This is the site of a skirmish
between New Jersey Militia and British Regulars in the town of Quinton in
southern New Jersey. The British had occupied the city of Salem, to
the north. Colonial Militia, under the command of Col. Benjamin
Holmes, his in and around the Smith House, near the Alloway Creek. The
British, under command of Major John Simcoe marched from Salem and drew the
patriots into an ambush. Seven were killed and began to retreat back
over the bridge when patriot Andrew Bacon grabbed an axe and cut away a
section of the bridge. This delayed the British advance long enough
for the militia's re-enforcements to arrive from the south, forcing the
British to retreat back to Salem.
Today this bridge sits
what I have to assume is virtually unchanged since 1939. Little
evidence remains of the Revolutionary Bridge, however. A small blue
sign marks the battle on each side of the bridge, which is also present
State Route 49. The photos were taken facing SALEM and are therefore
from the perspective of the patriots defending the bridge. The granite
monument mentioned in the guide is approximately 100 yards to the rear of
the photographer, in the side yard of the Smith house.
Skirmishes like this
were not uncommon in South Jersey, as many of the crossroads were heavily
used in moving not only goods, but troops on both sides from the Delaware
River and Bay north to Philadelphia, and then often to Burlington, then the
capital of New Jersey, and onto New York.
This is actually a
very popular fishing spot today, and it is rare that you can't find someone
parked in the pull off on Alloway Road casting a reel into the creek.
The marker text at the
March 17, 1778, Colonial militia formed a line of defense on the south bank
of Alloway Creek. The British, having occupied Salem, attacked the
next day and by a ruse drew the Colonials across the creek into an ambush
seven Colonials dies in the retreat. But the creek line held."
The monument text
COL. BENJAMIN HOLME
COL. ELIJAH HAND
CAPT. WILLIAM SMITH
Andrew Bacon and those other patriots who defended the Bridge at Quinton
MARCH 18, 1778.
Erected on the site of the Smith Homestead by Oak Tree Chapter Daughters of
the American Revolution Salem N.J.
October 17, 1908"