies and cellular immunology.

(2)Tedros Adhanom, a politburo member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that has been ruling Ethiopia for the last 25 years is in the inner circle of the regime well known for its systematic patterns of political repression and egregious human rights violations against Ethiopian citizens. The abysmal human rights record of the Ethiopian regime is very well documented by all the major international rights groups (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Freedom House) as well as by the U.S. State Department in its annual human rights report.

The sterilized version 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  is an Ethiopian biologist, public health researcher and official who has served since 2017 as Director-General of the World Health Organization. Tedros is the first non-physician and first African in the role; he was endorsed by the African Union. He has held two high-level positions in the government of Ethiopia: Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Hostilities of an American Civil War: New Jersey Divided in the American Revolution.

   Hostilities of an American Civil War: New Jersey Divided in the American Revolution.

by Phillip Szabo 5/27/2020


      New Jersey endured two civil wars in her existence. The second civil war, the war between the states did much to create our modern New Jersey. The decade leading up to the American civil war saw the finalizing of our counties borders and the repositioning of the two great cities that lie across the waterways that form the jutting land mass. During the conflict much of what would become municipal and county our  land was first set aside for the parading and drilling of regiments from the garden state. Industry boomed to supply the war effort and a unity here in New Jersey was finally reaffirmed.

    The first civil war, the war between the state did much to create the American nation. It was a far more brutal civil war for Jerseyans. The late 1700's conflict divided the mid Atlantic bread basket sharply  between Tory and patriot. Often, entire regions of the peninsula swayed one way or the other. This would accelerate brutality as both views jostled to control her resources. Reprisals of confiscation against the civilian population was common during this time. Retribution far worse could be expected by the participants. A list of characters, so Jersey, heroic and villainous would emerge from the struggle for independence. These actors performing on Nova Ceasarea's greatest stage lent massively to the identity defining her people even today.

Here are three Revolutionary War era partisan events  that speak to the hostilities in New Jersey. New Jersey a poignant microcosm for the creation of the United States.

1. First Battle of Monmouth

    The first almost forgotten engagement at Monmouth Court House was a key development in a brief but impacting  war period known as the Loyalist ascendancy. General Howe ordered the forming of new Tory militias to harass and help trap the American threat by splitting New Jersey in two. In perfect position for Howe's end game, Monmouth county was heavily loyalist at the time. By January 2nd 1777 at Monmouth courthouse Provincial Colonels Elisha Lawrence and John Morris had gathered a regiment of between 200 and 250 men loyal to the king. A small but local force that prudence necessitated to keep Howe's armies logistics and hence moral at superior levels.

    Washington's scouts immediately delivered word. Not wanting a thorn stuck in his side as he began the reconquest of Nova Ceasarea Gen Washington ordered the 11th Pennsylvania with about 120 men under Lt. col. Francis Gurney and a contingent of 80 men from Delaware under Major Thomas Rodney to disperse the Kings raw recruits with haste.

    This tiny engagement and American victory was not however inconsequential. The aftermath would change the face of the conflict in new jersey.  Post skirmish the British became hemmed up only controlling the  more developed settlements of New Brunswick and Perth Amboy. A 3 month guerrilla war would ensue as both sides desperately needed supplies. In direct result of this action a large many  men subject to the king abandoned  well over 100 farms maybe more. These hinterland farms could no longer supply  his majesties troops. The result unexpectedly forced Howe to change his entire strategy and the meantime hunger and the forage war would take a toll on his armies moral. The loyalist dispersed and had to abandon their homes for the safety of Staten Island.  The patriots promptly seized all their lands, assets and grain stores upping the stakes for the Torys. With nothing to lose and vengeance in every thought those who escaped this action would become the core of the New Jersey Volunteers. The New Jersey volunteers became arguably the most effective militia unit for either side during the war. They proved themselves quick,efficient ruthless  and deadly.

2. Isaac Winans Sr. Capture.    
Sugar House Prison, Lower Manhattan NY

    Isacc Winans Sr. of Elizabethtown, his land in the modern City of Linden, was 65 in 1774. Isaac served his area along the Arthur Kill in a 33 man committee to legally serve our grievances against the crown. Upon the exhaustion of a peaceful legal resolution the senior took on substantial rolls on committees to organize resistance as well as official correspondence. As part of his official capacity his signature would be among warrants to repossess lands and assets from Loyalists neighbors who escaped Washington's reconquest of the garden state in 77 and 78. One such acquisition of private property by the patriots was against the notorious and vindictive Cornelius Hatfield Jr.. Hatfield's farm lands, orchard and cider mill were taken.

    Isaac Sr. and his son Isaac Jr. were kidnapped from their Elizabethtown tract now modern Linden home in January of 1780.This was one of the coldest dead winters of the little ice age. The abduction occurred  in the middle of the night and the two prisoners were forced to travel in their own sleigh all the way to lower Manhattan. The Winans would be imprisoned at the infamous Sugar House prison after the all night possibly two day trek across the frozen Newark bay and Hudson River. Isaac Sr. 70 at the time would die in his cell three days after being interned. It was It is not recorded clearly if this raid was carried out by Capt. Hatfield or Capt.         . Still if we account Winans, a neighbor as the immediate authority for the confiscation of the Hatfield orchard, mill and farm, then apply how Hatfield directly applied vengeance  known through several accounts of the cruelty of his methods. It is very likely he was the lead perpetrator of this episode.

    In turn Other Winans kin upped their own Patriot resolve. Ben Winans led the clans resistance which would not be with the Continentals but with first the Essex Militia. Himself along with nephew          would then post with the NJ State troops and be in perpetual conflict holding the the most stagnant front line of the war for six years. We have no absolute knowledge if this event against his uncle pushed his commitment. However, we do know after the event he took commission and extended commitment with the Jersey  state troops while his son took over his Essex militia command. It may not been the only factor but it surely must have added to his intent.

3. Hornets Rise: The experience of the French and Indian War a precursor to 21st century  warfare.

 "A Hornets Nest" became a common 18th century idiom all across Europe as the spreading of malicious confusion 
 It is an obvious euphemism for chaos and destruction. During the course of the war several Hessian soldiers would use it their writings or when speaking about the particular hot zones of the conflict. 

    When Washington and the Continentals crossed the Delaware and New Jersey's first civil war went into full swing the men who took command of the resistance were seasoned. Just like the Continental Commander Gen. Washington these middle aged partisans procured a style of fighting adverse to the invaders in the 7 years war conflict.  Woodland Guerrilla fighting tactics as well as ,Though limited, street to street urban warfare proved essential.
    Much is made by anglophile historians about the over all lack of  American victories in large scale battles. This is erroneous in terms of understanding the War for Independence. This war was not fought this way by the victors. It is fair to say that the British failure to proficiently adapt to an easily recognizable precursor to modern warfare as the Crowns Downfall in the colonies.
For the most part, the field did not matter in battle to the colonials. The colonies were able to control much of the resources and supply lines needed by the British regardless of main army actions. If flushed out in Jersey those defenders would just appear again often without warning and disappearing again. In 1777 this inflicted morale fatigue to then Howe's army. Starved for supplies Redcoats and Hessian troops in New York endured brutal winters. 1777 through 1778 the majority of the army relied on salt pork among other rations supplied from as far away as the Caribbean and the British isles alike. Looking across small Arthur Kill from Staten Island in hunger, these troops were forced to spy the bread basket for the new worlds two biggest city.
    The Crown's regulars and mercenaries weren't often denied for lack of endeavor. The  insurgency would raid across into New Jersey  frequently. Sometimes, they would have success. That said for 6 years it was never easy as resistance was the norm.  movements were often relayed quickly by patriot women and militia men though often out numbered and out gunned could deprive the expedition of intended goals. Albeit, as  many historians would make a point to say, Jersey would be forced to give up the field. A hollow victory in it's most literal sense.

    The Hornet's of NJ, were the first denoted with this 18th century title for stiff, total defense. The buzzing fighters from the swamps to the mountains not only fought a guerrilla war of attrition. These warriors used mobility engaging in street to street urban  as well as hit and run frontier style battling. 
The Patriots in New Jersey Menaced columns of British and Hessian troops routinely. Proficient at times living off the land the colonials could attack without warning and fade away from retaliation as quickly as they appeared. After several battles win or lose on Nova Ceasarea's soil the Militias would continue harassment of the marching invader all the way back to the British fortifications and camps. This demoralized even veteran troops not used to this sort of resilient opposition.

A passage from a  Hessian soldier's journal describing the war in new jersey.

"It is almost impossible to surprise the enemy on any occasion, because every house that one passes is an advanced picket so to speak; for the farmer, or his son, or his servant or even his wife daughter fires off a gun, orruns by the foot path to warn the enemy." taken from an entry in the MS journal of a Hessian soldier from the Jaeger Corps August 18th 1780

     A true animus between neighbors certainly grew from the covert nature of intelligence gathering during the War. Even after the the 2 year liberation of New Jersey the Crown still had supporters in which to rely. while The continentals in turn exploited the British necessity for intelligence with double agents. The uncertainty between friend and foe did account for escalations sometimes involving kin.
    Washington's implementation spy networks such as the Culper ring have been in recent time highlighted for it's effectiveness aiding the more modern style strategy used by the Americans. This praise and illumination is rightfully deserved   However, Washington most relied on the field intelligence acquired by the hornets. They didn't always confront British movements but often relayed them. Remaining concealed,This sort of intelligence  aided in unit positioning and occasionally routing out British sympathizers

 "The Forgotten Victory: The Battle for New Jersey – 1780"  Fleming, Thomas. 1973 New York] Reader's Digest Press; distributed by Dutton

"History of Elizabeth, New Jersey : including the early history of Union County" Hatfield, Edwin F. 1868,New York: Carlton &Lanahan

"History of Union County, New Jersey" Ricord, Frederic. 1897
Publisher Newark, N.J. : East Jersey History Co.

"Historic Elizabeth, 1664-1914" Dix, Warren Rogers. 1914
Elizabeth Daily Journal

Friday, May 8, 2020

Manasquan Anthropologist Examines Revolutionary War Wreck in the Delaware River, Finds Another Undocumented Wreck.

Manasquan Anthropologist Examines Revolutionary War Wreck in the Delaware River, Finds Another Undocumented Wreck.

Revolutionary Archaeological News
by Phillip Szabo

This news comes from an article in the Burlington County Times Published 2 weeks ago April 23rd 2020

    Navy Veteran and Anthropology graduate student at Monmouth University Jaclyn Urmey has spent a large chunk of her professional career on an under the water. Over her adult life Urmey has become beyond fascinated with shipwrecks. This Manasquan native has explored sunken ships around the world. To the benefit of War for Independence history buffs in the Garden State she decided to put her diving experience to good use here in Jersey. Urmey's latest exploration is in Burlington county in the Crosswicks Creek off the coast of Bordentown City.

    Working on her anthropology thesis, she set out to study a vessel that was last recorded in 1980. The intent was to see if there was anything left because that report detailed that only 10- 15% of the wreck remained as of  40 years ago. Urmey told the Burlington county times that "she thought of it as a challenge".

   That 1980's study determined the 18th century era ship was most likely a merchant vessel lost during the Revolution. So, Urmey and a team of researchers from Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute and Stockton University revisited the site with the newest technology unavailable 40 years ago. Surprisingly much of the documented wreck has remained rather close to the reported description over 4 decades yet slowly deteriorating.

    The team has found evidence of other vessel that has not as of yet been documented. This is not surprising as dozens of Continental, Pennsylvanian and British navy ships were sunk during the fall 1777 through the winter of 1778. The major military vessels as well as many merchant ships are  recorded. However, many merchant vessel may also be sunk in these waters. It is believed no less than 24 ships are in this watery graveyard.

    This time was known as the Philadelphia campaign. General Howe changed strategies after being unable to flank the Continentals at the battle of Short Hills. Thanks to a heroic stand by Lord Stirling and Daniel Morgan's men allowed the majority of Washington's force the tactically retreat. The Continentals reached the Watchung Mountains a near impregnable natural citadel above the battlefield.

 see T.T.A.C.L extra The Battle of Short Hills.

    So, Howe boarded ships and took the American capital of Philadelphia. This prompted the Continental and Pennsylvanian navies under command of Commodore John Hazelwood to attempt a blockade of the city. This flotilla was accompanied by the erection of a series of forts along  the Delaware north of the city. the most important were the triple row of chevaux de frise extended between Pennsylvania,  Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer. This campaign went back and forth with victories on both sides over a few month. This eventually ended as the British were able to break the blockade and capture these forts.

see T.T.A.C.L extra The Battle of Fort Mercer.

*Noted Shipwrecks* 

The HMS Merlin, ran aground near the Fort Mifflin in the middle of the Delaware River. During low tide the ship was bombarded by  American Naval vessels and the Fort before being boarded. Oct. 22nd 1777

The HMS Augusta, a 64 gun Ship of the Line of the Royal Navy was sunk off the coast of the Delaware River near Fort Mifflin. Oct. 23rd 1777

So it looks like Urmey's thesis will be quite the work and we wish her luck saving out history. We will keep you updated as more info on her research is released.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Boxcar Hex "Sonic Sunrise" Album Review

Boxcar Hex – ‘SONIC SUNRISE’

- Diana Bath

click to pre-order sonic sunrise
“I need a mother fuckin’ beat!”

A request quite unexpected from singer/songwriter Boxcar Hex. But most everything about ‘Sonic Sunrise’ is quite unexpected. Weighing in at thirteen tracks and just under forty-two minutes, the solo full length debut from the New Jersey based artist is a ride for the ear and mind.
Sure, there is still some of that signature Boxcar Hex singer/songwriter vibe in there. Songs like ‘The Future is Hers’, ‘Ends Up Next to You’ and a slowed down version of ‘Stillwell and Surf’ (song previously recorded by ¡Löco!) all could be on Boxcar Hex’s previous release, the EP ‘Boy From the Heights’. But that’s where the similarities to the Full Throttle Folk star end.
The title track ‘Sonic Sunrise’ leads us off. It’s a feedback and synth cacophony that sets the stage for the experience of the album. It simmers down to the previously mentioned ‘The Future is Hers’, an acoustic romp which suggests we hand the keys over to the females. Then, the line.
“I need a mother fuckin’ beat!”
It comes from ‘Books With Words’. It is a heavy romp that talks about the progressive mental laziness of society, ending with a feedback onslaught.
Other highlights of the album include ‘So They Say Again’, ‘Seeing People’ and Hex’s tribute to Chris Cornell, ’52 (The Sound is Gone)’.
The album at times feels disjointed. However, after multiple listens you can feel each track feeding into the next. Along with the aforementioned heights mentioned, low points like ‘<blank simulation>’ (while it does include the ode to romance ‘Passion and Poetry’, it is too clever for its own good) and ‘Who Why’ (a punky train wreck) do not truly drag down the collection. In fact, the way they flow into the tracks before and after allow them to be transitional preludes.
There will always be questions about this album. From mumbled, buried vocals to the inclusion of the tongue-in-cheek rap track ‘My Old Brooklyn Home’ playing in the background, Boxcar Hex has truly done his own thing on ‘Sonic Sunrise’. And maybe only he knows why. However, his decisions have put together a fluid album. A perfect length with no filler (OK. ‘<blank simulation>’ is pretty filler-like). An album that challenges the ear. Challenges the mind. Makes you tap your toe and pound your first. An album that makes you think.
‘Sonic Sunrise’ is an album for its time that will resonate for years to come. * * * *

Pre-Order your copy of Sonic Sunrise here.

Visit Hex on these sites:

GHIPOP music contributor Diana Bath

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Americans Return the Favor,General Hand Assaults the Point

The Battle of Elizabethtown Point, New Jersey. 

June 8th 1780

 Phill Szabo 3/12/2020


     The early morning just after midnight of June 8th Knyphausen marched his troops back to the defenses at Elizabethtown point. The first reports reached Washington well before Dawn stating that most of Knyphausen's force had boarded craft back to Staten Island. Those initial reports Believed Kyp only left a Beach head of 500 or So fortified at the point. This information prompted Washington to order a show of force.

     He knew that His army was not strong enough to face the British in the open field being half constituted with militia. However, using  bold tactics would betray the Red Coats into believing Continental Troop strength was much greater than shown the day before. The large numbers of NJ Militia force unexpected by the British on the 7th would only reinforce his play. He hoped for either an outright surrender by the rear guard or making them believe that a much larger force stood in Elizabeth proper so as to pin them behind their defenses.

Lord Stirling
      Washington gave Lord Stirling the over all command from Elizabethtown. He allotted under the Command of Brigadier General Edward Hand 3 regiments of regulars bolstered with an additional 300 men for the assault. Washington  also ordered an additional compliment of two NJ militia regiments to be on each flank to spread the anticipated 500 strong defenders thin along the fortifications. This total Compliment numbered around 2500 soldiers.

     Maxwell's Brigade would remain to hold the 1st bridge at  Springfield leaving Washington with perhaps 500-1000 troops remaining at the gap on the west side of Springfield. The largely varied guess as to the strength  at the gap is because it is unknown how many regulars remained in reserve under Stirling in Elizabethtown proper.

click to watch
      The troop placement for actions on the 8th lends to the notion that despite the first reports Washington believed the force was much greater and only a small number rowed across to Staten Island.  A second report given by future U.S Secretary of the Treasury Major General Alexander Hamilton alerted Washington that the early reports may have been incorrect. Hamilton believed the majority of the expeditionary army along with full artillery laid in wait behind the earthworks and pickets. Citing that the troops spotted on Staten Island were merely a decoy meant to bring the whole of the patriot army out onto the expansive fields and salt marshes between the town and the point. Hamilton's intelligence would prove correct but it was Washington's confidence in Hamilton ultimately that influenced Washington's correct strategy for actions on the 8th.

Battle Plan

     The Continentals choose a three pronged assault. The 3 Continental Brigades under Brigadier General Hand would  commit to a frontal assault. One Brigade of Militia on each flank would assault the sides of the British entrenchment. The left flank Under Colonel Seeley of the Morris county militia would attack from the northern woods while the right flank from the marshes of the Elizabeth River.

     The First Action in the Assault on the point resulted in the capture of a British picket of 16 men and an officer from the Crown's 22nd regiment. They were the advance troops guarding Elizabeth Ave leading to the waterfront. This is picket was most likely in front of  where the road splits with the North road leading to the battlements. While the South road bridged the Elizabeth River at  the bend at today's Mattano Park. This road would on the Halstead Point side of the river. Only the general are was documented. However, this would have been the most effective placement.

     The junction where downtown starts is also the most logical spot where Gen. Hands forces would have split to form their pincer. Though, unlike today, Downtown didn't start at this point. A block and a half past there ended the sprawl of Elizabethtown proper. A large uneven field of marshy low lands  lay between the town and the port. This was a water shed for the Elizabeth River and it stretched for just over a mile. If the army didn't split at this precise point the flanks would have been exposed the entire time while reaching position. We know for certain men from Seeley's the left flank guarded the prisoners they were still with the main contingent a  here. We also know that they came out from the trees north of the beachhead prior to engagement. This would not have been possible after the sprawl ends.

The Assault, one Hand washes the other.

     As Continentals moved forward the British unleashed their cannons. General Hand still several hundred yards away from the  main British lines was surprised by the large  colonnade of British artillery. It was far more cannon than a force of a mere 500 could support.  Exposed and displaying honorable bravery the general road ahead of his troops. Examining closer as artillery  munition land dangerously close Gen. Hand could see this was not a paltry force but the whole of Knyphausen's army.

     Washington had anticipated thanks to Hamilton and others' later reports. In his orders, Gen. Washington supplied Hand with an alternative  battle plan for just such an event. Hand sprinted back to his line. He quickly sent messengers to the militia on both flanks to cease the advance.

     The British heavily pounded the center and right of the Americans with cannon fire.  The Forest protected the left flank from most of this hell fire but the Red Coats had small arm range. The edge of the woods was around 200 hundred yards closer than the rivers.   The right flank was provided cover  by a small line of trees and slope of the bank right before where the mouth empties into the Arthur Kill.

     So, the Morris Militia's rage led to the first medium ranged combat of the day. Knyphausen sent out skirmishers from the 22nd and several men were killed or wounded in the fire fight. Thinking it was a full on assault the militiamen on the left returned fire disorderly. In the confusion some of their own officers were hit by friendly fire. Colonel Seeley with disregard of the musket and cannon fire rode in front of his lines. He regained control ordering the men not to shoot until he gave the order.

     General Hand at this time was parading his 850 Continentals in front of the British in a feign daring them to come out and fight. This convinced Knyphausen that Washington's entire army was lying in wait on the streets of Elizabethtown. The Hessian commander used caution accepting the Continental rouge. The invaders remained inside the fortifications,  skirmishers were called back, and the expedition resigned to keeping their reply's to cannon fire.

With this development, Hand ordered his units to retire back to the town. All units did so in a cool and orderly manner. Thus, Selling the planned ruse.

     Once American troops reentered Elizabethtown proper. American soldiers and the militia were reformed and given new orders . The plan was to continue to show force by skirmishing and trading fire. However, nothing more was to be attempted. Brigadier General Hand ordered under no circumstance was any attempt to charge the earth works to be made. This new mission was a sell not a take.

     Washington was content to have Knyphausen pinned behind his defenses at the point. It was evident to Stirling watching from a top the town that Knyphausen believed that  the whole Northern Continental Army  lay just beyond an expansive field  entrenched in the streets of Elizabethtown. The British and Hessian officers knew this army was bolstered with countless New Jersey troops and militia who had already proved their  aptitude for street to street combat the day before. Stirling, Hand, and Dayton concurred and applied the Continental Commander's strategy.

     American troops then marched back to the fight in the same three pronged formation enduring the continued cannon fire. The Patriot lines reached range and began trading volleys with Redcoats.  All accounts deem this part of the action remained disciplined and purposed by the Rebels. The British 22nd infantry regiment had been the front for the whole of the day seeing the most action. Late in the afternoon, getting the better of the 22nd in several exchanges the Continentals and the militia on Hand's right pushed rather close to the British line. Close enough to charge though no intent. The matter of intention was obviously unknown to the Crown's  forces. So, out of necessity 2 battalions of Hessian Jagers had to be sent up to reinforce the 22nd. By 5 o'clock Hand withdrew his forces back to the town with the days action resulting in a tactical draw and strategic victory for the young nation. Morale was in favor of the Continentals and dispatches were sent to Washington describing the state of hostilities.

Gen. George Washington
     Washington had a decision to make whether to leave this better part of his Army to hold Elizabethtown or to re amass on the heights. He choose the latter but left a sizable front line behind pickets guarding the entrance to Elizabethtown proper . He deployed small  units of militia and horse with cannon across the river upon Halsted point facing the British left. These units could quickly alert the Elizabeth garrison. Then be used to slow any British advance with fire upon the Red Coat left flank then their rear. Patrols of skirmishers were also deployed into the woods on the British right to dissuade scouting attempts by Knyphausen.

click to watch

  This worked well a caused the newly arrived General Clinton back from operations in the southern theater march on the remaining troops at Elizabethtown on June 14th with a couple thousand to test the strength of the advance contingent of of American Troops, He did this in order to gain  much needed intelligence for plans to march through the Hobart Gap to reach Morristown. The British were repelled. Yet, Clinton received the information he had needed evaluating the American force left in Elizabeth. The British Commander of the Kings North American military was  able to get scouts through behind the cover of his lines. This would result 9 days later in the battle of Springfield.



 "The Forgotten Victory: The Battle for New Jersey – 1780"  Fleming, Thomas. 1973 New York] Reader's Digest Press; distributed by Dutton

"History of Elizabeth, New Jersey : including the early history of Union County" Hatfield, Edwin F. 1868,New York: Carlton &Lanahan

"History of Union County, New Jersey" Ricord, Frederic. 1897
Publisher Newark, N.J. : East Jersey History Co.

"Historic Elizabeth, 1664-1914" Dix, Warren Rogers. 1914
Elizabeth Daily Journal

web sources:

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Last Invasion of New Jersey 1780 Part 1 Knyphausen's Elizabethtown Point Landing to The Battle of Connecticut Farms

The British Are Again Coming!

Preface and Landing

    On  June 6th 1780 The British Crossed The Arthur Kill with an expeditionary force of over 5000 British, Hessian and Loyalist Troops to re-invade New Jersey. Crossing from Staten Island where the Arthur Kill meets Newark Bay to Elizabethtown Point Gen. Knyphausen quickly established a beach head  for a planned summer campaign. The entire British and Hessian command assuming to finish off Washington's beleaguered force that had lost several thousand to the elements, desertion and completed enlistment over the last winter in Morristown, N.J. The defensive works at Elizabethtown Point would secure future landings needed to complete Clinton's re-conquest of Nova Caesarea.

    The  goal of Clintons first foray back into New Jersey was to reach Morristown via today's NJ route 82 and capture the large patriot munitions store there. Inflicting early such a heavy blow  to the defense of New Jersey he would all but guarantee continued success in his planned invasion. However held up, Clinton had not yet arrived back from the Southern theater by the 6th. Though this was Clinton's plan. Clinton intended to command the expedition and expected Knyphausen to ready the army waiting for his return. To Clinton's dismay that part of his order was lost in translation. Knyphausen instead continued with the original timeline for the invasion. The Hessian General would later blame over zealous loyalists for the mix up.
Sir Henry Clinton
Supreme Commander of
His Majesties Forces
in North America 1780

    In this history of the last invasion of the Garden State we will break down The events from the landing in Elizabeth the actions at Connecticut farms. As well as  all the engagements leading up to and The Battle of Springfield. The story ends with continued pressure by patriot forces pinning Clinton's army behind the hastily constructed defenses at Elizabethtown Point. The instincts, decisions, and heroism by Continental leadership and soldier alike caused the British to abandon the entire campaign in New Jersey in just a few weeks. Thus, expelling The crown from having any substantial influence in New Jersey for the rest of the American War of Independence. The buffer created through Washington's strategic victory enabled his Northern Continental Army to slip undetected down to Virginia and surround Gen Cornwallis at Yorktown securing eventual American Independence.

    At Elizabethtown two well known american stories as well as the Story of one of Lindens firsts families we have covered in The Truth About Colonial Linden updates occurred. The real life characters of Cornelious Hetfield Jr. and The Fighting Chaplin were re-imagined for the southern theater in the blockbuster epic The Patriot.

Hetfield on January 25 1780 5 months before the last invasion would exact retribution  for the confiscation of his large plantation in today's 8th Ward of Linden, N.J. As the legend goes, he was the first to toss his torch burning the first Presbyterian church after the militia was pushed out. We would like to note that his own father served as an alderman at this church for several decades during the 1700's.

The Fighting Chaplin Rev Caldwell in June 1780 gave a powerful sermon to the members of his flock in Elizabethtown encouraging many to join the militia force in defense of Elizabethtown. He himself fighting among his flock in the street to street urban battle. Tragedy would befall his family on the second day of Knyphausen's march toward the Hobart Gap. This was after the battle of Connecticut Farms (Union Township) when his wife Hannah was murdered by redcoats. This day's infamous moment is recorded in the seal of Union County. Caldwell would once again rally the Patriots at Springfield 3 weeks later as the defenders between the two branches of the Rahway River defending the entrance into Springfield ran low on paper for their musket balls. He ran out with stacks of hymnals ripping pages out and supplying the defenders with the needed material. "Give 'em Watt's Boys. Give 'em Watt's!" he exclaimed. Watt's being the publisher of those Presbyterian Hymnal books.

Also worthy of note the near entirety of The male Winan's family (TTACL Family Video 1-2) was active at Elizabethtown, Connecticut Farms and Springfield. They were a severe presence fighting the British all the way back to Elizabeth point. Demoralizing Clinton's men so completely Clinton had no choice but to abandon His expedition into new jersey never again to fight a major battle in New Jersey or the Northern theater for that matter. This family served beyond any imagining of sacrifice during the war for independence.

Connecticut Farms (TTACL EXTRA Video)

    The next morning of June 7th 1780 Knyphausen's vanguard of Hessian and loyalist troops poured out from the point. The larger force pushed a militia force of 500 New Jersey fighters from the town. The vanguard encountered stiff resistance briefly at a few points along Elizabeth Avenue but professionals and loyalist militia took Elizabeth relatively easily.  Knyphausen was unaware that the force was strategically falling back to meet up with a larger force under Maxwell at Connecticut Farms to defend the Hobart Gap. This is the most direct pass into Morristown. and the large munition stores of the Continental Army. The British plan to take Washington's ammo was the main objective to start the campaign.

    Patriot commander of Elizabethtown defenses General Greene anticipated the Red Coats would not waste time. Early morning on June 7th he dispatched a message the General Washington alerting him to the movement of 6000 Hessian and British Troops  into Elizabethtown Proper. Greene knew that Elizabethtown was indefensible and decided to fall back to Connecticut Farms but was in need of delaying the British advance to amass the majority of the American forces on the heights above the town.

    This fell to Colonel Elias Dayton's force of a few units New Jersey Continentals and few hundred  militia. The patriots received three strokes of luck. The first when the malicious Loyalist militia began looting the town. The second when British Brigadier General Stirling  leading Knyphausen's advance troops was hit by an Elizabeth Minuteman. Then plundering and burning by the British rear guard also proved to aid the Patriots. All of these factors significantly slowed the Crown's advance. The follies and misfortune allowed the massing of Maxwell's men sent by Washington to Connecticut Farms and the tactically retreating forces of Greene, Ogden then Dayton's men from Elizabeth.

    The British Northern Army would come to regret the sins of retribution throughout this expedition. The imprudent actions denied Knyphausen his numerical advantage as Maxwell commanding the Elizabethtown heights would not face the full 6000 invading force at Connecticut Farms. Rather, Maxwell would face no more than 3000 before giving up the village o and orderly reforming a few miles west at the first bridge into Springfield. There with A line of Jersey Blues and one artillery piece he would stop the British cold. Greene and Maxwell's tactical synergy this day drained the Hessian, Loyalist and Red Coats of vigor, confidence, and cohesiveness.

Maxwell Strips the Invaders of Their Will to Fight

(left) Maxwell (right) Knyphausen

   The response by NJ militia and the tactical know how by Maxwell to avoid a pitched battle while still defending a pitched line confounded Clinton's officers. Devoid of Clinton's leadership the staff's objective to severely hinder Washington's ability to wage war faded fast. There would be no quick two day onslaught to set up a final victory. Worse their men would be exposed to the genesis of a style of warfare a half century before it's time.

    The fact that Americans were defending the town using cover to cover gorilla tactics as opposed to a pitched battle gives us an Idea of the over all troop strength under Maxwell's command at Connecticut farms.  However, Maxwell's actual number of troops at Connecticut Farms is unknown. The number not only obscure to posterity but also completely uncertain to Knyphausen. So unsure of Maxwell's total numbers as well as his tactical deployments outside the town, the Hessian General would be forced into a correct but ultimately demoralizing retreat the next morning. 

    It is surely the case that Maxwell's light infantry Brigade were the elite force leading the defense as they moved independent of the main army. Hence, Washington's deployment of them to the Elizabethtown Heights. Examining the accounts of the style of defense the initial deployment of men by Greene and Washington recorded and Maxwell's exit of Connecticut Farms when the British reached a troop strength of 3000 one can reason a total number of Patriot defenders. Maxwell's light infantry brigade numbered around 200 men. There was the better part of 500 militia that retreated from Elizabethtown that morning mixed with units from the Jersey Brigade also commanded by Maxwell. Strengthening the units more militia from the western parts of the Elizabethtown Tract (Modern Union County) were identified as defenders. So we imagine that Maxwell commanded no less than 750 soldiers but no more than 1000 at Connecticut farms.

Maxwell effectively hid his actual troop strength. The force was much larger than the Red Coats anticipated. With the commando abilities of America's first special forces unit and a local militia littered with marksmen many using rifles as opposed to muskets this force certainly appeared at least double it's actual size.  As later recorded by Hessian officer Capt. Johann Ewald The light infantry were moving and attacking from entrenched positions moving and turning using every affordable vantage point. Militia were concealed in the woods around the invaders' lines firing musket and rifle from the edge then falling back. Patriots concealed off  the enemy's flanks. These men defending New Jersey were the first to receive the moniker of the Hornet's Nest.  Later the term was also used described South Carolina Militia men. The entire engagement the Hessian troops couldn't know whether they retreated wholesale after a series of volleys or if they had regrouped in order to envelope the foreigners later.

Results and Aftermath of Connecticut Farms

    The troop strength though 1/6 of Knyphausen's force was much higher than expected. The General's staff expected a poultry force until reaching passed Springfield on en route to the Morristown munition stores. This is where they expected to force Washington's 3500 to fight a pitched battle out gunned and outnumbered. The British and Hessians believed they would force a retreat capturing the powder leaving the remainder of the northern continentals demoralized and impudent.

     It took 3 hours for the Hessian and British troops to take the Heights. The offensive delay was enough time for Washington to establish the main force and block the Hobart Gap at the western end of Springfield. This point between the peaks of Summit and Short Hills was far more defensible then where Knyphausen originally intended to battle Washington. Also, the west end of Springfield was east enough  of Morristown that a retreat would still allow the defense of the ammunition stores. In the face an unknown but larger than expected resistance an extension to the march without securing the Continental munitions was a precarious prospect.

     By the time The crowns 6000 reached Connecticut Farms to make an advance on the Continentals evening was settling in. Knyphausen prudently and correctly halted the advance. The Continental main force was lined up at the narrowest part of the pass. Washington limited any maneuver in which Knyphausen could utilize his superior numbers. This while having cannon reign down from two peaks on his flanks, risking further harassment to the rear of his army and  possibly being cut off for any retreat. He Knew even if he could overwhelm Washington's force at Springfield he still would not reach his objective and risk being surrounded in a feigned retreat.

    So, Knyphausen decided to ransack and burn the village of Connecticut farms committing several unconscionable acts of total war. Most notorious was a murder of retribution immortalized in the seal of Union County. The fighting parson Rev. James Caldwell who rallied a significant number of militia to Washington's ranks fought earlier that morning at Elizabethtown slowing the British advance. For this he was to be made an example of and his wife a martyr.
    Some legends believe that this war crime was actually ordered hours before evening and ordered by the British command. Although, evidence from one first person account suggests it was an instance of shot first ask later by a lone soldier suffering battle fatigue. A Soldier fearing an enemy that appears kills and disappears at will. However, the same account describing what happened moments after lends support to this being an ordered act of savagery and perhaps the nervous behavior of the soldier was on account of having to follow such a heinous order. New Jersey will never know for sure.

In Thomas Fleming's 1973  "The Forgotten Victory: The Battle for New Jersey – 1780" he recounts  Abigail Lennington, the Caldwell's maid, statement on what had transpired. Quoting Fleming's book 
 "Nervously expecting trouble, the light infantryman approached the window, his finger on the trigger, ... Abigail Lennington shrank back, pulling the little boy with her. Probably the…soldier caught a glimpse of her as she moved away from the window. It was a bright, sunny day, and it seems doubtful that a man standing several feet away from the window could see very far into a room that had no windows in three walls. But a movement, any movement, was all this jittery man ... needed to see". He fired his double-loaded musket through the window and both bullets struck Mrs. Caldwell. Moments later, more British troops arrived, breaking down the door, looting the house and checking Mrs. Caldwell's body for jewelry.

The Crowns forces would head back to the Elizabethtown point defenses the June 8th 1780.  There were a series of minor skirmishes. The British lines were harassed the entire way back by the ghost like militia troops of New Jersey. This would become a common theme throughout this campaign.

Part 2 The Americans Go On The Offensive

due out end of April

TTACL EXTRA Video "Hand Assualts the Point"

click on links for videos


"The Forgotten Victory: The Battle for New Jersey – 1780"  Fleming, Thomas. 1973 New York] Reader's Digest Press; distributed by Dutton

"History of Elizabeth, New Jersey : including the early history of Union County" Hatfield, Edwin F. 1868,New York: Carlton &Lanahan

"History of Union County, New Jersey" Ricord, Frederic. 1897
Publisher Newark, N.J. : East Jersey History Co.

"Historic Elizabeth, 1664-1914" Dix, Warren Rogers. 1914
Elizabeth Daily Journal

web sources:

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