Towards the end of June, 1777, the British were roaming through
About in the morning, before the two British columns could join up, William Alexander, Lord Stirling, was able to get between the columns and fire some shots before retreating. (3) By , the fire upon the British became steadier. Near Oak Tree, Cornwallis met up with about 600 men with three cannon on a hill near some woods. After a show of force by the British, the Americans retreated into the woods. (4)
By , the British would meet with the Americans again. Lord Stirling’s division, with six cannon and somewhere between 1800 and 2500 men, attacked from a hill. Under Lord Stirling were General Thomas Conway’s brigade and Brigadier General William Maxwell’s brigade. Cornwallis sent about 5,000 men – the 1st Light Infantry, 1st British Grenadiers, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Hessian Grenadiers, the 1st Battalion of Guards, Hessian jägers and the Queen’s Rangers – against
After the American retreat,
Among the casualties in the battle were twenty-something men of the combined British-Hessian force who died from the heat out of a total of approximately 70 men dead or wounded, (9) although General Howe claimed only 5 killed and 30 wounded. (10) Among the casualties were Captain John Finch, of the 1st Regiment Foot Guards, who was wounded and died on the 29th and Edward Kerin, 17, of the 22nd Light Company, who was wounded and died on 6 July. General George Washington claimed to have taken 13 prisoners. (11)
The American losses are even harder to pin down. Captain Friedrich von Muenchhausen, General Howe’s aide, claimed that 37 wagons of wounded men were taken, estimating that the Americans lost 400 killed and wounded. (12)
Other men who participated in the battle, but who are not listed above are as follows: Jepther Lee, Capt. Benjamin Tallmadge, Capt. Cyrus De Hart, Col. Presley Neville, Jonathan Freeman, Maj. Nicholas Ottendorff, Johann Carl Buttner, George Ewing, Col. Lewis Willis, William Grant, Capt. Benjamin Eustis, Capt. Edward Archibald, Capt. Gibbs Jones, Capt. Garthwait, Col, Thomas, Johnathan Terry, Jacob Ludlow, Eseck Ryno, and James Kitchel. Among the combined British-Hessian force at the battle was the infamous Maj. John Andre, Lieut. Von Dincklage and Lord Chewton.
(1) Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. Capt. Johann Ewald, Trans. & ed. Joseph P. Trustin, New Haven,
(2) Archibald Robertson: His Diaries and Sketches in
(3) At General Howe’s Side: 1776-1778. Captain Friedrich von Muenchhausen. Translated by Ernst Kipping. Philip Freneau Press,
(4) Ibid., 19.
(5) Ibid., 19.
(6) Robertson, 139.
(7) Muenchhausen, 19.
(8) Ewald, 69.
(9) Ewald, 69; Muenchhausen, 20.
(10) War in the Countryside: The
(11) Robertson, 258; Detwiller, 13, 14.
(12) Muenchhausen, 20.
(13) Lineage Book, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Vol. XX, 1897. Louise Pearsons Dolliver,