Forage War Area



Battle Summary
Details Stats Colonists/Allies British/Allies
Name: Skirmish at Spanktown (New Jersey Campaign) (Forage War) Total Forces:
Date(s): 02/23/1777 Killed: 5 56
Location: Rahway, New Jersey Wounded: 9 39
Duration (days): 1 Captured:
Victory: Colonial Total Ships:
Col./Ally Cmdr.: William Maxwell Ships Lost:
Brit./Ally Cmdr.: Charles Mawhood Ships Captured:


On 23 February 1777, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mawhood was sent with a reinforced brigade to destroy any rebel forces he could catch. He set out with a battalion each of light infantry and grenadiers, plus the 3rd Brigade. The latter formation consisted of the 10th Foot, 37th Foot, 38th Foot and 52nd Foot, recently transferred from the Rhode Island garrison. Near Spanktown, now Rahway, New Jersey, Mawhood found a group of militia herding some livestock covered by a larger body of Americans waiting on a nearby hill. The British officer sent the grenadier company of the 42nd Foot on a wide flanking maneuver. Just as the grenadiers prepared to launch their assault, they were fired on from ambush and routed with the loss of 26 men. At this moment, Maxwell sent his superior force forward to envelop Mawhood’s force. The American force included the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th New Jersey Regiments, the 1st and 8th Pennsylvania Regiments, and the German Battalion. Mawhood’s surprised men were hounded all the way back to Amboy, which they reached at 8:00 PM. For losses of five killed and nine wounded, the Americans claimed to have inflicted 100 casualties. Mawhood admitted losing 69 killed and wounded and six missing.