Last month, The Methuchen-Edison Historical Society announced the exciting results of an archaeological study that helps connect a site in Edison, NJ with the Revolutionary war Battle of Short Hills that took place on June 26, 1777. The local Edison.Methuchen Sentinal carried the story:
"Last year, the local historical society received a $31,000 grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program to prepare a National Register nomination for the Short Hills Battlefield...
Based on what has been written about the battle, historians mapped out 5 acres where they believe it was fought.
“There was no specific document that said the battle took place here,” said [Society President Walter] Stochel. “But what were described were the hills, streams, swamps and fields. We took that description, and following where the soldiers marched … this is the only area in Edison that fits this description.”
That area in part is now home to the Plainfield Country Club on Woodland Avenue....One of the first significant findings was a British coin dated 1717.
“When we heard that the coin was found, we were thinking that things were going to get interesting,” [Stochel] said.
Next came a musket ball, then a Hessian button and then brass buckles. Then toward the end of the day on June 27, workers dug up a scabbard, which is a leather piece for holding a sword."
The Short Hills engagement was part of British General Howe's manoevers and Washington's countermeasures in New Jersey prior to the Philadelphia Campaign. Stirling's Division, including William Maxwell's NJ Brigade, played a prominent part in meeting Howe's advance and giving time for Washington to withdraw his main force to avoid a full engagement against superior numbers.
Sadly, just as this new evidence comes to light, an existing monument to the Battle has reportedly been vandalized, with its interpretive panels reported to be all missing.