Image Retreat Across the Jerseys

November-December 1776

“I shall not now attempt to give all the particulars of our retreat to the Delaware; suffice it for the present to say, that both officers and men, though greatly harassed and fatigued, frequently without rest, covering, or provision, the inevitable consequences of a long retreat, bore it with a manly and martial spirit. All their wishes centered in one, which was, that the country would turn out and help them to drive the enemy back.

– Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

After the loss of Fort Lee along the Hudson River, Washington’s army began a harrowing withdrawal across New Jersey, with British General Corwallis’ army snapping at their heels. Conditions for the Continental Army looked bleak, and the British swept the landscape around them, convincing many that the Crown would prevail and the war would be brief.

Washington’s army followed the primary roads of the time that connected New Bridge, Hackensack, Newark, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, New Brunswick, Princeton and Trenton, and finally south across the Delaware River to safety in Pennsylvania. Today, there are many houses and structures still standing that were impacted by that sweep of history.

You can take an audio tour of the Retreat, as a driving tour in your car or on your device, and learn more about the sites and events that played a part in this early chapter of the Revolution. You can take the tour remotely by clicking on the white arrow in the green circle below and then clicking on the story sites on the map. Or enjoy the tour on-site by downloading the TravelStorys app for free. The audio, text, and images will launch automatically as you approach each story site.