May 3, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Did you know that a key event of the American Revolution happened right on the doorstep of Maplewood/South Orange? In fact the Battle of Springfield in 1780 is seen by many as a turning point in the War for Independence. You can walk in the footsteps of the Revolutionary War militiamen and soldiers who defended this area against the British.
On June 23, 1780 British and Hessian soldiers based in Staten Island invaded Essex County (which then included Springfield) with the aim of attacking the core of General Washington’s troops in the northern colonies, then headquartered in Morristown. Their ability to pass through the Hobart Gap of the Watchung Mountains was critical. This action was thwarted by the courageous fighting of the militia from much of northern New Jersey, joined by many of our local citizens, and by Continental soldiers under the leadership of the fabled Light-Horse Harry Lee and Nathaniel Greene. The British retreated back to Staten Island, never to set foot again in New Jersey. Their defeat at Yorktown, Virginia was little more than a year away.
To see some of the nearby battle-related sites yourself, put on your walking shoes and join Durand-Hedden for a moderately paced 1-mile “history hike” (plus return). The hike will begin at the Millburn Mall on Vauxhall Road and end at Millburn Town Hall. Our knowledgeable guide, local history lover Lynn Gale, will point out natural and built landmarks along Millburn Ave. At the start, Brigade of the Revolution re-enactor Mark Hurwitz, wearing an authentic reproduction of the uniform of Col. Elias Dayton of the 3rd NJ Regt, will present an overview of the Battle.
Meeting Location: The bridge over the East Branch of the Rahway River next to the Millburn Mall at the intersection of Vauxhall Road and Millburn Avenue.
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