The New Jersey Brigade Area
Jockey Hollow Road off Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, Somerset County, NJ


US 80 west to Exit 42 for US 287 south; get off at Exit 30B; merge right onto Childs road; keep heading straight through the traffic light; shortly on the right Hard Scrabble Road  bears off to the right; drive about two miles and turn right onto Jockey Hollow Road; drive 0.5 of a mile and turn right into the park entrance. Parking lot is on the left by the kiosk just past the end of the rows of hemlock trees. 

The Morristown National Historical Park consists of four non-contiguous units: Washington’s Headquarters with the Ford Mansion and Headquarters Museum, the Fort Nonsense Unit, the Jockey Hollow Unit, and the New Jersey Brigade Area.

The New Jersey Brigade Unit, located at the Cross Estate, preserves the site of the New Jersey Brigade's 1779-1789 camp.


1777  --  the Jersey Brigade served at Brandywine and Germantown. 

1777 – the area in and around Morristown was used as a winter encampment by Washington’s troops.

1777-78  -- Jersey Brigade at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

1778 – the New Jersey Brigade was placed around Elizabethtown to protect the coast. (The Middlebrook Winter Encampmentof Washington's Army December, 1778 to June 1779;

1779 – the New Jersey Brigade took part in General Sullivan’s campaign against the Iroquois Indians in New York State during the winter.

1779–80 – Morristown was again used as a winter encampment.

1779-1789 – the New Jersey Brigade used what today is known as the New Jersey Brigade Area for their winter camp.

1781  --  Jersey Brigade at the Battle of Yorktown.

1794 – New Jersey Brigade assisted in quelling the Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion

1781 – the New Jersey brigade mutinied. George Washington rushed loyal troops to their encampment; three ringleaders were seized, tried and condemned to death. One was pardoned, and two were executed by firing squad.

1975 – the National Park Service purchased the Cross Estate, off Jockey Hollow Road. Acquisition of the property allowed Morristown NHP to join the isolated New Jersey Brigade area to the main encampment area in Jockey Hollow.

2004 (June) – Michael D. Henderson, Superintendent of Morristown National Historical Park, announced commencement of rehabilitation work at the Cross Estate mansion (Hard Scrabble House) in the New Jersey Brigade unit of the national park.

2005 (April) – projected completion date for the Cross Estate rehabilitation.


formal gardens; Cross Estate


The Patriots Path goes through the area (Schermann-Hoffman north to Jersey Brigade Area and on to Jockey Hollow).

11/13/04.  With wife Rosemary Santana Cooney and dog Sonar we parked at the parking lot on the left just past the hemlock-lined entrance road.  There was light snow on the ground and it was cold when we arrived (being more exposed because we parked by a field).  Here there is a kiosk with lots of information on the rules and regulations of the area.  It would be nice to have a bit more historical information about the Jersey Brigade and the Cross Estate.  We saw the red tree-and-snake symbol on a white background trail marker of the Patriots Path.   We followed this heading north toward Jockey Hollow.  A short walk brings the walker to a T-intersection.  Turning left heads for Jockey Hollow.  Turning right heads to the Jersey Brigade Area and the Schermann-Hoffman nature sanctuaries. We turn right.  There is the same trail marker here except that it now is blue rather than red (with a few of the markers being brown perhaps through weathering?).  We realize3d that we are on to of a hill and looking down towards a valley with other hills around the area. 

We reach another intersection and turn left following the signs for the New Jersey Brigade Trail.  It is a long descent down to the low areas where there is a stream.  Pass a connector path to the Schermann-Hoffman nature sanctuaries.  At the bottom of the descent the area opens up with a stream on the right.  We notice cars on Hardscrabble Road passing by a park gate (no parking).  We turn left heading uphill to two historical signs dealing with the history of the Jersey Brigade and the hard winter they spent in this area.  We turn left and find two more signs.  Sign number three describes the huts: one room, one hearth, one door, six bunks and twelve men. Most of the huts were ready by Christmas.  Sign number four describes the trash pit and what was found here.  And the last sign, number five, describes RHIP (rank hath its privileges).  The officer's huts were actually constructed after those of the enlisted men, but their huts were larger and less crowded.  A few of the officers were still living in tents by February. 

The little loop trail taking the walker to the historical signs brings that walker back to the Patriots Path.  We turned right and headed back to the way  we had come, but this time heading up-hill. 

We decided to take a short-cut back to the parking area.  At the intersection with a sign indicating Cross Estate to the left, we turned left and in a very short walk we arrived back at the parking area.  We did not bother with the formal gardens; not in the mood.  (If one wants a shorter out and back trail to the historical signage of the Jersey Brigade Area, one can use this short cut, which starts off the right side of the kiosk at the parking area.)  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


National Park Service; Morristown.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom on date of field trip, 11/13/04

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula lenta (black birch) 
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus sp. (pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)  lots and lots of it; in some sections it is the dominant shrub layer species
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera mackii (Amur honeysuckle)
Philadelphus sp. (mock orange)
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)

Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue panic grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)