Phase 7: Battle of Pelham Bay
The Revolutionary War in New York in 1776
Americans Attack British and Hessians along Split Rock Road
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Now like smiths at their forges
Worked the red St. George's Cannoneers;
And the "villainous saltpetre"
Rung a fierce, discordant metre
Round their ears;
As the swift
With hot sweeping anger, came the horse-guards' clangor
On our flanks.
Then higher, higher, higher burned the old-fashioned fire
Through the ranks!
...third stanza of The Old Continentals by Guy Humphrey McMaster, 1848.
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Phase 7 covers The Battle of Pelham Bay also called the Battle of Pell's Point. This is the only Phase in The Bronx.
Perceiving the Americans to be too strongly entrenched upon Harlem Heights to promise a successful attack upon them (Phase 6), British General Howe attempted to get in their rear and cut off Washington's escape route from Manhattan. He sent a large contingent of troops that landed in Throgg’s Neck and Pell’s Point at the tip of Rodman’s Neck where the NYPD now has their shooting range. Anticipating this move, Washington retreated into The Bronx and headed towards White Plains leaving a small force under Colonel Magaw to protect the rest of Harlem Heights at Ft. Washington (Phase 8). He sent Colonel Glover and his regiments of 550 men to this area of Pelham Bay in order to guard Washington and the American right wing from any sweeping British attack.
About the 1776 cache series:This series of caches take you through the political intrigues and armed battles in the city of New York during the Revolutionary War in 1776. Each cache Phase consists of a tour of the local area’s Revolutionary sites. You will gather clues that will provide the coordinates for the cache container for that Phase. Containers will vary from ammo cans, plastic containers and magnetic micros limited by the locale – woods, parks and urban street. The larger containers will have memorabilia such as replicas of revolutionary coins, paper money, musket balls, Declaration of Independence on parchment, etc. as well as more traditional cache treasure. Please take one memento only and leave the rest for other cachers. Leave something if you take something but don't stuff the smaller containers.
Click on the bookmark on the upper right side for a list of all 1776 cache phases. Each stands on it’s own. You do not have to follow any particular order although doing so gives a better prospective of the action. Cachers logging finds in all 8 phases will have their names added to the Cacher's Honor Roll in the Phase 8 cache web page. Campaign maps in the photo section provide orientation for each Phase and for the whole City. However, these are not needed to do the cache.
The caches follow much of this companion tour guide and book. For those traveling on foot, it provides public transportation methods for getting around. However, they are not required to find the cache.THE BATTLE FOR NEW YORK: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution by Barnet Schecter.
Start your Phase 7 tour at Glover’s Rock. Phase 7 campaign route is about a one mile drive and a walk to where the cache container is hidden in the battle area.
A. Glover’s Rock N40 51.896 W73 48.194
On the morning of October 18th, 1776 Colonel Glover climbed a small hill (some say this rock) near his brigade's encampment to scan the area with his telescope. He was surprised to see a British force with "a number of ships in the Sound under way, in a short time saw the boats upward of two hundred sail, all manned and formed in four grand divisions." Just as Washington had anticipated, 4000 British and Hessian troops under Sir Henry Clinton and Lord Charles Cornwallis landed and made a move to attack the American line of march. Glover had to delay the British attack, or they would push directly into the flank of the retreating Americans. If you hear shooting while here, it’s not the British but the NYPD firing range not far away in Rodman’s Neck to the south.
Glover’s Rock quiz- On the plaque on the rock, what is the 3rd word on the 3rd line?
ENTER A answer (1, 2 or 3) = ________
B. Split Rock Road N40 52.401 W73 48.514
Glover headed northwest past this point with his troops taking up positions in ambush behind the property line rocks on the Old Split Rock Road. (see the picture above of the battle in miniature diarama). As the British and Hessians pushed forward, each regiment in Glover's brigade fired on the enemy and held their ground as long as possible. Then they retreated to the next regiment's position. In this way, the enemy column was forced to fight an increasing number of Americans as it moved forward. The fight delayed the British force for an entire day, enough time for Washington and most of the Americans to reach White Plains in safety. On the 19th, Glover's brigade slipped away to join General Charles Lee's rear guard heading for White Plains.
Split Rock Road quiz- What are the total number of circles on the two wrought iron entrance gates to the car parking area?
3. 16 ;
ENTER B answer (1, 2 or 3) = ______
Cache Container Coordinates:
Enter the number for each of your two answers and add them up:
A______ + B ______ = Total ________
The coordinates for the cache are determined by your total.
If your total is 3, the cache coordinates are: N40 52.746 W73 48.850
If your total is 4, the cache coordinates are: N40 52.584 W73 48.780
If your total is 5, the cache coordinates are: N40 52.635 W73 48.790
Park your car ($2 fee during the warm months; no charge otherwise) and head out to the cache container on the trailhead here. N40 52.413 W73 48.609 Stick to the bridle path on the left under the trestle, not the path on the right. Although the right path is Split Rock Road the battle took place on, it’s on private property and you won't be able to reach the cache. You’ll be taking the Split Rock Trail which parallels it and was an old Indian trail, and is now a bridle path. The path is surrounded by woods and you may feel that you are no longer in the city. Through the trees you catch glimpses of the salt marsh bordering the Hutchinson River. Mosquitoes are awful in season and the bridal path can flood after heavy rains. Come prepared!
Congratulations on finding the cache for Phase 7.
Before continuing with Phase 8 Battle of Fort Washington in Manhattan, if you continue on this trail, the path gradually rises and the trees thin out on your left as you get closer to the access road of the New England Thruway. A sign in the woods on your left says “Road Crossing,” and you can leave the path here to see Split Rock itself. Watch for traffic when you cross the exit ramp. The massive cleft boulder, a glacial erratic, in front of you N40 53.191 W73 48.898 is the split rock that gave the road and the trail and the golf course its name. In 1643, Anne Hutchinson who the river and parkway were named after and her followers were massacred here by Native Americans of the Siwanoy Tribe. Some tried to hide in the split.
When you get back to your car and if you have some more time, you may wish to stop by the St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site N40 53.580 W73 49.490 a few miles up the road in Mt. Vernon. It is here after the battle that the Hessians took their wounded and seized the church to use as a hospital. The adjacent carriage house serves as the visitors’ center. Call (914) 667-4116 to receive brochures about the rich history of the site and for the schedule of hours. The historic burial ground contains numerous graves of soldiers from both sides in the Revolution. You can also see the miniature diarama depicted in the photo at top of this page.