Morris County Launches Interactive Look Inside the American Revolution
Published on June 29, 2023
Historic Sites, Soldiers and Battles Documented Through Online Story Map
For Independence Day 2023, Morris County is proud to announce its latest installment to the Veterans Compendium project, “Morris County in the American Revolution,” an interactive ArcGIS StoryMap© complete with an introductory video, photos, background and geographic data on the local soldiers, civilians and places involved in winning our nation’s independence!
In conjunction with the story map launch, the Morris County Board of County Commissioners announced it is forming a committee to celebrate the 250th anniversary (semiquincentennial) of American Independence.
Check out the American Revolution Story Map!
“This new list takes our imagination to a time centuries before the noise of modern traffic and transports us to an era filled by sounds of drums, fifes, horses and marching men: The Morris County American Revolution veterans. This list is unique in the county’s Veterans Compendium. The sites associated with our war for independence, battle locations and General Washington’s travels in Morris County are included in a newly developed story map,” said Joe Barilla, Director of the Office of Planning and Preservation.
Formed in 1739 from Hunterdon County, Morris County was one of 13 counties established within the state of New Jersey during the American Revolutionary War, which took place from 1775 to 1783. New Jersey has been called the “Cockpit of the Revolution,” with more battles and encampments occurring in the colony than in any other, and Morris County soldiers and civilians played a crucial role in the struggle.
“Morris County takes great pride in its role shaping American history. We encourage residents to explore the story map online and to visit the various sites in person,” stated Commissioner Stephen Shaw, liaison to the Office of Planning and Preservation.
Morris County Commissioner Director John Krickus has announced Commissioners Myers and Shaw will head a committee celebrating the 2026 semiquincentennial of American Independence, commenting, “In 250 years the U.S. has been the greatest force for good in the world.”
To display Morris County’s place in American history, the Office of Planning & Preservation has utilized ArcGIS StoryMap© technology to portray battles and important sites around the county related to the Revolution.
View the Morris County in the American Revolution Story Map video
“Morris County soldiers crossed the Delaware with (George) Washington, retreated with him in ‘Mud Rounds’, froze at Valley Forge and succumbed to illness. The story map attempts to follow these men in battle, no matter where they engaged,” stated Jan Williams, Cultural and Historic Resources Specialist for the Office of Planning and Preservation.
A bulwark in the colonies, New Jersey stood as an important hindrance to British efforts to capture northern colonies.
General Wilhelm von Knyphausen, a commander of German auxiliary troops assisting the British during the American Revolution, made one last attempt on June 23, 1780, attacking Springfield. Defeated, the general retreated to British held territories, ending the Red Coats dream of capturing New Jersey. Twelve miles away in Morris County, Catharine, wife of Private William Parrott, Jr., reported seeing smoke from Springfield at her Hanover residence.
Morris County’s history in the Revolution reflects the nation’s patriot story “writ large,” with intrigue, self-sacrifice, fervor and bravery found in the citizens at the time.
If you notice errors, omissions or have additional information to add to the story map, please contact Jan Williams at [email protected].
The Morris County Veterans Compendium is an ongoing initiative led by the Office of Planning and Preservation that aims to memorialize Morris County residents who served in the nation’s armed forces during various eras. “Morris County in the American Revolution” is the latest chapter in the series of online projects documenting the military service of Morris County residents throughout history.
Photo 1: (l-r) Jan Williams, Commissioner Shaw, Joe Barilla and Robert Carr, Digital Content Specialist for the Office of Communications and Digital Media, take a break from filming at the Morris Plains Public Library, a building that was once the home of Ebenezer Stiles where light horsemen were quartered here for twenty days in 1780 during the Revolutionary War.
Photo 2: The Ephraim Sayre House in Madison Borough served as the headquarters for General “Mad Anthony” Wayne in 1777.
Photo 3: The Ford Faesch House in Rockaway Twp., built by Jacob Ford, Jr. in 1768, subsequently home of John Jacob Faesch who directed the iron mining operations which provided the Continental Army with ammunition and ordinance.