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Flemington, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
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Revolutionary War New Jersey
Revolutionary War in Flemington NJ
Revolutionary War in Flemington NJ

Revolutionary War in Flemington NJ
Revolutionary War in Flemington NJ

Flemington Raid Site
Rte. 202 / 31
Near Power Pro Rents
Map / Directions to the Flemington Raid Site
Map / Directions to all Flemington Revolutionary War Sites

On December 14, 1776, a British cavalry raid in this area was routed by Captain John Schenck's Militia. The raiding troops were the British 16th light dragoons, commanded by Cornet Francis Geary, who was the son of British Admiral Sir Francis Geary. Cornet Geary was killed during the fighting, and he is buried nearby. (See next entry below.) [1]

British General John Burgoyne wrote a moving letter to Admiral Geary on February 26, 1777 regarding the death of his son Francis: [2]

"I have seldom felt a pain so acute as that of communicating to you the news from America, which personally regards yourself. I am afraid my authority is too good. Your Son has met a Soldier's fate.

"Experienced in calamity, describes what it is to resign an object near the heart, and ho[w] poor our best fortitude is upon such trial I am unfit to comfort or exhort you. Time and reflection can alone relieve you: I wish therefore only add to the tears of the Corps. My private lamentations for the Son of an invaluable parent and the assurance of the respect I have bear to his memory."

The plaque on the Amwell Militia monument reads, "Erected in memory of the citizen soldiers of Amwell Township, who commanded by captain John Schenck on December 14, 1776, met and drove from this field a column of the British 16th light dragoons, after killing their commander, Cornet Francis Geary. " [3]

Revolutionary War New Jersey
Coronet Francis Geary Memorial
Coronet Francis Geary Memorial

Coronet Francis Geary Memorial
Coronet Francis Geary Memorial

Coronet Francis Geary Memorial
Coronet Francis Geary Memorial

Cornet Geary Trail Marker / Memorial
The 'Cornet Geary Trail' sign is at Rte. 202 and Cornet Way
The Memorial is at the end of a walking path that begins with steps on Gearys Ridge Rd.
Map / Directions to the Cornet Geary Trail / Memorial
Map / Directions to all Flemington Revolutionary War Sites

Please note that the Coronet Geary Memorial is located among a residential area.
The walking trail is next to the private property of the neighbors.

Please stick to the walking trail, and respect the privacy and property of the neighbors.

About half a mile south from the Amwell Militia monument, Rte. 202/31 intersects with Cornet Way. When you turn onto Cornet Way, the sign there reads, "Coronet Geary Trail - British officer Francis Geary killed near here in a 1776 skirmish. He is buried to the northeast off Geary's Ridge Road." [4]

To visit the memorial, go to Geary's Ridge Road (halfway between Lowe Ct. and Taylor Ct.) Walk up the stairs to a walking trail that is approximately 1/4 mile long. At the end of the trail is the memorial stone which reads: [5]
"To The Memory of Cornet Francis Geary. 16 (The Queen's) Light Dragoons. Born 1752. Killed in action here in the service of King George III December 14, 1776. Eldest son of Admiral Sir Francis Geary Baronet. Erected in 1907 by his great nephew Sir William Nevill M. Geary Baronet."

At the base of the memorial is a plaque about the Amwell Skirmish, which reads: [6]

"Support for the rebellion against British tyranny was at a low ebb in December 1776. The British occupied a strategic area in New Jersey and Washington's army had retreated across the Delaware River.

"The British commander in New Jersey sent Cornet Geary and a squad of Dragoons to conduct a raid on Flemington to destroy colonial supplies and to see if a determined patriot resistance existed. This force departed the main body at Pennington on December 14, 1776 and conducted the raid, but upon returning they were intercepted by the Amwell Militia.

"Determined to repulse this intrusion, Capt. John Schenck had gathered the citizen soldiers. During the fierce fire fight that ensured, Geary was shot dead. The other Dragoons fled in disorder. Geary was buried nearby. This stone was erected by the Geary Family when the gravesite was confirmed in 1891.

"The action contributed to Gen. Washington's ability to conceal Durham Boats at Bulls Island and to maintain the Old York Road supply line."

Revolutionary War New Jersey

Source Notes:

1. ^ Information about the raid drawn from the markers at the site: a Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission sign, and the text of the Amwell Monument which was dedicated by the Raritan Township committee and the Bicentennial Committee on December 14, 1976.

2. ^ Burgoyne quote was cited in the article "The ambush of Geary's Dragoons. From Fact to Fantasy The British 16th Light Dragoons and the Raid on Flemington, New Jersey, December 14, 1776" by Gilbert Riddle that originally appeared in, vol. xx111 no. 4 Autumn 1992, page 18-26 of Brigade Dispatch, a publication of the Brigade of the American Revolution.
Mr. Riddle lists as his source for the quote:
Gen. John Burgoyne to Adm. Geary, February 26, 1777. Elias Vosseler Papers, Hunterdon County Historical Society, Folder #315. Copied from the original by Sir William Nevill Geary, Bt., Oxon Heath, Tonbridge, England.
Mr. Riddle's article is recommended for those looking for a more detailed account of the Flemington Raid and its aftermath. It is available to be read online here.

3. ^ Monument dedicated by the Raritan Township committee and the Bicentennial Committee on December 14, 1976.

4. ^ Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission sign.

5. ^ Text of the Cornet Geary Memorial - Erected in 1907 by his great nephew, Sir William Nevill M. Geary, Baronet.

6. ^ Text of the Amwell Skirmish marker at the base of the Cornet Geary Memorial.