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Lacey had marched his column part way across the field when his baggage train and rear guard were set upon by Kerr's light horse from the right and Crewe's infantry from the left and rear. All the baggage wagons were cut off, and few of the guard escaped death or capture. The main column then veered to the left and as it reached shelter, Simcoe attempted a well known military ruse.

Riding far ahead of his Rangers, he dashed to the edge of the thicket and in a loud voice called upon the Americans to surrender, at the same time ordering his own troops to charge. But Lacey was not deceived; instead he closed his ranks, broke through Crewe' s dragoons [who had dashed up from the York Road intersection], crossed County Line Road in close formation, and plodded doggedly ahead across fields and along by-roads for a distance of a mile and a half until they reached a woodland near the Bristol Road, where they dispersed and shook off their pursuers.

Their line of retreat followed the valley of Warminster Creek, crossed the Jacksonville Road, then the Street Road near Johnsville, finally taking the Newtown Road until they turned left into the woods. Lacey's casualty list, as reported in his official return, totaled 92 men, almost one third of his command. Of this number, 26 were killed, 8 were wounded, and 58 were missing.

After the tide of battle had passed, Simcoe's Rangers swept across the field and mutilated many of the American wounded. Nine bodies, some of them said to have been alive, were burned on a straw pile which stood in a field near the present monument on Jacksonville Road.

09/19/19 Board of Supervisors Meeting

This atrocity was witnessed by neighbors who flocked to the scene as soon as the British withdrew, and was attested by several prominent citizens before Justice Andrew Lang of Warminster. It was also admitted by [a British commander] Baurmeister, who attributed it to Abercromby's dragoons. Eyewitnesses said, however, that the British regulars behaved correctly, while the renegade Tories acted like savages.

Several of the American dead were buried in the Noble family graveyard, and others in unmarked graves where they fell along the line of retreat. The British claimed that their losses were seven men wounded and a few horses killed. If these figures can be accepted as even approximately correct, it must be concluded that the Americans either had no weapons, or were too demoralized to use them at any time, in an action that lasted for two hours or more.

But almost all of them were frontiersmen, accustomed to firearms and it is inconceivable that they would have failed to fire their muskets if they had had them. Any suspicion of cowardice is refuted by their conduct later in the day; they reformed their lines near Hartsville and marched down the York Road back to their camp. The only reasonable explanation of their failure to offer more effective resistance is that few of them had any weapons other than their fists to fight with.

They found the campsite deserted. The British had already rounded up their prisoners, set fire to the camp, gathered all the booty they could lay their hands on and started back to the city. Some citizens were also maltreated, notably the aged Thomas Craven, on whose farm the burned straw pile had stood. As he hobbled on his cane outside his doorway, returning troopers rode up and demanded his silver shoe buckles and other valuables. When he demurred, he was called a "d-d old rebel rascal" and was struck several blows over the head with a sword.

Council's reaction to the battle was expressed by Secretary Matlack in the following eulogy: "Your conduct is highly approved and your men have justly acquired great reputation for their bravery. Although it served no military purpose, the battle deserves a place in our history as a noteworthy local event and as a reminder of the minute scale on which operations were conducted during the Revolution, and the deplorable lack of staff work and individual efficiency on both sides, when compared to modern military standards.

While Mr.


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Smith treats the Battle of the Billet from the standpoint of strict history and military strategy, the present author wishes to point out that it did accomplish a purpose. With all its faults, this is a great country, and the ideals which inspired it are bravely shown in the courage and resourcefulness of men like those American men of the Billet.

Powered by NuCitrus Technologies , Inc. Sign in. Blog - Latest News. The First Years. The Open Door The door was opened and then they came From all the corners of this busy earth Equalizing Great and Lowly with their desire To do the things to which they had aspired. They came to clear the woods, primeval still, To fertilize the lowland with new life And raise their children without the haunting fear Of slave-like rule of some despotic man.

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And still they come escaping tyranny. Surely this Was God's ineffable plan To use the spaces of this unfilled land And constitute the laws to keep it free. You who with hope came through the golden door To see your long-lost dreams at last come true Awake! Be vigilant!


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Unite in love to keep Your land, my land, our land, the land of Liberty. Each city and town of our great country is unique, but all are bound together in the love of these United States. We are fortunate to live in a nation of strong and proud communities where everyone has a chance for success and the blessings of liberty and freedom can be enjoyed by all, regardless of background. As you commemorate this anniversary, you have a splendid opportunity to renew your commitment to preserve the spirit which has forged America into a land of wonder.

I am proud to join you in making such a commitment on this historic occasion for the people of Warminster. With hearty congratulations and best wishes for continued milestones, Ronald Reagan. Communities such as yours are the backbone of the Keystone State. All residents can be proud of Warminster's strong community spirit which has held its citizens together in fellowship and cooperation over the years. In commemorating the founding of your community, you are paying tribute to the hard work and dedication of countless men and women who have contributed to your great past, while anticipating continued success in the future.

Best wishes for an enjoyable and memorable anniversary celebration. Dick Thronburgh Governor. Messina, Secretary-Treasurer, Raymond J. This history was originally compiled in in celebration of Warminster's th Anniversary. Since that time the township has undergone many changes making it necessary to update the history and correct a few mistakes. Any area historian puts his reputation for integrity on the line when he puts his version of history into the printed word.

Much of what we call "history" occurred in a period when records were poorly kept, if kept at all, so that the present day historian must rely on books written by second and third generation historians who are not always in agreement with one another. This fact must be reckoned with when any question is raised regarding a statement of so-called "fact. Most of the "facts" presented in this present history have been checked and rechecked several times, so that we are reasonably certain as to their veracity.

Should there be any proof to the contrary, we will be happy to include such information in a possible later edition of this book. It should be noted that, within the time span that was allocated for this publication, it was not feasible to research the histories of some of the mentioned properties to the degree that was desirable. This will be done over a period of time by the Warminster Township Historical Preservation Board as part of the duties assigned to that Board by the Warminster Board of Supervisors.

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Our many thanks to the following who, under very short notice, helped to put this book together: Beverly Blackway of Today's Spirit newspaper, for the loan of pictures and information. Dorothy Rose-Brennan who, as publishing consultant, gave much needed advice on format and layout. Allison Drummond, for help in typing parts of the manuscript. Police Chief Elmer Clawges, for offering the services of the police photo lab in copying borrowed pictures and to Officer Frank Luczak, who did the actual work.

Timothy Noel, for research and information. Peter Brunner, for the loan of books. Pauline Bush, for the loan of books and other material. My wife, Dannielle, who was responsible for my writing the original history in Long before Wm. Penn's famous treaty with the American aboriginals we call "Indians," European settlers explored the wilds of what is now known as Bucks County and made their homes here.

The trickle which started some years after Columbus made his startling "discovery" increased with each successive expedition to America. These were the transients who explored for wealth, for curiosity, or for adventure. Here was a wide wilderness, an interminable, great forest; no reads dissected its vastness and only the eternal meanderings of its streams interrupted the smooth contours of great forest lands. Lower Bucks County was much the same as the rest of the country, a few faint Indian trails and an occasional Indian village being the only signs of human habitation.

Game was abundant; through what is now your living room once roamed deer, elk, panther, fox, lynx. In the not too distant Delaware River, unpolluted then by "progress," shad, bass, and pickerel were plentiful and it is recorded that, even as late as the 's, whales, sharks, and seal were seen in the Philadelphia vicinity. In the skies above, wild geese, turkey, pheasant then known as the hazel hen , the majestic eagle, the now extinct passenger pigeon, all crossed and criss-crossed in great numbers.

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The early transients of this area exist only in Indian folklore though there are a few faint hints of their identity in recorded history. The first settlers learned from the Indians that, many years before, white men had ascended the Delaware and worked a copper mine in the vicinity of Bowman's Hill.

This mine was rediscovered in the early 's and gives a degree of proof to the legend. Certain evidence leads us to believe that these people were Swedes and may have been responsible for the later concentration of Swedes along the Delaware areas.