The Battle of the Short Hills Monument in Scotch Plains

On a sweltering hot day in June 1777, the Revolutionary War was being fought right in New Jersey's backyard. Ash Brook Swamp where the current Ash Brook Reservation is located in Scotch Plains, was a main part of the action of the day.

The Battle

A running battle was fought between the Colonial militia and the British and Hessian troops. It stretched over 12 miles from present day Metuchen up through the Watchung Mountains. The main fighting took place in areas of Edison and Scotch Plains.


The brave Continental army was outnumbered. They numbered less than 6000 that day. The combined British and Hessian forces doubled that at 12,000. It was the hope of the British army to defeat Washington and his army and end the war that very day. They pretended to be withdrawing from New Jersey in an attempt to lure Washington out of his position in the Watchung Mountians. It did not work.

But fighting did ensue that day

Portions occurred in Ash Swamp. The Continental Army made a retreat through the area in an attempt to slow their enemies' pace. They hoped the British cannons would sink down into the soft terrain.


The action passed through the areas that now house the Plainfield Country Club in Plainfield, Oak Ridge Park in Clark and Ash Brook Gold Course in Scotch Plains. The troops then moved through the town of Scotch Plains. There the Continental forces made it to the safety of the Watchung Mountains and the opposing forces continued to the Westfield and Rahway areas to make camp. Shortly after they returned to Perth Amboy and made their way by boat to Staten Island, vacating New Jersey altogether.


There is a monument commemorating the battle at the entrance to the Ash Brook Golf Course located at 1210 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains, NJ. It was erected in 1977 by the Scotch Plains American Revolution Bicentennial Committee.

It consists of a Revolutionary War canon replica mounted atop a stone tower. Each of the sides has a blank cemented space where once there were panels that held information about the battle. One was a map of the battle area. Another was a picture depicting Lord Stirling's horse taking a shot. Another was a picture in remembrance of the 37 wagons that carried the wounded to the mountains. The last was a panel that read "In Memory of those who Served Their Country, June 26, 1777

At Short Hills" (History Marker Database, 2013)

It listed the names of the Continental, British and Hessian troops that took part in the Battle of the Short Hills. The panels were vandalized and have since be removed from the monument.

It is important to note

That the Battle of the Short Hills was not fought on any part of the present day Short Hills, NJ town. It was named for the type of hills in the land at the time.

Historic Trail

There is a Battle of Short Hills Historic Trail that spans 13.5 miles of the battle. It passes by several historic sites, including some in Edison, Metuchen, Scotch Plains and Fanwood, to name a few. A stretch runs through a wooden section of Ash Brook Reservation. That section remains the only part undeveloped since the battle in 1777.