2 On 16 April British and German forces struck again, this time with a straightforward, lightning assault under Maj. Johann Christian Du Buy, commander of the Regiment von Bose. A number of units took part in the raid:
Rangers Hussars, and elements of the 17th British light
Staten Island Volunteers (Loyalist light dragoons), German Jaegers (light infantry), von Bose and von Mirbach Regiments, and the Loyal American Regiment.
German infantry formed the backbone of the Crown contingent, providing support for the cavalry on the attack, and cover on the return march. The von Mirbach veterans previously saw action in 1776 at Long Island and White Plains, then at Brandywine, Germantown, and Fort Mercer in 1777. The Regiment von Bose had been part of the New York garrison since 1776, with some field experience gained the following year in the Hudson Highlands.
The day after his assault on Hopperstown, De Buy gave Lt. Gen. Wilhelm von Knyphausen, Crown forces commander in New York, details of the operation:
According to your Excellency’s gracious command I embarked on the evening of the
. instant after 8 o’clock with 230
[actually 250] men of the von Mirbach and von Bose Regiments, 12 Jägers and 50 men of Colonel Robinso
n’s Provincial [Loyal
can] Regiment below Fort Knyphausen, and landed at 9 o’clock at Fort Lee on the
coast of New Jersey.
The practicalities of organizing infantry for a short
term but rigorous expedition were mentioned in orders for the Regiment von Mirbach.
[April] the 15th. A captain, two subalterns, nine non
commissioned officers, and 100 privates, all chosen men, of the Regiment von Mirbach, are to assemble in the street at
Commissary Steward’s quarters this evening at sundown, or abou
thirty, and await
Major DuBuy’s orders. The men are to take nothing with them but cooked rations for
one day, and rum. They are to wear their old uniforms, but not carry blankets. Therefore only healthy and robust men are to be chosen so that they
will not fall into the enemy’s
hands due to fatigue.
The expedition c
I reached English Neighborhood with the detachment after 10 o’clock, where I halted in
order to wait for the detachment of cavalry, consisting of 120 men, which had been transported from Staten Island to Bergen Neck. The same joined me at midnight, and we
at once continued our march to Newbridge, which we reached at about 3 o’clock on the
morning of the 16th, and met there, contrary to all expectations, a picket of Continental troops consisting of one officer and twenty
four men, who had been sent from Paramus the evening before in order to waylay a number of Rebel deserters, and bring them back. The sentry on the bridge fired but the picket had no time to defend the bridge but had to save themselves by running away in the dark. The officer and three men were taken prisoners. I left Captain [David] Reichhold of the Mirbach Regiment there with 50 men in order to ensure our return to Newbridge.