Battle Of Short Hills
The Battle of Short Hills (or the Battle of Metuchen Meetinghouse) was a conflict between a force of Americans commanded by General William Alexander ("Lord Stirling"), and an opposing British force commanded by General William Howe, that took place on July 26, 1777, at Scotch Plains and Edison, in New Jersey, during the American Revolutionary War. Despite the name, no fighting occurred in modern day Short Hills, a section of Millburn.
William Howe, leader of the large British force at the Battle of Short Hills
George Washington, leader of the main army of American troops
Prior to the battle the British tried to lure George Washington's army into a place where it could be conquered by the larger British army.
Stirling's command, guarding the left flank of Washington's main army,comprised William Maxwell’s New Jersey Brigade, Thomas Conway’s Pennsylvania Brigade, Daniel Morgan’s Corps of Riflemen and Ottendorf's Corps. The ensuing battle between the American forces of Stirling, which numbered only about 2,200, and the British and Hessian forces of Howe, proved extremely intense, but with Stirling suffering relatively minor losses. However, Stirling was gradually forced backward, leading both of the armies into the Ash Swamp and Scotch Plains. Severe cannon fire forced Stirling, as determined as he was to stand against his foe, to retreat even further back, toward Westfield. There the pursuit ended and Stirling was able to fall back in good order to the post at Middlebrook. The noise from the Battle alerted Washington to Howe's proximity and gave him the chance to withdraw to a more secure position beyond Bound Brook. Later in the day, Howe arrived to inspect Washington's lines and adjudged them too strong to attack. Because Stirling's resistance may have saved Washington's main army from disaster, the Battle is considered a strategic victory for the Americans. Thwarted, the British returned to their post at Perth Amboy, leaving the American forces to ponder on what Howe's next action would be.