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Members of Red Bank Chapter live in the vicinity of Pitman, Gloucester County, New Jersey
Red Bank Chapter, Pitman, New Jersey
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Origin of Red Bank Chapter's Name | The Battle of Red Bank
New Jersey Officers in the Red Bank Campaign
A Brief History of Pitman, New Jersey | DAR History Links

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Red Bank Battle Field is the site of Fort Mercer, named after Brigadier General Hugh Mercer who died at Princeton January 1777. Two monuments mark this site: one is erected to Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Greene who, with four hundred men, defeated two thousand Hessian troops at Red Bank October 22, 1777; a second monument commemorates the battle of Red Bank.

By an Act of the United States Congress, 20 acres of land at Red Bank, including the fort, monuments, and site of the Whitall House, are now a public park under care of the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders.

Fort Mercer is located in National Park, New Jersey, just south of Woodbury and just a few minutes directly off I-295.

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Late in September 1777, Philadelphia was captured by British General William Howe, with a serious disadvantage. Extensive American river defenses blocked the shipping of food and supplies to the British army and citizens of Philadelphia. A major attack was planned against the garrison at Fort Mercer. A British brigade of about 1,200 Hessians under Colonel Carl Emil Ulrich Von Donop was ferried over to Coopers Ferry (now Camden), spending the night in Haddonfield.

On the morning of October 22, 1777, Colonel Von Donop and his brigade marched on Fort Mercer. Young Jonas Cattell, an apprentice blacksmith, alerted Colonel Christopher Greene that a surprise attack was imminent. Around 4 pm, the attack began. Quickly gaining the old northern section of the fort, the Hessians faced another 10 foot wall and abatis [a line of defense consisting of a barrier of felled or live trees with sharpened branches toward the enemy]. The disordered Hessians tried to move forward, but the Americans gained the advantage and held the fort. Hessian casualties amounted to over 500, including the mortally wounded Von Donop, while Americans counted 14 killed and 23 wounded out of 600. Many of the wounded, including Von Donop, were taken to the Whitall House where they were tended by American doctors and Ann Whitall, who had remained in her home. Count Donop, the Hessian commander mortally wounded at the battle, was subsequently removed to the farm house of Joseph Low where he died. He was interred with remains of his brigade on the battlefield.

The Battle of Red Bank resulted in heavy losses to the British and was a much-needed morale builder to Washington's army, giving new hope and rallying the spirits of the soldiers. This victory, coupled with the British defeat at Saratoga, New York, resulted in the French decision to enter the war against Great Britain.
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in the Red Bank Campaign
~compiled by Colonel C.E. Godfrey of the Adjutant General's Department at the State House in N.J., taken from the "Trenton Times" printed June 26, 1906~

Newcomb's Brigade: Brigadier General Silas Newcomb and staff; Major Robert Patterson, Brigade Major.

Burlington County: Colonel Bowes Reed and staff, Captain Joseph Borden, troup of horse; Captain Edward Thomas, troop of horse, Captain Albemarle Collins, Lieutenant Daniel Hendrickson, Captain John Leak, Captain Robert Quigley, Captain Joseph Vandyke.

Cape May County: Colonel John Mackey and staff, First Lieutenant John Cresse, Captain Salathial Foster, Captain Henry Y. Townsend, Captain James Willets, Jr.

Cumberland County: Colonel Elijah Hand and staff, Captain John Barker, Captain Jonathan Beesley, Captain Elijah Davis, First Lieutenant Ephraim Foster, Captain William Lowe, Captain John Peterson, Captain David Platt.

Gloucester County: Colonel Joseph Ellis and staff, Captain Richard Cheeseman, troop of horse; Captain Franklin Davenport, artillery, Captain Jacob Browning, Captain Joseph Collins, Captain Joseph Conover, Captain Sawtel Elwell, Captain Felix Fisher, Captain David Paul, Captain William Price, Captain Christopher Rape, Captain John Stokes, Captain William Watson.

Morris County: Lieutenant Colonel Benomi Hathaway, commanding and staff; Captain David Bates, Captain Aaron Bigelow, Captain Ezra Brown, Captain Nathan Horton, Captain Jeremy Slaight.

Salem County: Major Edward Hall, commanding; First Lieutenant John Smith, adjutant; First Lieutenant James Steel, quartermaster; Captain Jacob DuBois, Captain Joseph Haywood, Captain Abner Penton.

Sussex County: Lieutenant Colonel John Seward, command and staff; Major Samuel Westbrook, Captain George Allen, Captain Josiah Cole, Captain Benjamin Coykindall, Captain Conrad Gunterman, Captain Thomas Hill, Lieutenant Abijah Hopkins, Captain Manuel Hover, Captain Simon Simonson.

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Pitman Borough was formed from land originally located in Mantua and Glassboro Townships, and is named after Reverend Charles Pitman, D.D.

In 1871, land in this section of Gloucester County was chosen for a new Methodist summer religious camp, as it was "convenient and desirable" land, which included good sources of water.

On March 17, 1872, under the sponsorship of Reverend Perry, presiding elder of the Bridgeton District of the Methodist Church, the New Jersey Conference Camp meeting Association was formally chartered. They had the authority to adopt ordinances governing people within the bounds of this area, known as "Pitman Grove."

At first, the only homes built on this land were for summer use, and were for the use of Methodist ministers and their families. As time passed, these families sold their buildings to persons not in the ministry.

As time passed, greater numbers of people made permanent homes. Some of the summer residents in the cottages began to stay year-round. By 1886 approximately 400 cottages were present within the Grove and in outlying areas. In 1890 the directors of the Association voted to build a drugstore on the camp grounds, and made provisions to open up additional areas for development. The permanence of the population led to the establishment of the first public school in Pitman, in a new school district, on July 17, 1884.

Pitman was officially incorporated as a borough on May 24, 1904. The Pitman Grove area of Pitman Borough is on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

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History of the National Society - Daughters of the American Revolution

History of the New Jersey State Society - National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution

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  • "A history of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and its people," by John Woolf Jordan; Lewis Historical Publishing Company; New York; 1914
  • "Alphabetical list of battles, 1754-1900," by N.A. Strait; Washington, D.C.: 1905
  • Text from the Fort Mercer Battlefield information signs
  • History of the Battle of Red Bank," by Frank H. Stewart, Gloucester Co. Historical Society, Pub. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Gloucester Co., Woodbury, N.J. 1927

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Pitman, Gloucester County, New Jersey

Facts About South Jersey
  • Old Gloucester County was formed on May 26, 1686 from the third and fourth tenths of the province of West Jersey. It included present-day Atlantic County and Camden County.
  • Patriots, disguised as indians, burned cargo of tea on night of December 22, 1774 at Greenwich, Cumberland County, New Jersey
  • Bodo Otto, Jr., of Mickleton, N.J., along with his father Bodo Otto, Sr. and brother John, were surgeons in General George Washington's army, and were present at Valley Forge.
  • As the Revolutionary War began in 1775, New Jersey's loyalties were split. About one-third of the people living here supported the rebels, one-third supported England, and one-third remained neutral.