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Edison councilman seeks marker for Battle of Short Hills

Edison councilman seeks marker for Battle of Short Hills
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EDISON — This year marks 240 years since the the Battle of Short Hills, which has momentous history in the township.

“The battle was fought in Edison and was a significant battle of the Revolutionary War,” said Walter Stochel, member of the Metuchen-Edison Historical Society and president of the Edison Open Space Advisory Committee.

Stochel spoke about the battle at the Daughters of the British Empire on June 10 at the Old Franklin Schoolhouse in Metuchen.

The Short Hills Battlefield represents the scene of a military encounter during the American Revolution on June 26, 1777 as British and Hessian (Crown) forces advanced westward from Perth Amboy to engage and destroy advanced elements of the Continental army.

The Hessian forces were under the overall command of Sir William Howe and Continental troops commanded by Lord Stirling.

In 2014, the Short Hills Battlefield Historic District at 1729 and 1591 Woodland Avenue was officially listed on the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places and is listed as one of the historic places in the United States Department of the Interior.

Councilman Robert Diehl, at a Township Council meeting on May 24, said what they haven’t done as a township is put any type of marker to identify the battlefield site, which is now a golf course.

He said a bronze marker at the site would outlast their lifetime telling the important history of what had happened on the site.

“Historians familiar with the Revolutionary War would say that New Jersey was the crossroads of the Revolution and Middlesex County is the crossroads of New Jersey,” Diehl said.

The councilman said although the battle does not get the significant references such as George Washington Crossing the Delaware or the Battle of Monmouth, the Battle of Short Hills is a very significant battle that took place in Edison.

“Now that it has been identified by the United States Department of the Interior, it’s important to have a marker at the site for all time,” he said.

As part of the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Short Hills, there are a number of upcoming events.

On June 17, Stochel will talk on the battle at the Middlebrook Symposium in Martinsville, Somerset County and Union County is doing a reenactment of the battle on June 24 and June 25 at the Oak Ridge Golf Course.