Graves at Old Tennent Church

November 29, 2008

Revolutionary War Image

The lovely Old Tennent Church sits atop a hill in the middle of its cemetery in Tennent or Manalapan, New Jersey. The original Presbyterian congregation was organized about 1692, and met in a log structure. The third structure, seen here, was built in 1751, and was twenty-seven years old at the time of the Battle of Monmouth. On Sunday, June 28, 1778, General George Washington, with about six thousand men, passed by the Old Tennent Church. That morning Washington had been at Englishtown where, from the sound of cannons firing, he understood that his advance forces under General Lee were battling the British. One hundred yards beyond the church door Washington met the first straggler who told him that Lee had retreated from the British. A few yards more and the General came upon Lee himself in retreat. Washington sternly rebuked his General, hastened forward, and rallied the retreating Continentals. The renewed battle continued until evening when the British were driven back. During the night to Washington’s surprise, the British retired. This victory by the rebels, snatched from the jaws of defeat, gave new hope and courage to the American colonials.

The church was used as a field hospital during the Battle of Monmouth, when wounded soldiers were carried to the church where members of the congregation tended them. The battle was so near that walls of the church are riddled with holes from cannonballs. The pews still bear scars of the surgeon’s saw and bloodstains of the wounded and dying. Those Revolutionary War soldiers who died at the hospital are buried in the cemetery, along with British soldiers. There are antique cannons on the grounds. An active congregation continues worshipping at the Old Tennent Church.

The image, When You Think About It, The Revolution Wasn’t That Long Ago., is subject to copyright by Sister72. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.