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Continental Soldiers of the 2nd NY Regiment
Photo by Amy McCoy
The 225th Anniversary of Washington’s historic retreat from Fort Lee and the British invasion of New Jersey will be recreated here in Bergen County this fall! Members of the Brigade of the American Revolution will recreate the flight of the Continental Army from the fort before the British Army under Lord Cornwallis was able to cut off their escape route at the New Bridge. The Continental Army was saved to fight another day, but forced to start an epic retreat across the state to Pennsylvania, with the British Army close behind them. British troops remained in the Hackensack area of the county through January of 1777, which allowed the raising of hundreds of soldiers from amongst the Loyalist inhabitants.
British Invasion of Bergen County, NJ
Photo courtesy of Harry Joswick

Early in the morning of this coming November 17th, Brigade members representing the Continental and Militia forces will march out of Fort Lee Historic Park and travel the original route of the army through Fort Lee, Leonia, Englewood, Teaneck, Bergenfield, and New Milford until they arrive at Historic New Bridge Landing (HNBL) in River Edge. Forces portraying the British and Hessians will ascend the Palisades up the Huyler Landing Road and begin their march through Tenafly in an attempt to catch their foe. They will be joined along the way by the Loyalists who will originate in Cresskill. The armies will intersect at the Teaneck Armory and eventually clash in a full tactical weapons demonstration later in the afternoon at HNBL, representative of the skirmishing that took place between the British scouting parties and Washington’s men.

Not all of Washington’s army retreated to the New Bridge. Further south on the Hackensack River some of the troops availed themselves of the boats at Little Ferry, from whence they could easily join the rest of the army at Hackensack. The towns of Ridgefield Park and Little Ferry will commemorate this part of the reenactment by having a crossing of the river, which will include an authentic replica batteau, a small march, and numerous 18th Century activities.
An American Militiaman
Photo by John Goble

This historic reenactment is one not just to be viewed, but in which to participate. The public is invited to join in behind the troops’ line of march and walk the historic route, whether it is to flee the British or invade New Jersey with them! Marchers are encouraged to wear 18th Century style clothing. Whether you simply march through your own town or do the whole route, you will truly be walking the paths of history! Armies of the 18th Century not only involved soldiers, but whole families as well, so with this in mind we encourage all men, women and children to take part.

Sunday’s activities will center around Fort Lee Historic Park and Historic New Bridge Landing. Highlights for the day include the mustering in of the Loyalists and a lecture by noted historian Kevin Wright. A full schedule of events and activities will be posted in the fall. Stay tuned!

For further information, or to find out how you can be a part of this 225th Celebration, contact Todd Braisted at IVBNNJV@aol.com

Retreat to Victory t-shirts and Buttons for sale at the towns involved - day of event.

Schedule of Events
Map of Route
Related Sites & Links
Sponsors & Donations
(must have Adobe Acrobat Reader - see Adobe's website)
The Post at Burdett's Ferry
1975 BCHS Annual
Fort Lee
by William F.Conway
1776 British Landing at Closter
1975 BCHS Annual
British Invasion
by John Spring
During the War for Independence
1974 BCHS Annual
Washington's Whereabouts
Part 1

by Claire Tholl
During the War for Independence
1974 BCHS Annual
Washington's Whereabouts
Part 2

by Claire Tholl
Publications for sale
The1975 Annual, (No. 7) The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley, by Adrian C. Leiby and (No. 47)
The Long Retreat - The Calamitous Defense of New Jersey, 1776

by Arthur S. Lefkowitz.
are for sale. The 1974 Annual is out of print
See BCHS publications website