Cooch's Bridge

Cooch’s Bridge, located at Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware, is the site of the historic Battle of Cooch’s Bridge.

Battle of Cooch's Bridge

Fought on September 3, 1777, the Battle of Cooch's Bridge has two principal distinctions. It was the only battle of the American Revolutionary War fought on Delaware soil, and marked the first time that the Stars and Stripes was flown in battle. Note: The claim about the flag is highly disputed and is not supported by any hard historical evidence.

The battle was fought between British and Hessian troops under Generals Cornwallis, Howe, and Knyphausen and the Colonial troops under General Washington.

The engagement began August 30th, about two miles (3 km) south of the bridge. The Americans harried the lead forces of the British Army using guerrilla techniques learned from the Native Americans. However, the roughly 700 Colonials were greatly outmanned and outgunned, and were driven back by the advancing British.

By September 3rd, the Colonials had dropped back to Cooch’s Bridge. A handpicked regiment of 100 marksmen under General William Maxwell laid an ambush in the surrounding cover. Over the ensuing battle, several British and Hessian charges were repelled, but the Americans soon depleted their ammunition and called a retreat.

The property was taken by the British and several buildings were burned. General Cornwallis used the Cooch house as his headquarters for the next week as the British regrouped. American casualties numbered around 30.

Shortly after General Howe moved his troops out. On September 11th he defeated the Colonials in the Battle of Brandywine and subsequently captured the Colonial capital of Philadelphia.


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