The Battle of Monmouth
— 28 June 1778 —
During the afternoon of Sunday, June 28, 1778, the hills and meadows in front of you disappeared under clouds of gun smoke.
When the firing subsided, over 600 men were dead, dying or wounded, and the Continental Army held the field.
The Battle of Monmouth was a turning point in the American Revolutionary War.
In 1776 and 1777, the British Army had repeatedly defeated the main Continental Army. By the beginning of 1778, General George Washington and the Continental Army desperately needed a victory.
On June 18th, concerned that the French might block the Delaware River, the British abandoned Philadelphia and began marching their army of 20,000 British, German and Loyalist troops across New Jersey to their main base in New York City. On June 19th, Washington and 13,000 men, fresh from Von Steuben's military training at Valley Forge, set out to intercept the Crown forces.
The Battle began at about 10AM, two miles east of here at Monmouth Courthouse and continued for over seven hours, making it one of the longest battles of the Revolution. By 5:30 PM, the British had retreated and the firing ceased. At dawn on the following day, Washington moved fresh troops forward to resume the battle, but the British forces had slipped away during the night to continue their journey to New York City.
The Battle of Monmouth was a political triumph for the Continental Army and General Washington. The Continental Army had met the British in open field, held their own and forced them to retreat. It was their first victory in two years.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park's
1,818 acres are now peaceful. Wildlife is abundant in the woods and marshes, while the fields produce crops of corn, wheat and soybeans. You can take a "History Hike" to see where the battle was fought, stroll along a shady woodland path, or cross the meadows watching for red fox, songbirds, or red-tailed hawks.