Hancock's Bridge, New Jersey

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Hancock's Bridge, New Jersey

HANCOCK'S BRIDGE, NEW JERSEY. 21 March 1778. After the action at Quinton's Bridge, New Jersey, Colonel Charles Mawhood returned to Salem, New Jersey, and planned an attack on Hancock's Bridge, five miles away on Alloways Creek. This was the last of the pockets of resistance to his foraging expedition, and Mawhood believed that it was defended by two hundred New Jersey militia. Major John Graves Simcoe was given the task with his Queen's Rangers. He set out on 20 March and moved by boat up Alloways Creek to a point from which they could move cross-country to take the bridge from the rear. The Twenty-seventh Foot approached the other side of the bridge by marching overland from Salem. The operation should have been a great success, but wind and tides held the boats up, and Simcoe and his men had to wade through two miles of swamp. Simcoe did not get into position to attack until the morning of 21 March but quickly eliminated two sentries. The Americans had detected the movement the day before, and most of the militia had already withdrawn. The last twenty men took refuge in Hancock's brick house. Two companies of the Rangers knocked down the front and back doors and charged in. At this point Simcoe lost control of his men. His Loyalist soldiers killed everyone in the building including the owner and his brother, who were supporters of the King. Simcoe called this "very unfortunate;" the Americans called it a massacre.

SEE ALSO Quinton's Bridge, New Jersey.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jackson, John W. With The British Army in Philadelphia, 1777–1778. San Rafael, Cal.: Presidio Press, 1979.

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Hancock's Bridge, New Jersey

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