Battle of Princeton


Journal of Captain Thomas Rodney


January 3, 1777 As soon as the enemy's main army heard our cannon at Princeton (and not 'til then) they discovered our manouvre and pushed after us with all speed, and we had not been above an hour in possession of the town before the enemy's light horse and advanced parties attacked our parry at the bridge, but our people by a very heavy fire kept the pass until our army left the town.

Just as our army began our march through Princeton with all their prisoners and spoils, the van of the British army we had left at Trenton came in sight and entered the town about an hour after we left it, but made no stay and pushed on towards Brunswick for fear we should get there before him, which was indeed the course our General intended to pursue had he not been detained too long in collecting the baggage and artillery which the enemy had left be hind him.

Our army marched on to Kingston, then wheeled to the left and went down the Millstone, keeping that river on our left; the main body of the British followed, but kept on through Kingston to Brunswick; but one division of strong party of horse took the road on the left of the Millstone and arrived Ott I the hill, at the bridge on that road just as the van of the American army arrived on the opposite side.

I was again commanding the van of our army, and General Washington seeing the enemy, rode forward and ordered me to halt and take down a number of carpenters which he had ordered forward and break up the bridge which was done and the enemy were obliged to return.

We then marched on to a little village called Stone Brook or Summerset Court House about 15 miles from Princeton where we arrived just at' dusk About an hour before we arrived here 1 5o of the enemy from Princeton are so which were stationed in this town went off with 2o wagons laden with clothing and linen, and 400 of the Jersey militia who surrounded them were afraid to fire on them and let them go off unmolested, and there were no troops in our army fresh enough to pursue them, or the whole might have been taken in a few hours.

Our army was now extremely fatigued, not having had refreshment since yesterday morning, and our baggage had all been sent away the morning of
rhe action at Trenton; yet they are in good health and in high spirits.