It's March 1780 and members of the British Army are set to clash with Captain John Outwater's militia along the banks of New Bridge Landing. Fast forward to Saturday and Sunday and you can watch as members of Outwater's militia and the 4th NJ Volunteers (British) re-enact morning drills and daily battles at the historic site in River Edge.
Over 40 reenactors are scheduled to participate and demonstrate period trades/crafts, cooking, and children's drills. Battle reenactments will occur on both days. A scavenger hunt will also be held.
"I'm very excited to announce that we will have the Battoe Moon at Historic New Bridge Landing during the weekend for our War of Outposts event," Kevin Wright said. "Re-enactors of Captain Hugh Munro's Battoe Company (a Loyalist unit) will ride the tide up to New Bridge from Hackensack, just like in the 18th Century."
The Battoe Moon is a replica 18th Century bateau taken from "A Draught of a Bateau of 1776" by Howard Chapelle. She was framed and planked by Warren Stevens, and finished by the members of the New Jersey Ranging Company.
Below is the schedule for the War of Outposts at New Bridge Landing:
10am – Re-enactors arrive for re-enactment, registration, drill and practice formations in“the Meadow” and behind the Von Steuben House
10:30am - Officers Meeting
12:30pm - General overview of the operation at Hackensack, March 1780. Combined British forces march on NBL ie Hackensack and "plunder" some of the houses, rounding up any civilians and capture a militia battalion. Militia form up and meet the invaders, John Outwater will get wounded in the knee. After heavy fire from both sides, Militia pulls back, and Crown Forces continue into the meadow to attack the Continental outpost. First reenactment done.
1:15 to 2:30pm - Crown and Militia/Continental Forces return to “camp” for lunch located next to the Dutch out kitchen (On your own).
2pm - Children’s Drill at Demarest House grounds Militia / Continentals
3pm - "Second Battle" Recreates the second day of action starting in the “Meadow.” Possible construction of earth works/fortifications to symbolize the outpost at Paramus Church will be manned by Continentals. Crown Forces will assault the position but heavy volleys will commence from Continentals, pushing the Brits to retreat and make their way to the bridge, with Militia forming closer to the bridge and placing heavy fire on the retreating British as they pass over the bridge.
3:30 to 4pm - Reenactment done. Re-enactors and local historians available for questions and discussion
10am - Camps opens to the public.
10:30am - Morning Drill / Pickets posted
11am - Music Demonstration and Discussion in front of the Demarest House
11:30am - Children’s Drill at Crown Forces Camp
1:30pm - Day 2 of the Battle at New Bridge
3pm – Event ends.
Throughout both days, there will be ongoing demonstrations of 18th century medical displays, cooking and weaving/spinning. The gift shop will be open to visitors and refreshments are available in the Campbell-Christie House.
There is a $7 donation for adults and $5 for children which covers both days.