Lieutenant David Mulford


I volunteered to fight, and my life was cut short.

I was born in 1749, on my parent’s farm in Cumberland County. I was a carpenter and built houses and barns with my partner. I married Hannah Fithian Barker, and we had three children.

But then the war came. In 1775, after the British attacked militiamen up in Massachusetts, each of the townships in our county formed a militia, and I was made lieutenant in Captain Daniel Maskell’s company for Greenwich. We were sent to the Battle of Long Island in 1776. And in September 1777 we were chased out of Philadelphia into New Jersey, after the Battle of Brandywine.

We had forts along the river to prevent the British from using it to supply Philadelphia. But then, at the Battle of Red Bank, British General Lord Cornwallis forced the abandonment of Fort Mercer. After which we were stationed at Haddonfield with about 500 militia under Colonel Ellis, 170 of Colonel Morgan’s riflemen, and a troop of Continental Light Dragoons. On November 24, our French ally Marquis de Lafayette joined us and led an attack on a Hessian outpost where the King’s Road crossed a brook.

Half a mile from the bridge, we heard shots and the Marquis rode past shouting, “Allons-y,” which means, “Let’s Go.” We broke into a jog toward a line of Hessians, I checked the priming of my gun and turned to my men, yelling, “Come well lads!” when I was struck by a Hessian shot.

It was all over for me. I was only 29 years old.

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Image Lieutenant David Mulford