About the War for Independence
War | Civil War
ABOUT THE WAR FOR
Independence Day approaching, we should pause to remember the wonderful history
of East Greenwich. The men and women who lived here during the mid-1700's were
representative of those throughout our county -- some supported the American Revolution,
some remained loyal to the British government, and still others took no part in
supporting either side.
other civil wars, the American Revolution asked ordinary people to choose between
two extraordinary positions. The Revolution forced competition among colonists'
allegiances: to England and the King, to colonial homes and families, and even
to religious convictions. All of them risked their lives by the choices they made,
and all suffered in some way during the American Revolution. Family relations
were strained or severed by differing political positions. Loyalists were often
jailed, their property confiscated, and their physical being threatened.
of these ordinary people came to their new homeland seeking freedom--religious
or otherwise. All of them contributed, in a positive way, to the future of our
township and country.
of interest in East Greenwich during the American Revolution:
Death of the Fox Tavern and the Mount Royal
Inn - both were in existence during the American Revolution, and were
gathering places of patriots and Loyalists alike.
Peter's Episcopal Church on King's Highway - The Revolution split some
denominations, notably the Church of England, whose ministers were bound by oath
to support the King. Several members of this church were Loyalists whose property
was confiscated following the war; other members actively supported the war including
Col. Bodo Otto, Jr.
3. Bodo-Otto House on
King's Highway- residence of Col. Bodo Otto, Jr., a surgeon who served at Valley
Force with General George Washington. This house was partially burned in 1778
by the British during the "Battle of Saunder's Run" that took place
4. Mantua Creek Bridge
- On November 1777 General Cornwallis sent his First Light Infantry over Berkley
Road to Sandtown [now Mount Royal] to repair this bridge, which the Americans
had previously destroyed in order to stop their progress.
Monthly Meetinghouse on Kings Highway - although built in 1799 after the
American Revolution, Quakers were meeting in Mickleton as early as 1756. Some
Quakers were conscientiously convinced that they could, despite the Friends' peace
testimony, take up arms against the British, and called themselves "Free
Quakers." The majority of Quakers adhered to the denomination's traditional
position of pacifism and disowned those members who fought on either side. When
the Revolutionary war broke out, the Quakers were mistreated because they wouldn't
take sides, even as they raised relief funds to help the wounded from the war.
Several Quakers signed or contributed to the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson wrote of the Declaration of Independence, "May it be to the world,
what I believe it will be...to assume the blessings and security of self-government.
That form...restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom
of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man...For ourselves,
let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights,
and an undiminished devotion to them."
honor our independence, Congress declared July 4 a legal federal holiday in 1941
to celebrate the July 4, 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence.
have a safe and happy Fourth of July as we celebrate our freedom, our rights,
and the creation of the greatest democracy the world has ever seen. Pause to honor
and remember all of those who contributed to our present freedom. To their fidelity
and courage, even unto death, the world owes much of its priceless heritage of
religious liberty and democracy.
GREENWICH DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
A skirmish took place in
Mickleton, during the Revolutionary War.
On August 11, 1777, New Jersey Militia Troops under Brigadier
General Silas Newcomb were headquartered near the "Crossroads" in Mount
a letter to him from George Washington].
General Cornwallis at Billingsport sent his First Light Infantry over Berkley
Road to Sandtown [now Mount Royal]
to repair the bridge over Mantua
Creek, which the Americans had previously destroyed in order to stop their
progress. On November 21st, 1777, the main army crossed the repaired bridge and
proceeded north, but the Seventh and Sixty-Third Regiments were left behind to
occupy the town; guard the bridge, keep up communications with Billingsport; and
to collect cattle.
March 15, 1778, Colonel Mawhood landed at Billingsport and marched up Salem
Creek to Mantua Bridge and on March 16, 1778 fought the militia who retreated
to Tomkins Farm where they halted and fought until forced to retreat to the vicinity
of Colonel Boddo Otto's residence near Mickleton.This battle, called the
Battle of Saunder's Run took place near
Dr. Otto's home between British forces under Colonel Nawhood and American
forces under Artillery Company Captain Samuel Hugg. During the fight the British
burnt the house of Colonel Otto and all of his personal property. The hill beyond
the Otto house was known as Saunders Hill, and the stream at the bottom was called
Saunders Run. At this battle,
Lieutenant-Captain Franklin Davenport commanded 2 pieces of artillery. In
County Historical Society there is a cannon ball which was found in a field
beyond Saunders Run and which was probably freed by one of his guns.
OTHER REVOLUTIONARY WAR RESOURCES [external links]
Genealogy & History Web Site - Gloucester County
South Jersey Connection to Valley Forge
Jersey and the Revolution
Jersey in the Revolution
New Jersey - the
Crossroads of the American Revolution
in the American Revolution
and Skirmishes of the American Revolution in New Jersey -
NJ State Library
Resources: Revolutionary War"; this site
During the Civil War
& the Underground Railroad
the Civil War, legend has it that two Mickleton homes were well-known stops on
the Underground Railroad. They were the houses at 854 Kings Highway (then owned
by the Brown family) and the Bond House at 351 Kings Highway (then owned by the
Mickles). Since both families were Quakers, the legend is likely true.
"Genealogical Resources: Civil War"
Americans and the Civil War