Discussion in 'Todays Battlegrounds' started by Karl, Jan 10, 2009.
Before I talk about my visit yesterday I want to see if posting these pictures works.
It worked ...
Can I also suggest that you repeat what you posted on CWDG, when you have some spare time. Without references to tea of course!
I was up in north Jersey and wanted to visit this battlefield.
I wasn't sure what to expect. Recently Ilona and I had done a fall foliage drive from the Stans place in Gettysburg and we went due north to Carlisle.
While there, Stan had mentioned that Molly Hays (Molly Pitcher as she is better known as) was burried there in town.
While there I took a few pic's and will post a couple of those.
As you all know, once you have allowed what happened back then to get into your soul, there is no turning back.
The empathy that one has for the trials and tribulations of what these folks went through endears you and makes you want to walk in their footsteps. If for nothing else, it is a way to connect just a little bit with them.
Instead of feeling like I have saturated myself with more than I can ever read, I am always getting something else on "other" battles and this one is no exception. I found a copy of Monmouth Courthouse 1778 and it is on the way after this visit 2 days ago.
It's a fascinating story that I know almost nothing about.
I know a little more know. LOL
After stopping by the VC I grabbed a pamphlets and looked at the displays.
They also had a video that was a bit disapointing. After looking at the m, ap in there and the diorama I was able to get a basic understanding of what had happened.
In a nuthell, Washington left Valley Forge as the British left Philadelphia and headed north back to New York.
As Washington got close, he sent General Charles Lee forward to attack the rear. The British turned with half of their army of 20,000 men and pushed Lee back. As Lee was retreating, he and Washington met and Lee was ordered to make a stand to delay the British long enough for Washington to get the rest of his army regrouped.
After some interesting firefights and attempted flanking moves, the situation stablized and the armies found themselves facing each other as such.
A walking tour of this area looked good so I chose to go where Washington had it's main forces and artillery.
Here is the walking tour and I decided to bundle up good and talk the walk......with a cigar in hand.
Take a look at the brochure picture above and the tour picture below.
It's important to get the two fences and the Sutfin house situated when you see where Washington was and the British.
This walking tour was great because you can see the ground so well and how the forces had been arrayed.
Here is the tour picture.
As I stood at point (1) on the tour map I took a couple of pic's. At this time I really didn't know much about what had happened but the signs were great and took you through what happened very nicely.
This hill that the American forces were on was very good ground, and thr visual was cool.
The first shot is towards the Sutfin house and the British position in the orchard. The next shot is to the left and the hill and fence that the Americans were behind.
As you can see, the hill that Washington's troops were on is very visible behind the fence.
Here is the map that is at tour stop 1
Here is a zooomed in shot taken at the end of the tour looking at Perrine Hill.
I will post more later but this map shows you the area across which this action took place.
Ya know, you can only hit so many battlefields in a week, month, year, but I enjoy it and try to always have the camera on hand.
I'll be perfectly honest. I am back in North Jersey tonight lending moral support and have every intention of doing the other walking tour now that I know a bit more about how this battle unfolded.
I do want to go into town where the battle began and look forward to that.
Continuing on, at this 1st stop is cool because you can feel that there is no doubt that they were RIGHT HERE!
It's a perfect defensive position with the hill running from the Spotswood Northbrook on the left and the middle brook on their right.
TUrning around facing up the hill you can see how nice this ground really was.
And turning back around looking forward from behind the fence this is the view.
Wlking up the hill towards the 2nd line and the artillery line here is the view looking towards the same direction at the fence the Americans were behind. Notice the Sutfin House in the distance.
When you get back to tour stop 3, you begin to get the artillery information.
Here I am looking across tour stop 2 and towards the hill behind the tree's or Hedgerow where the British artillery was located. See the color map I posted earlier.
This view is looking to the right or where the 2nd line was. Washington's men and the artillery.
Nice pictures. Yan liked them too!
There's a British unit to the right of Suffin Farm. I think it formed a flanking move, by looking at one of information boards you photographed.
The contours suggested that this was not a particularly easy route, and was used to 'pin' Washington's left flank. It also looks that the Highlanders made the attack without artillery support. Having looked at the ground, was the advance a realistic prospect?
From what I am gathering, there was a series of delaying actions as the Americans were falling back from their failed attack at Monmuth Courthouse.
The British charged them a few times and this tour is more of the situation later when Washington was able to stabilize the lines.
Here are a couple of maps I found online.
This one has troop movement maps for 7 and 8:30 but then thats it.
There was quite a bit before this artillery standoff and final actions.
More pic's to come.
Wait till you see these signs.
Thanks Karl ... and now for more photos?
As I moved to the left the artillery information was very well done.
In case you can't read that.
Now this is where the walk went from being good to really cool. Apparently they did this archeology study to determine where the British were in the Sutfin orchard.
Looking back to the right where they felt Molly Hays was and towards the previous marker.
Later in the action Washington sends his men on a flanking move on the Highlanders position. They move into the woods on the left.
The position of this marker at the far left of the fence where the left was.
As I am walking along the edge of the woods between tour stops 6 and 7 (see tour map) I took a pic towards this ground.
At tour stop 7 I am standing in the bottom corner of the orchard that the British were. Notice the yellow astrick denting you are here in all these maps.
A close up of this very cool map showing the location of found ammo.
I'm sorry, but I am gonna say it, you have to have maps. When I did this walk and had finished (which I am not done yet), I felt like I understood this entire action here including where they felt Molly Hays was.
Speaking of Molly Hays. She moved to Carlisle and died there.
Early November I was there with Ilona.
There were a few other folks burried here as well.
Brigadier General William Thompson
Commander of Thompsons Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion
1775 - 1776
Getting back......the sign here at tour stop 7 is along the fence that was behind the British Highlanders. The position is in the lower corner of the orchard. This view is looking down the fenceline with the woods at my back.
At this point I walked down the fenceline and stopped and turned towards the Sutfin house and took this picture which is also looking back towards the American position on Perrine Hill in the distance.
I then turned around and took a few shots of the fence that the British retreated through (see map showing retreat route).
The Sutfin house. Since rebuilt.
Standing in the shadow of the Sutfin house and looking towards the British position in the orchard.
Same place l;ooking to the left towards the American position on Perrine Hill.
Final shot(s) looking back at the Sutfin house and then the last couple looking again towards Washington's position.
A zoomed in view.
I am, I think going back down here today and check out the Monmouth Courthouse and maybe the other walking tour that encompasses Combs Hill and the British position.
Hope you enjoyed it.
Great pics, Karl. Thanks for posting them.
I really need to visit there.
I echo Eric's comments, and look forward to the update.
So I found myself drawn back to Monmouth on my way back from sis's again and this time I wanted to do a little, albeit very little research.
I found the Monmouth Historical Society and had to park over a 1/4 mile away. It was cold as a ...... well you know.
I was reticent to do a walking tour this day (2 days ago) and as I rang the bell for the historical Society. They were very nice and brought out all the books they had on the battle.
There is a book by a guy who was there and had all the records.
"The Battle of Monmouth"
They also had another one and the Osprey one that I ordered last week.
The older books had no maps and the Osprey one has a few and takes you through the chronology of how the day unfolded.
I did get a better understanding of the how things led to the latter days artillery duel that I posted about.
I thinked them and paid my $5 and left to go back to the VC.
Both times I was the only soul in the building except for the person in the back office.
This time I brought my camera in and didn't change into my stomping boots.
It was cold and I wasn't relishing the thought of doing this other tour that began right here..........Today.
So I had my good heavy coat on but I was wearing my bass shoes and after taking a ew pic's inside the VC I ventured out the door towards the battlefield.
The VC is located right on Combs Hill where the Americans placed artillery. See the map I posted earlier. The one in color.
It shows the VC and the artillery position on the hill.
I ventured outside and walked to the placard at tour stop one and took a few pic's
I will post them later today.
to be con't....
As I walked up to the VC I could clearly see the Sutfin house that so prominently dominated the center of the walking tour I took last week.
I had the camera with me and the view through the breezeway had the House centered. I thought it would give a good frame of reference for the prior tour and where we were (on Comb's Hill).
I then took a few shots inside the VC of the placard there and the basic diorama they had of the ground.
I went outside and walked tour this tours 1st stop. Here is this walking tour. #1 is at the VC. Just outside a 150 feet to this placard.
This is the area of the guns that were placed here. Four cannons under the command of Chevalier du Plessis-Mauduit.
Here is the map that shows the positions.
The hill is is very prominent. The walking tour shows the two bridges as stops 11 on the left and 2 on the right.
I took pic's of both from this position. Here is the information at stop 1 and then the bridge on the left and the one on the right 2nd showing the way to the British position.
So here I am at this first stop and it's cold, I mean real cold. I didn't put the boots on and had decided that, as I was heading up to sis's again I could do this walking tour some other time when the weather was more conducive to a nice walk with a good cigar.
Then I began to feel like a whimp and said screw it and walked down the hill to and over the bridge. When I got down to the bridge I turned around and took this picture back up towards the 1st stop.
And over the bridge I went and stopped where the walk makes a turn to the right. I took a couple pic's both directions and then went back to my car.
To be con't...
After doing this I decided to drive around to the area where the Bristish artillery was located. If you look at the map of the walking tour I posted you can see the road at stop 6 has a little turnout. Stopping here I crossed the RR tracks and climbed the embankment and saw they had a couple of nice markers.
On the other side of these trees straight ahead is Combs Hill and the bridge down below the rise which is not visible.
This is the view looking towards the American position. The Sutfin house is located behind the vertical stick of the fence in the center.
As I was walking back towards the embankment, I took a picture of the Sutfin house through the trees.
One last look down the British line and the view of Combs Hill which enfilades this position very well.
Again, the last view is from tour stop 6 looking back towards stop 1.
That was it. Maybe when it gets a bit warmer I can walk this ground again.
Not a bad piece of ground when you consider that this action took place 230+ years ago.
Glad you enjoyed it.
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