National Parks Service Awards Gloucester County $46,200 Grant for Archaeological Survey at Red Bank Battlefield
(National Park, NJ) – The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced today that the National Park Service has awarded the full amount of $46,200 it has requested to fund a phase one archaeological survey of the battlefield at Red Bank Battlefield Park.
Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, "These grants are extremely competitive. Each year about 30 sites around the country receive funding so it's truly an honor for us to be selected for the grant.
Damminger said that the archaeological survey should begin in spring of 2015. The area will include the specific battlefield area including the monument area and trenches. The plan is to map as much as possible of the original boundaries of Fort Mercer and recover anything that may lie below the surface.
“There is an exciting opportunity to 'possibly' identify the mass grave of Hessian soldiers," said Freeholder Frank J. DiMarco, liaison to the Department of Parks & Land Preservation.
DiMarco said "The improvements that have taken place at Red Bank Battlefield over the last few years have been amazing. The partnership we have with Rowan University and our Curator have resulted in increased programs and grant funding to help enhance the park and its services."
DiMarco said that the grant includes opportunities for Rowan students to help with the dig.
The survey will be limited to the county park property. Nothing will be done outside of the park's boundaries even though the fort did extend into what is now private property.