Decision Activity: Joshua Huddy
Shrewsberry, New Jersey, September 1780
My name is Joshua Huddy, and I may only have a few minutes left to live. I am an ardent patriot and the Captain of the Monmouth Militia. I just heard glass break downstairs, and from my window, I can see members of the loyalist “Black Brigade” surrounding my house. I see Colonel Tye, standing about six feet tall, commanding his troops. While I fear no man, I begrudgingly respect the military prowess and fighting ability of Colonel Tye. It almost seemed inevitable that we would meet one day in combat. His infamous raids of Patriot homes and my raids of Loyalist homes in Monmouth County set us on a collision course.
We almost came musket to musket at the Battle of Monmouth. But alas, we are not facing off on the battlefield, but rather, at my home. I am outgunned and outmanned, but I am determined not to go down without a fight. Colonel Tye is demanding that I surrender and come out of my house unarmed. Can I resist? In April, Mr. Russell resisted Colonel Tye, and he was killed. I am sure Colonel Tye and the Loyalists want my blood. In 1777, my men and I dragged Loyalist Stephen Edwards from his home in Shrewsberry and hanged him. The Loyalists have wanted revenge ever since. Can I surrender? Will they kill me? Even if they take me prisoner, that may be worse than death. Rumors abound regarding the treatment of Patriot prisoners of war. Most do not survive. It is only me and my mistress, Lucretia Emmons, home tonight. But I have muskets and I have ammunition. We cannot fight Colonel Tye and his men from Refugeetown alone, but perhaps we can hold them off until members of my Monmouth Militia arrive. However, time is of the essence.
As Colonel Tye and his men surround my home, what should I do?
Be sure to provide reasoning for your response.
- Surrender to Colonel Tye and face the consequences of my raids? I may face the hangman’s noose. But I am a Captain of the Monmouth Militia. They may be able to negotiate my release.
- Fix my bayonet, load my musket, and go down in a blaze of glory. Even if I am taken down, I will try to take out Colonel Tye, and save my fellow Patriots from his raids.
- Defend my home by loading several muskets and placing them at every window. Then move from window to window, firing at Colonel Tye and his men, in an attempt to convince them that I have several soldiers here fighting along my side. This can buy me time until the Monmouth Militia arrives.
After making your decision complete the following extension activity:.
The Monmouth Militia has arrived. Write out your orders for your men to fight against Colonel Tye.
Below is a map of Monmouth County in 1781.
Use this map to answer the following:
1. Locate Shrewsberry on the map and describe the geographic features of the area.
2. Colonel Tye and his men were stationed in “Refugeetown” in Sandy Hook over the course of the American Revolution. Locate Sandy Hook on the map and use the “scale of miles” to determine the distance between Sandy Hook and Shrewsberry.