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This marker indicates the location where, in early December 1776, a young Alexander Hamilton commanded a battery overlooking the Raritan River, protecting the retreating Continental Army led by George Washington from pursuing British forces. Around 4,000 British soldiers were encamped across the river and attempted to cross it at bridge constructed nearby. The guns fired at the encroaching British, allowing the Continental forces to retreat (as well to protect those soldiers who were pulling up the bridges planks).


  • The Raritan River can be seen in the background.
  • The famous 1851 painting by Emanuel Leutze of Washington confidently crossing the Delaware River.

Washington was very impressed with Hamilton's leadership and was surprised to learn that he (Hamilton) was only 21 years old. The battery helped preserve Washington's army, enabling him to make the fateful decision to make the now famous surprise attack on December 25, 1776 against Hessian (German) forces allied with the British. This attack is memorialized in the painting by Emanuel Leutze, which depicts Washington astride in a boat crossing the river.

"Alexander Hamilton Horse Artillery Battery." The Historical Marker Database. Accessed 
June 12, 2017. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=10010.Photo: Gary Nigh, via the Historical Marker Database

Randall, Willard Sterne. Hamilton Takes Command. Smithsonian Magazine. Accessed June 12, 2017. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/hamilton-takes-command-74722445/.