Plaque Commemorates Colonel Johann Gottlieb Rall and the 1776 Battle of Trenton

Posted in Exhibits, Upcoming Exhibits

On view at Ellarslie in advance of PATRIOTS WEEK 2020 and through January, anytime the Trenton City Museum is open (limited schedule due to covid-19, please confirm schedule on our website).

This bronze plaque was erected by the  Trenton High School class of 1905 almost 125 years after the December 26, 1776 event that it commemorates.

It marked the spot at which Colonel Johann Gottlieb Rall was mortally wounded  near the corner of Broad Street (then called Queen Street, or Bridge Street) and what is now Academy Street, in the street in front of the Mercer County Community College James Kerney Campus. The building to which the plaque was affixed has been since torn down.

Colonel Rall was wounded while leading the Hessian counter-attack into downtown Trenton.

Rall shouted to his soldiers in his native German language, “Alles was meine Grenadier sind, vorwaets!”  (“All who are my grenadiers, forward!”).  Then, “…the colonel fell from his horse with two fearful wounds in his side. This was directly in front of the house of Isaac Yard, on the westside of Queen Street, about two hundred feet north of Pinkerton’s Alley, now East Hanover Street.”  (Stryker, p. 173-174).

The Rall and von Lossberg regiments then retired into the apple orchard east of what is now Montgomery Street.  There they surrendered due to being surrounded by Continental soldiers and artillery, including Col. Alexander Hamilton’s two large six-pounder cannon.

David Bosted,  Trustee, Trenton Museum Society