Last weekend a group of nine members of the Cincinnati Chapter and four of their wives traveled to central New Jersey for a visit to several Revolutionary War Battle sites and participation in ceremonies honoring some of the Patriot ancestors.
This past Thursday, June 15, nine members of the Cincinnati Chapter’s Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard packed up their muskets, bayonets, cartridge boxes and haversacks and began a journey that would take them back 240 years to the early years of the America’s Fight for Independence.
They were joined by a Compatriot from the Hocking Hills Chapter from eastern Ohio. The guys rendezvoused in Princeton, NJ and met their guide, Roger Williams, the next morning at the Princeton Battle Monument in downtown Princeton. Roger welcomed us and proceeded to outline the travel route that he had planned for the day and distributed walkie-talkies so we could all hear the presentation and discussion while en-route.
The caravan was four cars long and the distance covered would be about 75 miles along back roads and highways connecting Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas Eve 1776, the subsequent march to Trenton and the Battle with the Hessians. They next reviewed the location and detail of the Battle of Assunpink Creek in what is now downtown Trenton, followed the path of Washington’s Continental Army to Princeton, NJ and reviewed the action that had taken place there against the British on January 3, 1777 at the 2nd Battle of Trenton.
The next day we met with President Rob Meyer of the New Jersey Society and participated in the ceremonies planned for the 240th Commemoration of the Battle of Monmouth.
The Ohio Society and Chapters present were invited to place wreaths in memory of the patriots lost during the battle at Monmouth. Vice President Lee Wilkerson, Ohio Society; President Jack Bredenfoerder, Cincinnati Chapter; President Ken Carpenter, Highlanders Chapter; Treasurer Bob Hill, Hocking Valley Chapter, and Dr. Michael Gunn, German Society all placed wreaths before the monument of General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben along with wreaths placed by our hosts the New Jersey Society SAR and DAR.
The ceremony was concluded with a benediction and prayer by the Rev. Dr. Edgar Ralph Bonniwell and a 21 gun musket salute by a combined New Jersey and Ohio Society squad of muskets.
Later that day we witnessed the Monmouth Battle commemoration that included a large scale reenactment of the Battle of Monmouth with hundreds of British Regulars confronted by the Continental Army and State Militias.
Two members of the Cincinnati SAR contingent, Compatriots Bradley Jarard and Shaun Smith took part in the artillery unit sup- porting the continentals with 9 Cannons during the battle reenactment. The children were given some fun by learning to play at using their wooden muskets like the adults on the battle field.
Towards evening, the Cincinnati contingent packed up and headed back to the Princeton Battle Field for a final commemoration at the graves of British and American soldiers that died during that battle. In a service emceed by Dr. Gunn, Pastor Ed Boniwell solemnized the ceremony with the closing prayer, as the Color Guard led by Turner Lee Wilkerson assumed the Mourn Position with the Regimental Colors. A proper and moving ceremony to give honor our Patriot Ancestors.