Research Goals

Based on the results of the 2010 documentary research and preliminary field testing, PAF assessed the probable integrity and research potential of the identified defining features. Researchers then developed a prioritized list for field testing (Figure 7). These features will be discussed as complexes in order to match the general movements related to the battle, and their spatial relationships.

  • Central Battlefield Core ***: The Core of the Newtown Battlefield was widespread while including the center and the two flanking maneuvers by the Continentals. [text deleted] This is the location where Brigadier General Edward Hand's light infantry and rifle corps first engaged the British Line. It is also where Major General John Sullivan focused his main push to allow time for Brigadier General Enoch Poor and Brigadier General James Clinton to attack the British left flank and the area of the final push initiating the British and Native American retreat from the battle. It was the area where the longest and heaviest fighting occurred. [text deleted] Archeological testing was warranted to determine if the rest of the complex is relatively intact. Field testing in this portion of the battlefield would aid in the determination of troop movements and arms used by both sides, and confirm the existence of British defensive works.
  • Artillery positions: There were two main artillery positions during the battle. The establishment of the first position was established after Sullivan's Council of War. [text deleted] Descriptions state that this position is where most of the artillery and baggage was unpacked in preparation for battle. It served mainly as a staging area keeping the artillery concealed until Sullivan's final push against the British center. [text deleted] The artillery moved to the second position from the first one during the final Continental push against the British and opened a fire of grape shot onto the British Line. The second position may be marked by the dropping of material in the act of loading and firing artillery.
  • Swamp: The swamp is a major feature in relation to the battle. It was an obstruction that slowed Poor and Clinton's advance on the British left flank. Descriptions of the swamp suggest it was a difficult march for the Continental troops. This difficulty may have led troops to purposefully or accidentally drop materials into the swamp. The relatively undisturbed nature of the swamp suggests it may be a promising area for identification of troop movements.
  • Poor/Clinton's attack on the British Left: It is questionable whether Poor and Clinton's movement against the British left flank was effective or not. Descriptions of the attack suggest a heavy fight. However, other descriptions suggest that the delay caused by the crossing of the swamp meant Poor and Clinton were unable to fully engage the British left and only worked to harass the retreating British and Native warriors. Testing in this area should help determine where on Sullivan Hill the flanking maneuver and retreat occurred and what effect Poor and Clinton's maneuver had in the battle.
  • Butler's Depot: Descriptions of this area of the battle are unclear but suggest a large village or group of structures related to either a village or storehouses. Continental troops from Poor and Clinton's brigade suggest Native Americans and Butler's Rangers used the depot as a storage area. They describe the structures as vacant but of recent construction. Major John Butler states his warriors and rangers were dismantling some of the structures to improve their breastworks. The defensive lines present before August 29, 1779, seem to be concerned not only in creating an ambush, but also in defending the area of Butler's Depot. The identification of the depot may help in the determination of the depot's use and Butler's overall strategy.

Figure 7. This page/map was intentionally deleted per the requirements of the Archaeological Resource Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 470hh) and its implementing regulations (49 FR 1027, Jan. 6, 1984).