Share your personal remembrance of the Princeton Battlefield.
We invite you to share your remembrance - a visit to the Battlefield, participation in a Princeton Battlefield Society activity, or a special occasion.
Share your story with us. Write us and tell us your experience. You can also send a photo if you like.
The profound sense of history I experienced the first time I stood alongside the Clarke House where Washington saw the battle before him and rode down into the midst of it to take command and rally his men to victory.
I will never forget the long and hard fight with the Institute for Advanced Study over the preservation of Maxwell’s Field where George Washington order a counterattack that swept the British from the field of battle. During that time when the preservation of this field was very much in doubt, I visited Maxwell’s Field and could see first hand how important it was to tell the whole story of the Battle of Princeton. I could also see the bulldozers and compromised land and it made me sick. Thanks to the effort of the PBS and American Battlefield Trust this threat was avoided.
Remembering the battlefield made me think of how much I’ve enjoyed working with the PBS team. I’m pleased to have secured $1000 from the Washington Association of NJ for the American Battlefield Trust effort to purchase Maxwell’s Field, owned by the IAS. Other great experiences included a day with some terrific PBS volunteers clearing invasives from the memorial dogwoods and another day spent on a battlefield tour with “Washington’s Crossing” author David Hackett Fischer. I am most proud of my testimony to the Princeton Planning Board as Crossroads President in support of the outstanding PBS efforts to protect the larger battlefield from encroaching development.
In January of 1998 I “encouraged” my then 13 year old daughter to attend the Reenactment at the Battlefield by agreeing to buy new dance outfits for her at Capezio. No other interest in attending. It was incredibly cold and we needed to wait in a long line to get buses back to the parking lot. To this day we both remember it as one of the best father-daughter days out. Today of course she is fully aware of the blessings of growing up in the backyard of history.
The reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Battlefield on July 4th!
225th commemoration of Princeton Battle – January 2002. Sunny but freezing! It was bitter cold. There was a yellow school bus parked at the visitors’ lot to allow reenactors & visitors to “defrost.” I sat down next to a Hessian (Brunswick?) reenactor who told me he “came from Germany.” I was told some U.S. servicemen stationed in Europe who reenacted there & German citizens were flown by U.S. Air Force to McGuire AFB. I was talking to a “real Hessian” who reenacted various conflicts (18th century) on European soil. I also met a U.S. serviceman who did the same while stationed there. Their uniforms were very smart. Naturally, they gave field orders in German. “Achtung!” Very touching memorial service – American & British at the end of the day at the gravesite of both combatants.
I attended the Battle of Princeton in 'Real Time' in 2017 and I thought it was a great time and a great event.
Marvin & Pat Hartpence
We will always remember this special place where we began our wonderful life together on November 6, 1982. The setting was perfect - a carpet of golden leaves surrounding a beautiful memorial to the important happenings that gave rise to our country.
My first visit to Princeton Battlefield is an abiding memory. I waited anxiously near the
Clarke House on a boiling hot July 4 th I 1975 in my just-completed, hand-sewn reenactor uniform armed with my also just-completed, hand-assembled Brown Bess to see if we could take the field. Then the good news: our reenactor leader, who also worked for the NJ Bicentennial Commission, arrived with special permission to discharge firearms in Princeton! On with the show!
So many memories. Taking my kids Margaret and John and our dog Wyatt to the beautiful field---and instilling in them what a privilege it was to live in a town with such a great history, and near such a great place. Washington's charge, inspiring his troops, saving the day. The vision of him on his white horse. The brave Hugh Mercer, falling, then days later, dying in service of his adopted country. The basic values of citizenship. What a great country and history we have. Princeton Battlefield is a special place. We must always preserve it, and always remember.
I lived in Princeton from about 1965-1975. I remember learning about the battle and battlefield from a school tour of Nassau Hall. I learned about General Mercer dying of his wounds as he lay against a tree on the battlefield from a paper placemat at a local diner. I used to meet other teenagers on the battlefield some nights. It is a beautiful place and memory.
Dr. Teena Cahill
I first moved to Princeton as a young woman in the 1970s. I can still remember my excitement when I first learned about the importance of Princeton in our American history. But due to my husband changing jobs I moved away for many years. When I returned I realized Princeton’s history was alive and being celebrated. I love the job of feeling part of a community that celebrates America’s history and Princeton’s important role, especially at the battle. Sometimes I like to pretend I am walking where our founders walked and at every step, I thank them.
Used to drive by the battlefield when I worked in Princeton. Remember seeing the Mercer Oak before its demise. Wonderful living so close to historical sites like this. Thank you for all you do and are doing.