Celebrate General Pulaski’s Revolutionary Legacy in Little Egg Harbor, NJ
October 18, 2019
Join Us to Honor American history, and the Polish contribution to the American cause, in commemorating the Defense of Little Egg Harbor Saturday, October 19, 2019, 11 a.m. Pulaski Monument, Little Egg Harbor.
The Ceremony: Solemn commemoration including flag lowering and wreath-laying. Historical narrative is offered of the Battle of October 15, 1778 during the Defense of Little Egg Harbor in the American Revolution. This year the ceremony will include a special primary school-age presentation that starts at Eleven O’clock in the Morning.
Directions: From Garden State Parkway, take Exit 58 (Route 539) toward Tuckerton [3.3 miles] to Route 9. In Tuckerton, turn RIGHT onto Route 9; proceed one block to traffic light at Great Bay Blvd. Turn LEFT onto Great Bay Blvd and proceed one-third mile and turn RIGHT onto Radio Road. Proceed 2.25 miles down Radio Road, passing through the intersection of Harbortown Blvd/Mathistown Rd (traffic light). The Pulaski Monument is on the LEFT, just past the fire station.
The History: The annual ceremony is held to remember the fallen troopers of the Pulaski Legion and their victory in the early morning hours of October 15th on a site along what is now called Radio Road leading to Osborn Island. It is now 241 years since the enemy British force of soldiers and sailors retreated for one last time, leaving behind their military target of reaching and destroying the ‘Forks’ at the Mullica River. The important Port of Little Egg Harbor warehouses, docks and iron works at ‘The Forks’ 18 miles distant, proved to be too far, and Pulaski’s cavalry were too numerous. Retreat was the only option in the face of Pulaski’s horses.
A week earlier at Chestnut Neck (about 5 miles away on the Mullica River) the hopelessly outnumbered, but still valiant, American militia, privateer sailors and a small battery could not offer much resistance in the initial attack as the enemy laid waste to the lower Port, houses and farms. But like that chaos and defeat suffered on Oct 6-7 at Chestnut Neck, which Pulaski put a stop to, the Legion would once again prove on October 15 during the renewed British attack that the enemy would go no farther. The hand-picked enemy soldiers backed by the Royal Navy did not even entertain a hope of giving fight to Pulaski’s American Continental dragoons—cavalry carefully trained by their Polish officers. After the second bloody assault in the early morning hours of October 15 along Radio Road, the British retreated with losses. The enemy expedition was already in its third week, and it would be still days more the British would spend picking up stragglers from their unsuccessful attack before they sailed away.
The war would go on, but the enemy would never again attempt to show its flag so brazenly in South Jersey. Such were the events of October 1778 in the American Revolution during the Defense of Little Egg Harbor. May their service and sacrifice be remembered!
National Register of Historic Places: The Pulaski Monument site on Radio Road, and the associated Headquarters site ¾ mile away, are found on the historic register maintained by the U.S. Department of the Interior – NPS.
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