The Battle of Short Hills took place on June 26th, 1777, following the Forage Wars of early 1777 and was General Howe’s last attempt to lure the Continental Army out of the easily defensible positions in the Watchung Mountains. Howe attacked in two separate columns in the Short Hills area between Metuchen and Westfield attempting to cut off Washington’s retreat back into the hills. General William Alexander, commonly known as Lord Stirling, held off the British at Westfield allowing Washington time to retreat back into the First Watchung Mountains. Unable to force Washington from his mountain stronghold, the British offensive was stifled. The British then plundered and burned the entire countryside. They camped overnight in the area around Westfield and in homes and stores of the village and the next morning marched to Rahway where they camped on the south side of the Rahway River. Howe abandoned his campaign in New Jersey and evacuated his troops from Perth Amboy to Staten Island on June 30, 1777. From there the British would soon move on by sea to attack and capture Philadelphia.