Notable Event that Happened in Westfield, New Jersey
JUNE 26, 1777 Westfield was occupied by British forces at the end of the Battle of the Short Hills. They occupy and damage the church, and they stole the church bell.
The Battle of the Short Hills was fought on June 26, 1777. At the end of the fighting, British forces were in Westfield, where they would stay encamped until the following morning. In 1777, the church building was occupied by British troops. They did a great deal of damage in Westfield, including damage done to the church. Militiaman Jacob Ludlum, who fought at the Battle of the Short Hills, later recalled that "The British destroyed much private household property, killed vast numbers of sheep, hogs and cattle. They filled the church with a flock of sheep, placed an old Ram's head with a huge pair of horns in the pulpit and carried away the bell." Ludlum is buried in the church's cemetery. The following account of what happened with the bell is from an 1839 history of the church by its then-pastor, James M. Huntting: "The bell was thrown out of the steeple to the ground without injury, and carried to New York. It was peculiarly fine toned, and was often heard before it was carried away, by the inhabitants of Staten Island and Chatham Village. On the first Sabbath that it was in New York, as the bells of the city began to ring for church, William Clark Esq., who was then a prisoner in the city, heard it and immediately remarked to his fellow prisoners 'that the Westfield bell must have found its way to the city.' By others who had heard it here, its ringing there was noticed, and on the return of peace, it was sought and found. As it had the name of the Parish cast on it, it was readily given up and brought back, but before it was replaced in the belfry it was broken, and materially injured." In 1847, a new church bell was cast, using metal that had been melted down from the original bell. That 1847 bell still hangs in the current church's steeple. So although the current church bell is not the same one involved in the American Revolutionary War, it does contain the same metal.
Our Patriot Ancestors
Connecticut Jonathan Birge Jesse Gould Samuel Gilbert Ashbel Hollister Ichabod Murray James Webster
Delaware Brittingham Ennis
Maryland Asa Banning Anthony Brown Rasin Gale Stephen Keyes Nicholas Slade Godfrey Stemple
Massachusetts Daniel Ballard John Capen Lemuel Cleveland Amariah Dana Samuel Day, Sr. Sherebiah Evans Francis Faulkner Zimri Hayward Stephen Keyes James Sampson John Sibley
New Hampshire George Fall James Hill
New Jersey Benjamin Chamberlain Joseph Corwin Samuel Dally Henry Denny James English Isaac Harris George Lance Daniel Taylor Peter Wikoff Samuel Willett Peter Wintermute
New York Coenraedt Finger Edward Houghton Cornelius Van de Mark
North Carolina Jesse Harris Richard Wright, Sr.
Pennsylvania Leonard Beck Daniel Brodhead George Buffington John Dungan Michael Heilman Henry Horn Jacob Housman Jacob Huyett Philip Kirk Frederick Leiby Andrew McElwaine Casper Ritter John Rowles Charles Smith
Rhode Island James Sheldon
South Carolina Jacob Dantzler James Darwin
Virginia William Butler Samuel Chewning James Mathes John McConaughy William Norris, Sr.
Where Does Your Revolutionary War Story Begin?
Westfield Chapter, NSDAR, chaplain, swearing in our new regent.
Westfield Chapter, NSDAR, members met with Westfield Mayor (center) to sign a Constitution Week Proclamation.
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