New York & New Jersey Campaign > Ambush of Geary

Ambush of Geary

Background

The Ambush of Geary was a skirmish of the American Revolutionary War fought on 14 December 1776 near Ringoes in Amwell Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Cornet Francis Geary, the leader of a company of dragoons, was shot in an ambush set up by local militiamen.

After British forces captured New York City in the first part of the New York and New Jersey campaign, they established outposts throughout central New Jersey. Geary, the son of Admiral Sir Francis Geary, was operating from a station at Pennington when he was killed in the ambush. His body was concealed and later buried in a shallow grave, preventing its recovery by British troops. In the 19th century local historical interest led to the confirmation of his grave's location, and the establishment of markers at the site and in England.

Making a casualty of Geary was one of a number of militia actions that resulted in a reduced scope of British reconnaissance, contributing to the eventual success of George Washington's crossing of the Delaware and success at Trenton.

New York & New Jersey Campaign Battles

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