New Revolutionary War New Jersey Book is Available! Click Here for Details.

Hampton Township, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
This website, its text and photographs are © 2009 - 2023 AL Frazza. All rights reserved.


Revolutionary War New Jersey
Hampton Township, New Jersey
Unknown Soldier Monument
Cherry Ln.
Maps / Directions to the Unknown Soldier Monument

This small monument was erected at the site of an unknown Revolutionary War soldier's grave by the Chinkchewunksa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It was dedicated at a ceremony on October 24, 1931.

According to a newspaper account at the time, the event was attended by between seventy-five and one hundred people. The monument was unveiled by Laura B. Synder Morris, who was then the regent of the Chinkchewunksa Chapter.

In Morris' address at the dedication ceremony, she paid tribute to the unknown soldier, as well as to George Washington and all Revolutionary War soldiers. She also gives a history of the site, and provenance for this being the grave of a Revolutionary War soldier. 

This is the text of the address Morris gave at the dedication ceremony: [1]

"It is with a keen sense of pride and reverence that the members of Chinkchewunksa Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution unveil and dedicate today this monument erected at the grave of an unknown soldier who accompanied George Washington on the march from Morristown to Newburgh, and who became ill and died and was buried in this quiet garden spot.

"We are here today to dedicate this memorial monument not only to the memory of the unknown soldier but also to the memory of George Washington and all his courageous soldiers. It was by reason of their unselfish patriotism, their endurance of hardships and their determination to obtain independence, not only for themselves and those of their generation but for those of future generations, that we are enjoying the results of their efforts, sacrifices and privations, and the blessings of liberty.

"In marking this sacred spot it is the second monument to be placed along a line of march of Geo. Washington and his army as they crossed or came in and out of Sussex county, the other was erected in 1912 by Marchioness Ellen Kays McLaughlin, a member of Chinkchewunksa Chapter, near Hamburg, in the field where Washington and his staff encamped. We are told that at this time they marched from Warwick, N.Y. to Vernon, Hamburg and after camping over night at Hamburg continued in the morning over the Sparta Mountain to Woodport and Morristown.
[The monument Morris refers to can be seen on the Hardyston page of this website.]

"Mrs. Ralph Decker as Chapter Chairman of Old Trails, is now making an intensive study of the routes which Washington traversed when in Sussex county and of other historic roads and trails and is compiling her data together with pictures in book form for presentation to the State and National D.A.R. libraries.

"All over the United States, the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington will be celebrated during the coming year and we of Sussex County must do our part in honoring the memory of the founder of our country by thinking, reading and talking about him, by making plans for appropriate celebrations, by planting trees in his memory, and by having suitably marked and decorated the places connected with his life in our community.

"This spot has long been known as the resting place of a Revolutionary soldier, whose name has not been recorded and is unknown. On many occasions, I have heard my father, Raymond Snyder, who died last year at the age of eighty-three, state that during his boyhood in his drives from his father's farm to Newton in passing here this particular spot was pointed to him as the location of a grave of one of George Washington's soldiers who died on the march from Morristown to Newburgh. John Couse, father of our chapter treasurer, Mrs. Harry  E. Griggs, frequently referred to the fact of the burial of a Revolutionary soldier in this garden spot. Willis Howell, who now resides in Newton and who lived for a number of years in yonder dwelling house, says that his father and family guarded this spot with hallowed memory as the grave of a Revolutionary soldier. Likewise George Shotwell who died at Stroudsburg, May 2, 1930, at the ripe old age of eighty-eight and who for forty years was an elder in the Andover Presbyterian Church, said that he remembered from childhood that the corner of this garden was known as the burial place of a Revolutionary soldier.

"Mr. Shotwell's father, Abraham Shotwell, married for his first wife, Martha Inglis, a sister of William  Inglis, the owner of this farm at the time of the Revolution. In the history of Barber and Howe under the title Lafayette, Sussex County, page 477, reference is made to the burial of this soldier in the following words, 'When Washington with his army left Morristown for Newburgh their route lay through this village. On the road between here and Newton on the farm of William English is the grave of a soldier who died on the march'.

"In reading this history you will notice that the name Inglis is spelled English instead of Inglis as it should have been."
[The "history of Barber and Howe" Morris refers to is the book Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey  by John W. Barber and Henry Howe, which was published in 1844. This book is available to be read at the Internet archive, with the account of the unknown soldier beginning at the end of page 477]

"In the early days this farm was occupied by Wm. Inglish [sic] as I have just stated, the farm across the fields, now known as the Morris Farms, was occupied by Abraham Shotwell, the father of the  George Shotwell whose statements I have quoted. The farm adjoining was occupied by Richard Morris, the grandfather of the late Lewis M. Morford, of Newton. The next farm was owned by Nathaniel Huston the grandfather of the late Judge Henry Huston. These and other farms were known as the Kelly lands, having been obtained from the Board of Proprietors and later conveyed to John Jay, Philip Livingston and John Rutherfurd who subdivided them.

"It is but fitting that we meet on these historic grounds and pay tribute to one who gave his all that we might enjoy this land, and that we dedicate this monument as a silent expression of our gratitude."

Revolutionary War New Jersey

Source Notes:

1. ^ Sussex County Independent Mark Grave of Unknown Soldier - D.A.R. Holds Services at Mayo Farms, Lafayette, Saturday  October 30, 1931, pages 1 and 8.
This article is available on microfilm at the Main Branch of the Sussex County Library, at 125 Morris Turnpike, Newton, NJ 07860

The "history of Barber and Howe" referred to in Morris' speech is:
John W. Barber and Henry Howe Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey (New York: S. Tuttle, 1844) p. 477-478
The text in this book related to the unknown soldier reads, "When Washington with his army left Morristown for Newburg[h] their route lay through this village. On the road between here and Newton, on the farm of Mr. William English, is the grave of a soldier who died on the march."
(This book can be read at the Internet Archive here)

This book was published in 1844, and therefore demonstrates that the tradition that an unknown Revolutionary War soldier is buried here dates back to at least that time. Laura B. Synder Morris' 1931 speech corroborates the location of the Inglis farm here, and the fact that people in the area had considered this the site of the grave for years. That being the case, I feel that the evidence for this actually being the grave of an unknown soldier is pretty strong.

The only part of the story that I personally have questions about is that his death occurred "When Washington with his army left Morristown for Newburg[h]." I think it likely that this was meant to say, "left Newburgh for Morristown." In November 1779, Washington left West Point (near Newburgh in New York State) for the 1779/1780 Morristown winter encampment. After this winter encampment at Morristown, Washington did not head back towards West Point and/or Newburgh. Instead, he headed to Whippany following the Battle of Springfield, and then Montville before spending most of July 1780 at the Dey Mansion in Wayne

I would like to thank Ashley Ziccardi of the Chinkchewunksa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She took the time to speak with me about this monument and went to a lot of effort to locate the newspaper article.
Ashley also provided me with 'Laura B. Synder Morris' as the full name of the 1931 regent. The newspaper article had only identified her as 'Mrs. Levi H. Morris.'