Like much of New Jersey
during the American Revolution
, Monmouth County was contested territory in between the great armies. As the Battles of Trenton
and Bound Brook raged nearby, the people of Monmouth County fought their own internal revolution; Loyalist
partisans led insurrections and raids that laid waste to entire neighborhoods. In 1778, General George Washington
rallied his Continental army and fought the British within Monmouth’s borders, barely holding the field. Monmouth Countians joined the fight and then spent the following weeks caring for the wounded and burying the dead. The remaining war years brought more hardships, as they grappled with a local civil war charged with racial, religious and economic undercurrents—a local civil war that continued long after the Battle of Yorktown supposedly ended hostilities. Revolutionary War scholar Michael S. Adelberg brings to life the struggles within Monmouth County, a place that New Jersey governor William Livingston called “the theatre of spoil and destruction.”
New Jersey is a central state on the Atlantic Coast, closely associated with both Philadelphia and New York City. The American Revolution started earlier than the War of Independence and last until peace was signed in 1783. While Washington was crossing the Delaware on Christmas Day, 1776, a second thrust against the Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey, was underway. Fought in early January 1777, the Battle of Princeton was a victory for George Washington's Continental Army over British forces. Those citizens of the American colonies who kept their loyalty to Britain were known as Tories, or Loyalists. George Washington fought in both the French and Indian and the Revolutionary wars, and was his country's first President.