Preserve Washington’s Legacy

If you follow Campaign 1776, the initiative by our friends at Civil War Trust, you are familiar with the saga over the Princeton Battlefield. Now you have a chance to help as well.

Battle of Princeton - Death of Mercer by Trumbull (Yale)
Battle of Princeton, Death of Mercer by Trumbull (courtesy of Yale University)

In an “unprecedented opportunity”, according to Trust President Jim Lighthizer. In a recent email letter, Lighthizer summed up what is at stake and what is needed.

“I need your help.

Earlier this year, I told you about an unprecedented campaign to save 15 crucial acres at the heart of the Princeton battlefield. On January 3, 1777, George Washington led a daring counterattack across this land, beating the British and reinvigorating the fight for American Independence. Without a doubt, this is some of the most important unprotected battlefield land in America—hallowed ground that must be saved.

Thanks to the generosity of members like you and anticipated government funding, we have already raised $2,500,000 to help preserve this key piece of American history. I cannot begin to thank you enough for your support. However, there is still much more work to be done. The purchase price for this land is $4,000,000, leaving us with more than $1,500,000 left to raise before the end of this year.

This is no easy task, but it is one we must accomplish.

Today, many Americans forget that our independence was not assured with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. King George III was not going to sit back and let his American colonies walk away without a fight. The British sent some of their best troops and ablest commanders to North America to stamp out the rebellion. To ensure the promise of the Declaration of Independence, Americans would have to fight and defeat some of the best soldiers in the world.

That is precisely what happened at Princeton. Americans under the command of General Hugh Mercer locked horns with a column of British Regulars. After a brief firefight, it appeared as if the Redcoats had the upper hand. Mercer was down and the Americans were falling back. In that moment, George Washington appeared. He rallied those retreating men, and with reinforcements, charged the Redcoats, putting them to flight and winning the day. For the first time, American troops had beaten the King’s men in the field, proving that, with determination and courage, independence could be won.

Now, I am asking you to help us tell this story by preserving the land where Washington’s Charge took place. In saving this land, you are ensuring that future generations will be able to walk the ground where Washington and the first American citizen–soldiers sacrificed everything to create the country in which we are blessed to now live.

‘Til the Battle is won,
/s/ Jim Lighthizer”

For information on joining the initiative and helping the cause of preserving these 15-acres of hallowed ground, click here. In addition, a great historical overview, quick facts, and a video of the battlefield are also available at the same link.


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