MORRISTOWN, NJ - Jockey Hollow comes to life this weekend as re-enactors from across the Northeast arrive for the park’s Grand Encampment. The special event focuses on the life and times of soldiers and civilians during the Revolutionary War and gives the public a glimpse of what life must have been like for the soldiers in the Continental Army.
Jockey Hollow was home to The Continental Army for three winters from 1779-1782 and the Wick House became home to Major General Arthur St. Clair and his two aides.
Prior to the war, the Wick family consisted of Henry and Mary Wick and their 5 children. Their youngest , Temperance was the only member of the Wick family living in the Wick House at the time of the war.
In, 1778 NJ passed a state law. The law stated that the Continental Army had to get permission to come inside your home. They could commandeer your land but they had to get permission and compensate the owner in some way. General St. Clair had to bring his own bed, food, furniture and his own servants to compensate Temperance Wick for allowing him to live at the Wick House.
Major General Arthur St. Clair and two aides did stay in the Wick House however, their stay was short. General St. Clair stayed one month in the beginning and then, he visited his wife and then ended with 40 days back at the Wick House.
The troops from the Continental Army stayed outside on the open field behind the Wick house. The smallest white tents were shelter for enlisted men. There were usually 6 men to each tent. Then, as the rank of the individual increased the size of their living quarters increased as well. The officers were able to eat in a separate area apart from their sleeping quarters. However, the enlisted men had different conditions. The men would form a group or a mess. They lived in the same tent as well as cooked and ate together. They would take their individual rations and put them together to make a larger meal. Then, they would use their one tin pot to cook everything for their meal.
For the winter encampments soldiers would build an earth kitchen. An earth kitchen was a circular trench. The dirt from the trench was placed in the center. Then, the soldiers could sit in the trench and dig a hole into the bank to create an oven. Less wood was used using the earth kitchens. In times of battle, Infantries would carry their musket. The musket could fire 80 yards. In addition to the muskets, 13-15 men would operate an infantry bronze 3 pounder. The artillery piece was also known as a light 3 pounder. It could move and fire with the infantry and had a greater range of fire. It could fire a 3 pound metal ball over 1 mile.
The event opens at 10 am each morning and concludes at 4 pm each afternoon.
Sunday, April 7th
- 10:30 am Children’s Drill
- 12:30 pm Inspection of the Troops
- 1 pm Firing Demonstration and Drill
- 1:30 pm Children’s Drill
- 2 pm Camp Competition – Trap Ball and Three Men’s Morris
- 3 pm Firing Demonstration and Drill
- 4 pm Regimental Assembly Retreat for the Evening
All activities are free and take place at Jockey Hollow. The GPS Address is 580- 600 Tempe Wick Road Morristown, NJ 07980.