News Release: The British Are Coming!

*From our friends at Civil War Trust and Campaign 1776*

If you have been following the ongoing saga regarding the Institute of Advanced Study’s plans to build 15 faculty houses on the historically hallowed ground of Princeton Battlefield, there is another update to track.

“The British Are Coming.”

17th Regiment of Foot Reenactors
Living historians portraying the British 17th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Princeton. The 17th Regiment, under Lt. Col. Charles Mawhood, bore the brunt of General George Washington’s famous counterattack during the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton. Image taken March 2016. (Source: US Civil War Trust).

Two well-respected British military heritage organizations have now joined the voices of opposition to the Institute’s plan to build the housing on the critical piece of battlefield land called Maxwell’s Field. The Institute of Advanced Study, is an international research organization that is not affiliated with Princeton University, just to make that clear.

Construction at Maxwell's Field
Construction equipment on Maxwell’s Field, a 22-acre tract that witnessed General George Washington’s famous counterattack during the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777. The site is currently targeted for development by Institute for Advanced Study. Image taken April 27, 2016. (Source: US Civil War Trust).

Maxwell’s Field is the site where General George Washington staged a daring and what proved to be a pivotal charge against the British forces to win the day.

Howard Simmons, Chair of the Battlefields Trust, the United Kingdom’s charity dedicated to the preservation, research, and interpretation of battlefields as educational and historical resources, was quoted by the Civil War Trust as saying.

“Developing this area will destroy the archaeological potential of the site, damage the                          setting of the battlefield and make it much harder for future generations to interpret the                     momentous events that took place there, without this site our joint heritage will be poorer.”

The other British organization, The Royal Tigers’ Association which is the veteran’s organization of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment (17th Regiment of Foot), has also joined in the opposition to the faculty housing project. The 17th Regiment of Foot, which can trace its heritage back to 1688, is one of the most famous units to fight in the British Army, served through the American Revolutionary War, and its stand at the Battle of Princeton earned the unit the unbroken laurel wreath that is now part of its insignia.

Major General (Ret.) Tony Pollard, gave the following quote on the subject of the 22-acre Maxwell Field issue.

       “Of all the fighting during the American War of Independence, the Battle of Princeton is easily            the engagement with the most significance to the Royal Leicestershire Regiment. For us, there          is no disputing that Princeton is sacred ground, with the regiment’s honoured dead still resting          there in unmarked graves.”

Close Up - Flags on Memorial Day
534 flags blanket the ground in front of the Colonnade Monument on the Princeton Battlefield during U.S. Memorial Day weekend, May 28, 2016. The flags represent those British and American soldiers killed, wounded or captured during the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton. (Source: US Civil War Trust).

Furthermore, the United States National Park Service deemed the 22-acre tract as core battlefield land. On this field Washington launched his counterattack against the 17th Regiment of Foot, specifically, which found itself alone on the line, when the American attack struck home.

With the addition of the two British military heritage groups, there are now 12 organizations in the “Save Princeton Coalition.” For more information about the coalition, click here. Or if you want to express your concern directly to the Institute, the “Save Princeton Coalition” does encourage one to email them directly. The Institute can be reached at or by phone at (609) 734-8000.

Simmons, spoke of their reaction to the news about the Institute of Advanced Study and their plan for the hallowed ground at Princeton,

       “The Battlefields Trust is therefore disappointed that an organisation which cherishes its own            history is acting in a way that seemingly ignores the unique historic value of a battlefield site in        which it acts as custodian for the people of the US and UK.”


*Thank you to Meg Martin, Communications Manager for the Civil War Trust / Campaign 1776 for the press release on this topic.*

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