Battle of Gloucester
The action known as the Battle of Gloucester took place on
November 25th 1777.
It was no more than a skirmish and militarily was not significant, but politically was important due to the presence of the marquis de Lafayette. This would be the first time the young Frenchman would lead American troops in battle. Much was made of the fact that British & Hessian forces were led by British General Lord Cornwallis.
The Affair at Gloucester would be used by George Washington to place Lafayette in command of an larger American Army; with the hope of a gaining greater support for the American cause from the French nation.
George Washington calls South Jersey to arms.
20 November 1777
"Freinds and Fellow Soldiers
The Enemy have thrown a considerable Force into your State, with intent to possess themselves of the post at Red Bank, and after clearing the obstructions in Delaware, make incursions into your Country"....
"I therefore call upon you, by all that you hold dear, to rise up as one man, and rid your Country of its unjust invaders."
Gloucester Town would experience the "invaders" days later when British General Lord Cornwallis with 4,300 British & Hessian troops would enter Gloucester Town on the 24th of November 1777.
[ Full text of the letter is below.]
"To the Militia of Certain New Jersey Counties
[Whitemarsh, Pa., 20 November 1777]
Freinds and Fellow Soldiers
The Enemy have thrown a considerable Force into your State, with intent to possess themselves of the post at Red Bank, and after clearing the obstructions in Delaware, make incursions into your Country.
To prevent them from effecting either of these purposes, I have sent over such a number of Continental Troops as I trust will, with the spirited exertions of the Militia, totally defeat their designs, and oblige them to return to the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia, which is the only ground they possess upon the Pennsylvania Shore, and in which they cannot subsist, if cut off from the supplies of the plentiful State of New Jersey.
I therefore call upon you, by all that you hold dear, to rise up as one man, and rid your Country of its unjust invaders. To convince you that this is to be done, by a general appearance of all its Freemen armed and ready to give them opposition, I need only to put you in mind of the effect it had upon the British Army in June last, who laid aside their intention of marching through the upper part of your State, upon seeing the hostile manner in which you were prepared to receive them. Look also at the glorious effects which followed that Spirit of Union which appeared among our Brethren of New York and New England, who, by the brave assistance which they afforded to the Continental Army, obliged a royal one flushed with their former Victories to sue for Terms, and lay down their Arms in the most submissive manner.
Reflect upon these things, and I am convinced that every Man who can bear a Musket, will take it up, and without respect to turn or Class give his Service in the Feild for a few Weeks, perhaps only for a few days. I am Your sincere Freind and Countryman
21st of November 1777 - Diary of Elizabeth Drinker
“The Amricans had set their whole Fleet on fier”
“I was awaken'd this Morning befor 5 o'clock by the loud fireing of Cannon, my Head Aching very badly; All our Family was up but little Molly, --and a fire made in the Parlor, more then an hour before day-all our Neighbours were also up, and I believe most in Town- The Amricans had set their whole Fleet on fier, except one Small vesel and some of the Gondelows, which past by the City in the Night; the fireing was from the Delaware who lay at Coopers Point, on the Gondelows, which they did not return; Billy counted 8 different Vessels on fire at once in sight, one lay near the Jersey shore, opposite our House; we heard the explosion of 4 of 'em when they blew up, which shook our Windows greatly-We had a fair sight of the blazeing Fleet, from our upper Windows."
Events along the Delaware River leading up to the Battle of Gloucester - NJ and thereafter.
The course of Delaware River from Philadelphia to Chester
Battle of Gloucester (Auction in Europe)
French to English translation from map description of the action at Gloucester on 25 November 1777
Charles Armand Tuffin, marquis de la Rouërie.
Charles Armand Tuffin, marquis de la Rouërie was more commonly known as Colonel Armand.
He was a French cavalry officer who served under the American flag.
Lafayette reports La Rouërie being with him during the Battle of Gloucester on November 25th 1777.
Promoted to general on 25 June 1778, La Rouërie took part in the battles of New York, Monmouth, Short Hills, Brandywine, Whitemarsh, the Campaign in Virginia, and the Siege of Yorktown.
In 1781, Colonel Armand returned to France to re-equip his troops, and was there made a Knight of the Order of Saint-Louis.
On 26 March 1783, he was made a brigadier general in the American Army, though he left the American Army on 25 November that year.
He returned to France in the summer of 1784. He retained his friendship with Washington after leaving America and the two continued to correspond. La Rouërie was also made a member of the Society of the Cincinnatis French chapter.