Near this building, on the Lancaster
road, General Wayne
lay encamped, with 1,500 men and two cannon, in a secluded spot, on the night of Sept. 20, 1777.
A Tory informed Howe
of this encampment, and he sent General Grey
, with a considerable force, to attack it at midnight. The night was dark and stormy.
gave orders to use only the bayonet, and give no quarter.
He approached stealthily, murdering the pickets near the highway.
Warned by this, Wayne
immediately paraded his men, but, unfortunately, in the light of his campfires.
Towards midnight Grey
's force, in two divisions, crept up a ravine, and at 1 A. M. (Sept. 21) leaped from the gloom like tigers from a jungle, and began the work of death at different points.
The patriots, not knowing at what point was the chief attack, fired a few volleys, and, breaking into fragments, fled in confusion towards Chester
killed 150 Americans
, some of them in cold blood, after they had surrendered and begged for quarter.
A Hessian sergeant afterwards said: “We killed 300 of the rebels with the bayonet.
I stuck them myself like so many pigs, one after another, until the blood ran out of the touch-hole of my musket.”
This event has been properly spoken of as a massacre.
The dead were buried on the site of the encampment.
The spot is enclosed by a wall, and a monument of marble within commemorates the dead.