Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

The Battle of Quinton’s Bridge March 18, 1778

With the warmer weather arriving to the Philadelphia region by mid March of 1778, the whites prepared their soldiers for military foraging in the surrounding region. The Anishinabek still held the Philadelphia region in a siege and the whites were very aware of the nearby Anishinabe presence. On March 18, 1778 two forces of white soldiers had left Philadelphia to forage the surrounding region for the obvious Anishinabe soldiers in that vicinity. Near Salem, New Jersey the two white military forces met and learned from their scouts that a small force of Anishinabe soldiers were located about three miles from their location. Near a bridge named Quinton’s Bridge, the battle commenced after the Indians discovered the presence of the white soldiers. With the initial onslaught of the white military force, it led to the brave Anishinabe soldiers seeking to reach Quinton’s Bridge in order to find a better location to defend themselves, but the whites had used their cannons to destroy the bridge.

Once they discovered that the bridge had been destroyed, the brave Anishinabe soldiers had no choice but to jump into the very cold Alloway Creek, which led to many of the brave Anishinabe soldiers drowning while they tried to make it to the other side. They likely suffered 40 or more deaths while trying to swim over to the other side of Alloway Creek. The cold water only made matters all the more worse for the retreating Anishinabe soldiers. After the Anishinabe soldiers who survived the swim across Alloway Creek reached the other side, they would learn that no further fighting would occur (the bridge was destroyed and the white soldiers did not want to attempt to cross the icy waters of Alloway Creek because they knew many of their soldiers would quickly be overcome by hypothermia and drown) after they crossed the creek. It would have been far worse for the brave Anishinabek, if not for the stiff resistance their brave soldiers put up against the white soldiers, while the brave Anishinabe soldiers crossed the Alloway Creek. White casualties were likely between 40 and 50 killed and wounded during the battle.

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