Read the Book about Historian Al Frazza's creation of this Revolutionary War New Jersey website! Click Here for Details.

Port Norris, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
This website, its text and photographs are © 2009 - 2024 AL Frazza. All rights reserved.


Revolutionary War New Jersey
(Also Referred to as the Battle of Dallas Landing)
Port Norris, New Jersey
Port Norris, New Jersey

Site of the Skirmish on the Lower Maurice River
The Maurice River
Map / Directions

In August 1781, a skirmish occurred in this area of the Maurice River which is believed to be the only military engagement in Cumberland County in which there were casualties. The skirmish involved some Cumberland County militiamen and a group of Loyalists. Loyalists were Americans who remained loyal to the British in the Revolutionary War and were also called Tories or Refugees.

The details of the battle are uncertain; even the exact date is unknown. The only contemporary account of the battle appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper on August 29, 1781, and was reprinted in the New Jersey Gazette fourteen days later. The full newspaper item appears below:
(Note that a shallop is a type of boat, and "Morris's river" refers to the Maurice River.)

"Philadelphia, August 29, Last week seven Refugees were brought to town from New-Jersey; they were taken a few days before, near the bridge in Morris's river, by some of the Jersey militia in a shallop, which they attempted to board, when a sharp contest ensued, during which four of the Refugees were killed and four wounded, when the rest submitted. There were fifteen in all, and it is said the Captain (who was very badly wounded) called out, that he would give no quarters, which occasioned the action to become desperate. Providentially one of the militia received only a slight wound." [1]

Some later accounts added details to this account, but they were written decades after the event and contained some questionable information.

Those who would like to learn more about the Skirmish on the Lower Maurice River are recommended to watch this YouTube video. It features information about the skirmish, documentary evidence for it, and the recent efforts of the Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission. [2]

Revolutionary War New Jersey

Source Notes:

1. ^ New Jersey Gazette, Vol. IV., No. 194, September 12,1781, reprinted in:
Austin Scott, Ed., Archives of the State of New Jersey, Second Series, Vol. V. (Trenton; Star Gazette Publishing Co., 1917) Page 291
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

2. ^ The YouTube video "Revolutionary War Skirmish on the Lower Maurice River Public Meeting June 25, 2015"

Note that several of the documents referred to in the presentation are available to be read online. These include the article shown in Source Note #1, and:

John W. Barber and Henry Howe, Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey (New York: S. Tuttle, 1844) Page 142
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here

Thomas Cushing and Charles Sheppard, History of the Counties of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland New Jersey, with Biographical Sketches of their Prominent Citizens (Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1883) Page 541
Available to be read at the Internet Archive here