The Battle of Monmouth: A Soldier’s-Eye View

By Anne Motto, F.M. Kirby Curator of Collections
June 25, 2024

In the aftermath of the Battle of Monmouth, Col. Matthias Ogden of Elizabethtown, senior officer of the 1st New Jersey Regiment, wrote twice to his wife in Succasunna (“Suckesunny”) of what had transpired a few days before. In the letters, now in MCHS archives, he gives a proud, firsthand account of the most famous NJ battle of the Revolution, fought in blazing heat on June 28, 1778.

English Town June 30th 78

The action of the 28th instant was a glorious one to America, the flower of the British army was taught to fly & leave their wounded on the field, the exact returns of whom we have not [illegible] near 300 of their dead our men have buried around [illegible] several Officers of distinction, Colonels Abercrombe & Hyde with several young noble men were carried off mortally wounded, at a moderate computation the enemys loss must have exceeded 700~ that of ours short of 150~ the enemy are now at Middle Town were [sic] it is expected they embark for Statten [sic] Island desertion from them exceeds our expectation, which alone must hurry them on, expect to see me soon.  I wish you was at E Town.
I am my love yours wholly
M Ogden

English town July 1st 1778

My dear Mrs. Ogden –

I again with pleasure reassure you of the signal advantage gained over our enemy, which more appears as circumstances offer~ 247 were buried on the field three times that number at least must have been wounded which with the killed makes 988 deserted since their march began 1000 at least, thus their loss is estimated at 1988 at a verry [sic] moderated calculation since they left Philadelphia~ Our Army moved this morning toward Kings Ferry, expect Maxwells brigade who with Morgans Corps are to cover the country untill [sic] the enemy embarks at which moment I fly to you & happiness. I shall expect to find you at E. Town or Springfield, ‘tho if you cannot make it convenient wait untill [sic] I see you at home, it will be something out of my way to come by E Town but the expectation of finding you there or at Springfield will bring me that way, where if I do not find you, I shall conclude ‘twas inconvenient for you to come; & a few hours more shall bring me to Suckesunny, which with you will be to me a paradise. I am
yours sincerely wholly & eternally
M. Ogden

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