At the height of the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton, British forces under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mawhood, attacked aggressively, forcing the American brigades to fall back. The Americans rallied around a small artillery battery, lead by Captain Joseph Moulder. Moulder's Battery consisted of "two guns handled by some twenty boys recruited from Philadelphia's dock area," supported by the Delaware Militia company of Captain Thomas Rodney. With great skill and bravery Captain Moulder directed intense and accurate fire from the American guns which prevented the British Forces from advancing across the field.
This defense was a major factor in the American victory being crucial in buying time for Washington to arrive on the field and organize a counterattack.
Artist James Peale, a soldier with the American forces at Princeton, chose in 1784 to illustrate this critical moment of the engagement in his painting of the Battle of Princeton. Peale's landscape, painted on this hill, focuses on Moulder's battery and the left wing of the American forces in their attack on the British 17th and 55th Regiments. In the background are the William Clarke House and barns, now gone. The Mercer Oak would be just to the left of the barn at the center of the painting.
Created by Chris Wang BSA Troop 88, Princeton, NJ - 1998