Forage War Area



Battle Summary
Details Stats Colonists/Allies British/Allies
Name: Skirmish at Elizabethtown (New Jersey Campaign) (Forage War) Total Forces:
Date(s): 01/05/1777-01/06/1777 Killed: 9
Location: Elizabethtown, New Jersey Wounded: 1
Duration (days): 2 Captured: 142
Victory: Colonial Total Ships:
Col./Ally Cmdr.: William Maxwell Ships Lost:
Brit./Ally Cmdr.: Charles Mawhood Ships Captured:


A regiment of Waldeck infantry, a few companies of the 71st Foot and a troop of British light dragoons were stationed at Elizabethtown, New Jersey in the winter of 1776–1777. On 5 January 1777, a British cavalry patrol was ambushed by militia near the town. One trooper was killed and a second was wounded. The next day, about 50 Waldeck infantry emerged from the town with a small escort of light dragoons with instructions to clear the country. Led by Captain Georg von Haacke, the strong patrol was attacked near Springfield by New Jersey militia. In Elizabethtown, the soldiers heard distant gunfire. Hours later the bedraggled British horsemen came back without the foot soldiers. Eight or 10 of the Waldeckers were shot down and the entire party captured by the militia. Ordered to pull back to Amboy, the garrison hurriedly left on 7 January. As the troops evacuated Elizabethtown, the militia attacked the rear guard. In the confused retreat, the Americans captured 100 soldiers, the baggage trains of two regiments, and food supplies.