Lower Alloways Creek Historical Museum

Lower Alloways Creek Historical Museum The LAC Historical Committee has planned six Sundays of interesting programs for 2021. Every Third Sunday, in the months of March through May and September through November, there will be family oriented presentations and displays of interest for everyone.

Please join us! Open house times: 1-4pm

Operating as usual

April Open House
04/23/2021

April Open House

03/22/2021

Line shaft in motion

March Open House
03/22/2021

March Open House

03/19/2021

#OnThisDay in 1778, an unnamed officer (possibly a French volunteer), was riding with New Jersey militia on a road south of Salem, New Jersey. As the soldiers marched past an orchard bordered by a fence, the officer heard a noise. Looking down, he saw the green-clad men of Simcoe’s Rangers hiding behind the fence. It was an ambush! The officer wheeled his horse around to warn the militia, only to be brought down in a hail of gunfire. The Battle of Quinton’s Bridge had begun.

If you were following our story of “The Great Cow Chase” in February and March, you know that the area around Salem, in southern New Jersey, was a rich source of forage, and the main target of General Wayne’s expedition. After Wayne’s foraging attempts, the British in Philadelphia realized they needed to secure the area and its resources for their own use. On March 17th, 1778, 1,200 British soldiers under Lt. Col. Charles Mahwood landed in Billingsport and marched south to Salem. Mahwood was a 49-year-old veteran of the Seven Years War, and his force was composed of seasoned light infantry from the 17th, 27th, and 46th Regiments of Foot, along with the New Jersey Volunteers and the Queen’s (Simcoe’s) Rangers, both Loyalist units.

Opposing them were Salem and Cumberland militia under Col. Elijah Hand and Col. Benjamin Holme. The colonels recognized their small, inexperienced militia couldn't stand toe-to-toe with Mahwood’s men, so they retreated south of Salem to the natural barrier of Alloway Creek. Alloway Creek had three bridges, named Thompson’s, Quinton’s, and Hancock’s Bridge, respectively. The militia removed planking on the bridges to prevent the British from crossing and dug entrenchments on the south banks, focusing their main force in the center at Quinton’s bridge.

Mahwood had captured Salem without firing a shot, but it was the resources of the countryside that he needed, and that meant he wanted access to those bridges. His first target: Quinton’s Bridge. The bridge was guarded by around 300 militia under Captain William Smith. Unable to attack the militia directly, the British would need to find other ways to gain the advantage.

On March 18th, the British troops observing the militia position at Quinton’s Bridge left their posts and retreated north, away from Alloway Creek. Captain Smith had planks restored to the bridge and sallied forth with 200 militia to follow the British, to see what they were up to and attack if an opportunity presented itself. 100 militia remained at the bridge, and Smith placed a rearguard on a high bluff just east of the crossing, then cautiously moved the main force up the road. They marched right into an ambush. Simcoe’s Rangers attacked their flank from an orchard, while other Rangers burst out of a farmhouse to cut off their retreat to the bridge. Suddenly surrounded, the militia went from pursuers to the pursued, and they retreated under heavy fire. Cut off from the bridge, the militia fled directly into Alloway Creek to swim to the other side. Some were shot or cut down by the British, even more would drown in the creek. The number of casualties is difficult to tally, but it seems anywhere from 20-40 militiamen were killed, wounded, or captured.

With the militia defenses in disarray, the way was now clear for Mahwood to secure Quinton’s Bridge; or so he thought. Tradition states that a militiaman named Andrew Bacon stayed on the bridge under heavy fire to remove the planking and prevent the British from crossing; he succeeded but was grievously wounded in the process. As he did so, the rearguard protecting the bridge was reinforced by additional troops led by Col. Hand, including two small field cannon. Mahwood couldn’t press his advantage.

For all its success, the ambush had failed in its ultimate goal. The New Jersey militia still controlled Alloway Creek, and the farmland beyond it, but they’d paid a heavy price at Quinton’s Bridge. They would pay further still…but that’s another story for another day.

Image: A map displaying the battle, from Simcoe's memoirs. Note the compass directions are reversed (south is up, north is down).

More on South Jersey in the Revolution:
www.salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com
American Revolution Round Table of South Jersey
New Jersey Historical Commission - NJHC
New Jersey Historic Trust

#history

It’s certainly starting to feel like spring. Must mean we have an open house coming soon!
03/01/2021

It’s certainly starting to feel like spring. Must mean we have an open house coming soon!

It’s certainly starting to feel like spring. Must mean we have an open house coming soon!

November Open House 2020
11/17/2020

November Open House 2020

11/14/2020

It’s probably been awhile since you have visited the log cabin. Why don’t you stop by for our open house tomorrow from 1 to 4pm? We will have coffee and cookies as a treat. See you tomorrow.

10/19/2020

Sorry, but due to Covid concerns we will not be baking pies at the next open house.

October Open House
10/18/2020

October Open House

September Open House- Trains and the South Jersey Gas Engine Club
09/20/2020

September Open House- Trains and the South Jersey Gas Engine Club

05/13/2020

Unfortunately, due to covid 19 we are cancelling all open houses until September

04/01/2020

Our regularly scheduled April open house has been cancelled. Stay safe friends

03/12/2020

This month’s open house has been cancelled. Stay tuned for details on next month’s event

2020 brochure
03/11/2020

2020 brochure

09/21/2019

September Open House

09/21/2019

SJ Engine Club

09/21/2019

SJ Engine Club

Open House September 2019
09/21/2019

Open House September 2019

New item Added to the Collection—Vintage Ice Box Donated in Memory of Bill “Pop” Johnson
09/13/2019

New item Added to the Collection—Vintage Ice Box Donated in Memory of Bill “Pop” Johnson

April Open House
08/25/2019

April Open House

05/20/2019

Walter Baldwin

Open House- May 2019- Trains!
05/20/2019

Open House- May 2019- Trains!

04/03/2019

Last year’s April Open House

New schedule 2019
03/14/2019

New schedule 2019

11/22/2018

What’s your favorite holiday memory?

10/21/2018

Come on down to the open house today- 1 to 4 PM - it’s FARM DAY!!!

Our schedule this year. There’s a little something for everyone.
02/20/2018

Our schedule this year. There’s a little something for everyone.

12/01/2017

Open House- October- Farm Day

09/18/2017

South Jersey Gas Engine Club-Time M Power Baling Press

Open house- South Jersey Gas Engine Club and local tractors
09/18/2017

Open house- South Jersey Gas Engine Club and local tractors

04/10/2017

Civil War living presentation

Open house for April- Civil War living presentation, arrowheads
04/10/2017

Open house for April- Civil War living presentation, arrowheads

03/19/2017

Almost time for our open house. The month we have a Pocket watch collection and the line shaft will be working. Come join us 1 to 4 today!!

Address

736 Smick Rd
Salem, NJ
08079

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Comments

My 6th great grandparents are Joshua and Esther Davis Wright. I believe the 700 acre plantation and salt marsh are about 1/2 mile south of the Museum.