UNION, NJ - The annual commemoration of Hannah Caldwell Day took place on Sunday as members of the Union Township Historical Society conducted tours of and discussed exhibits at the historic Caldwell Parsonage.
The Caldwell Parsonage is the site of Mrs. Caldwell’s death at the hands of a British soldier on June 7, 1780, after the Battle of Connecticut Farms, a turning point in the American Revolution.
“Today is a day to remember my wife’s sacrifice,” said the Rev. James Caldwell as portrayed by Meridoc Burkhardt. “And to remember how her sacrifice affected the war.”
A demonstration of how ‘church dolls’ were made was also held. Church dolls were made during church services to keep children occupied. Leftover scraps of clothing and filling were used to make the doll and entertain a child during the multi-hour church services. A variety of historic games were also provided for children of all ages.
Hannah Caldwell Day marks the anniversary of the death of Mrs. Caldwell at the hands of a British soldier on June 7, 1780, after the Battle of Connecticut Farms, a turning point in the American Revolution.
British and Hessian troops were retreating from the battle scene. A shot was fired through a bedroom window, and Hannah, the wife of Rev. Caldwell, the Fighting Parson, fell dead on the bed, leaving nine children. Was it a mistake, or was it murder--an attempt to punish her husband for his support of the anti-British forces? In his grief, Rev. Caldwell used her death as a rallying cry for the Patriot cause.