I recently discovered some interesting articles online about New Jersey history. For instance:
“Mutiny of the New Jersey Line” by Michael Schellhammer (March 19, 2014)
Nice summary of the events of the winter of 1780-81 when NJ troops stationed at Pompton became fed up with their conditions. Written in casual, non-academic language, perfect for us busy folks who love history but have other things to distract us. Considering that the mutineers had agreed to return to camp, it is surprising that Gen. Washington took such a strong position against them. Despite the fact that the NJ men only wanted to return home because their enlistments had expired, Washington and Howe determined to make an example of them, to discourage insubordination throughout the army. Two men were executed: Sergeant David Gilmore and Sergeant John Tuttle. Sergeant Major Grant would have been, but officers were persuaded he was not a ring leader that they thought he was. It was a high price to pay for a disciplined army.
“Lee’s Defeat . . . In Court,” by Jeff Dacus (March 17, 2014)
Hunterdon Co. resident Dominick Mazzagetti has published a book titled Charles Lee: Self Before Country, describing the life of one of the most embarrassing officers of the Continental Army. If you haven’t bought the book yet, this article will do for a warm-up. Dacus quotes extensively from Lee’s own letters, letting Lee show how his own pride and narcissism brought about his disgrace.
Thomas Fleming, Militia and Continentals (December 30, 2013)
Let’s hear a word of praise for the militias, especially those from New Jersey. True, they were undisciplined, and had a tendency to return to their farms after their one-month tours of duty expired. Washington was exasperated with them during the early years of the war. But eventually they proved their usefulness, and as Fleming writes, “the militia could not have won the war alone but the war probably could not have been won without them.”
This seems to be the conclusion that David Hackett Fischer also came to in his wonderful book, Washington’s Crossing–another must have book for any New Jerseyan’s library.