N.J. Wants Revolutionary War Sites Recognized

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They may not be as famous as the battles of Trenton and Princeton, but folks in southern New Jersey want their Revolutionary War (search) sites to be recognized, too.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey (search) last week designated 14 counties as part of a "Crossroads of the Revolution" State Heritage Area. It's a step on the path to getting Congress to recognize that designation, which would bring millions of dollars to help protect Revolutionary War sites.

But historians in Atlantic, Cumberland, Ocean and Cape May counties are disappointed that they were overlooked. Their war sites may be fewer, but that's why, some argue, they need help to avoid fading into obscurity.

Gary Giberson, mayor of Port Republic in Atlantic County, said the battle of Chestnut Neck is among those worth remembering.

"It was the largest seaport on the East Coast in New Jersey during the Revolution," Giberson told The Press of Atlantic City for Sunday's editions.

Sailors licensed by the Continental Congress (search) preyed on the British ships, financing the revolution with their plunder until British troops razed the town in October 1778, burning 10 privateering ships and surrounding shipyards.

U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine (search), D-N.J., a sponsor of the federal designation effort, said activities at Chestnut Neck helped to win the country's freedom "from a tyrant king."

Other notable events include the slaughter of 40 sleeping Continental troops in what is now Little Egg Harbor Township.

New Jersey has about 300 sites with direct ties to the war for independence from Great Britain, ranging from battlefields to historic headquarters.

Among the most notable landmarks sites are Washington's Crossing and the Hessian barracks in Trenton.