The Battle of Quinton's Bridge

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The Battle of Quinton's Bridge

March 18, 1778 at Quinton's Bridge, New Jersey

American Forces Commanded by
Col. Asher Holmes
Strength Killed Wounded Missing / Captured
300 30-40 ? ?
British Forces Commanded by
Col. Chas Mawhood and Col. Anthony Wayne
Strength Killed Wounded Missing / Captured
1,500 1 ? ?
Conclusion: British Victory
Northern Theater after 1777

Quinton's Bridge was located on Alloway Creek. On March 12, British Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Charles Mawhood, along with a mixed force of Simcoe's Rangers and British regulars, crossed the Delaware River; the purpose of this move was twofold, to forage for supplies and to meet up with the foraging party led by Colonel Anthony Wayne. The parties joined and went towards Salem, New Jersey; there, they were met by some Tories, who told the commanders that Colonel Asher Holmes, along with 300 militia, was only three miles to the southeast. Like the British, Holmes's men were foraging in the area, and Holmes had taken a position to cover Quinton's Bridge while they were at work.

Before dawn on March 18, Mawhood moved several detachments of men into position on the side of the creek opposite the American forces. Holmes, knowing of the British presence in the area, had ordered planks removed from the bridge as an additional precaution. However, as soon as the Americans saw a British detachment moving to their rear, coming from the direction of the local tavern, a Captain Smith replaced the planks and left 100 men on the high ground. He took 200 more across the bridge in pursuit. This force followed the British further along the road, eventually making contact with another group of the British soldiers, who had been posted behind a rail fence. The remainder of the British force was nearby, posted in a house by the fence.

When Smith and his men were attacked, the soldiers posted in the house slipped out and ran to the Americans' rear flank, cutting off any retreat to the bridge. They then forced Smith's force to attempt another crossing of the creek. At this point the main body of British soldiers arrived at the bridge and attempted to cross over to the American position. They were stopped by Colonel Elijah Hand and his militia, who arrived with two guns in time to stop a complete annihilation of the American force. In the event, the Americans lost between 30 and 40 men in the engagement, most to drowning.

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