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Fort Lee Gets Underway With Grant Funded Battlefield Study

The 1781 battles at Fort Lee proved to be the largest gathering of the war for the members of the Bergen County Militia, with as many as 400 taking part
The 1781 battles at Fort Lee proved to be the largest gathering of the war for the members of the Bergen County Militia, with as many as 400 taking part Photo Credit: COURTESY: Fort Lee Historical Society

FORT LEE, N.J. -- A grant won by the Fort Lee Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs will lead to a new understanding of the significant role Fort Lee played in the American Revolution, according to Executive Director Tom Meyers.

Monument Park and the adjacent Fort Lee Museum has been designated a historic district, which aided Cultural & Heritage Affairs in winning the grant.

It's the same category of funding given to major Revolutionary, Civil War and western battlefields.

The office applied for and won the National Park Service American Battlefield Grant to study the history of the Monument Park area, which “in fact, was a battlefield during the American Revolution,” Meyers says.

“The park was Parker's Pond and the surrounding area was the encampment of nearly 3,000 of Washington's troops in 1776.

“There is more per the 1781 battle of Fort Lee."

Todd Braisted, a noted Revolutionary War historian, will research and produce a report made possible by the grant.

This will lead to placement of interactive signage in Monument Park, and the research that will detail Fort Lee’s significance in revolutionary history.

In 1781 more than 700 Americans on both sides of the war fought over land which became the town of Fort Lee, according to Meyers. The national battlefield grant is to investigate and document this little-known battle.

The name of the project comes from the pension application of one Harmon Blauvelt of Harrington Township. Blauvelt was a militiaman in Captain Abraham Haring’s Company, that took part in the 1781 battles at Fort Lee.

This proved to be the largest gathering of the war for the members of the Bergen County Militia, with as many as 400 men involved in the fighting.

As a result it was the most mentioned event by militiamen seeking U.S. pensions, starting in 1832. Blauvelt was involved in the initial battle of May 14, 1781 and in his pension application, he called Fort Lee “a nest of Tories.”

CLICK HERE keep up to date with the progress on the latest information and research for Fort Lee's National Park Service Battlefield project.

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