Opening of the battle of Princetown- General Mercer of the Americans and Colonel Mawhood of the British 17 th regiment see each others leading groups and think they are attacking a scouting party. Mawhood got his men into Line on Mercer hill first, and a volley from them stopped Mercer.

The 17 th regiment charges Mercer and his men with the bayonet. Mercer's men have mostly rifles and can not reload in time to stop the charge. They break and run, with several killed by the bayonet, stabbed repeatedly, including general Mercer, who died days later of his wounds.


This picture is from the 17 th regimental museum in leichester, and is reproduced with their kind permission.


Mawhood then repelled an advance by Cadwalader, who became dis organized when Mercer's men ran through them. Cadwalader reformed and advanced again, and was replused, but more troops arrived, and Mawhood found himself almost surrounded by 5 times his number. Finally Washington himself lead the Americans forward, and sitting on his horse between the lines, ordered a volley that broke Mawhoods line and forced his men to break and run for their lives.

Mawhood had managed a remarkable defense against great odds, but sheer weight of numbers overpowered him and his brave men. The 55 th and 40 th regiments hardly managed to fight at all- when they set up a defensive line they were outflanked and immediately forced to retreat.



 The Battle of Princetown