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Descent on Springfield, N. J.

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

June 24.—Yesterday morning, the British marched in force from Elizabethtown, New Jersey, under command of the unprincipled, mercenary Knyphausen. After driving in the American pickets, they reached Connecticut Farms about sunrise, where a scattering fire began between them and a few of the advanced troops, assisted by part of the militia. However, as the Americans had but two Continental brigades, and two brigades of militia, and the enemy’s force, by estimation, five thousand men and six pieces of artillery, they could give them but little impediment until they arrived at Springfield bridge, where a very obstinate resistance was made to their passing it. After a very considerable loss, the British carried it and entered the village. The Americans retired to the ridge of hills in rear of the town, and took their position, expecting them to advance towards Morristown; but after recovering from their fatigue, collecting their killed and wounded, they began a most distressing scene. They burned the Presbyterian meeting-house, and nineteen dwelling-houses, with the chief of their standing furniture. They then began a most rapid retreat, and the Americans pursued them to their works, killing and wounding many of them. During their expedition, several of them deserted, both British and Hessians. The American loss is very small; only one officer fell—First Lieutenant Thompson, of artillery, a very brave man.

This morning some of the horsemen have been down to Elizabethtown, and find that the British went over to Staten Island last night, took up their bridge, and bid us farewell. Deserters and prisoners agree that their next expedition will be carried on up the North River.1


1 Extract of a letter from the camp, in the New Jersey Gazette, June 28.