Historical Markers
Revolutionary War Burial Site Historical Marker
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Revolutionary War Burial Site

Philadelphia and its Countryside/Lehigh Valley


Marker Location:
Intersection of Bellevue & Flowers Ave., Langhorne Borough

Dedication Date:
November 11, 1999

Behind the Marker

Historic etching of a map of the Trenton area showing the Delaware River.
Map of British and American troop positions in the winter of 1776-1777.
After Washington's troops secured their stunning Christmas night victory over Hessian troops in Trenton, the British high command reacted with fury. General William Howe immediately ordered General Charles Cornwallis to move his division to central New Jersey to destroy the pesky Americans. Washington and his troops moved back and forth across the Delaware River, eluding their pursuers. They finally encountered Cornwallis near Trenton on January 2, 1777 but withstood the assaults of his troops before slipping away to score yet another surprising victory against the British in a skirmish at Princeton.

With the onset of winter, the British discontinued their pursuit of the American forces, while Washington and his troops quartered near Morristown, New Jersey. Still, the Continental Army was in terrible shape, struggling against many difficulties. Soldiers were poorly clothed and fed and were ravaged by a smallpox epidemic.

According to recollections collected years later by Langhorne resident Joshua Richardson, more than 160 soldiers who died in the aftermath of the Trenton battles from disease were buried at the site commemorated by this marker. The hastily dug graves had no formal markings, but for generations, local families told their children not to play around the area.

This oral tradition was put to the test in the early 1990s when a planned residential development resulted in an excavation of the site. Michael Stewart, a Temple University anthropologist, found features of 29 graves with evidence suggesting that the remains were of American soldiers.
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