Attack at Quinton's Bridge
On March 18, 1778, the British attacked the Continental Army on Quinton's Bridge. The British's purpose for this attack was to take cattle, hay and corn from the local citizens in order to bring them back to Philadelphia which was controlled by them at the time. During this attack, the British were able to lure about 200-300 men from the Continental Army across the bridge into an ambush by pretending to retreat. Although some men of the Continental Army were captured or killed, they were still able to defend the bridge and kept the British from crossing.
Backstory and Context
There were about fifteen hundred British troops, under the command of Charles Mawhood, which occupied the town of Salem in March of 1778. The British troops wanted to cross the Delaware River back to Philadelphia, which was controlled by the British at the time. The British had in mind that when they went back to Philadelphia they wanted to confiscate cattle, hay and corn from the local villagers to bring with them. The local villagers had got word on this and some of them were able to move their cattle south of Salem to keep them safe from the British.
There were only three bridges at this time that that the British could cross to get to their destination. The Continental Army took up positions at all three bridges to stop the British from crossing. One of these bridges was Quinton’s Bridge. On March 18, 1778 the British made their attack on Quinton’s Bridge.
The British were able to lure about two hundred to three hundred men from the Continental Army across the bridge by pretending to retreat. When the men from the Continental Army crossed the bridge to attack the British, the British were hiding in a house near the creek. When the men moved passed the British, the soldiers rushed out of the house and ran to the rear of the army to cut off the Continental Army’s retreat to the bridge. The British then tried to cross over the bridge but where stopped when Colonel Elijah Hand arrived with his troops with guns just in time to stop the Continental Army from being taken out.
Many men of the Continental Army were killed, captured or drowned in the Battle of Quinton’s Bridge. However, the Americans were able to successfully defend Quinton’s Bridge and the British were not able to cross.
Battle of Quinton's Bridge. American Patriotic Chronicle. . . http://blog.alssar.org/uncategorized/the-battle-of-quintons-bridge/.
Salem County and the American Revolution. Salem County. . . https://visitsalemcountynj.com/about-salem-county/salem-county-history-project/salem-county-and-the-american-revolution/.