The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: January 17

WILLIAMSBURG, January 17, 1776.
Mr. John Eustace, late aid de camp to Major General Lee, and some other Gentlemen, arrived from Philadelphia and the camp, by way of Baltimore, bring advice that his Excellency General Washington had crossed the Delaware with a considerable body of his forces, and made several attacks upon the enemy, the events of which were successful, having taken five pieces of artillery, and about 700 prisoners, the 40th regiment being a part of them; that the latter were taken at Princetown college, without making any resistance; that the 1st Virginia regiment had distinguished themselves greatly for their valour, and suffered most; that our army, by a secret and well conducted march, had got between Howe's main body and his advanced parties, had stopped all intercourse between them, and a general engagement was hourly expected. We have report that the brave General Mercer is among the slain, but hope it is without foundation. This day the first division of the 2d regiment marched from hence, to join the continental army under the command of their intrepid countryman, the gallant WASHINGTON. The second division will soon follow. They are a parcel of hearty soldiers, and set out with as much alacrity as men could possibly do.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) January 17, 1777
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General Hugh Mercer of Fredericksburg and close friend of George Washington, was killed at the Battle of Princeton and his body was brought to Philadelphia where it was exposed for public to view his "bruised and mangled" body. In April Congress ordered that a monument be erected in Virginia in Mercer's honor and that his youngest son would be educated at the expense of the United States. The monument was erected in Fredericksburg.

Sources: VA Gaz, Waterman

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