Gloucester County Receives Grant to Research African American Soldiers

Thanks to a new grant and help from South Jersey Freeholders, African Americans who fought in the Battle of Red Bank may soon get the credit they deserve.

Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert Damminger and Freeholder Frank DiMarco announced that the county received a state grant of $14,300. The grant is intended to help fund the research of African American soldiers at Red Bank and is part of a $2.5 million statewide grant approved by the state’s Historical Commission Board. The grant helps provide funding to 80 historical organizations, museums, sites, archives, libraries and more.

The 1777 Battle of Red Bank was a battle of the American Revolutionary War in which a Hessian force was sent to take Fort Mercer on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River.

“The Battle of Red Bank was an important battle in the Revolutionary War and is an important part of our history,” says DiMarco. “The fact that we know so little about the African Americans who were present and participated in that battle is something we are determined to remedy, and this grant will help us do that.”

DiMarco explained that the grant will also be used to fund a professional historian who will attempt to identify who the soldiers were and what happened in the battle. The project is slated to start early fall and last for six months. All the research and new facts uncovered will be incorporated into new battlefield tours and public programs for visitors.

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