“Courage and bravery in the field do not more distinguish the soldier than humanity after victory…” –General Zebulon M. Pike, April 25, 1813
On April 27, 1813 an army of 1700 U. S. soldiers disembarked the naval fleet on Lake Ontario and attacked York, the provincial capital of Upper Canada. It is likely that at least a couple of dozen of these soldiers were from Hunterdon County.
John Lambert Hoppock, a native of Amwell, was there. This young captain, like many officers of his generation was eager to defend the honor of our young country against British aggressions on our sailors and commerce. What motivated this fighting spirit? For some, it was the chance to prove their worthiness of the inheritance left to them by the generation that had won independence. In fact, the War of 1812 has been referred to by some as the “Second War of Independence.”
Captain Hoppock belonged to the 15th Regiment of U. S. Infantry, a newly created unit raised and trained by New Jersey native Zebulon Montgomery Pike, the famous explorer who was a contemporary of Lewis and Clark. The 15th was often referred to as “Pike’s Regiment” or the “New Jersey Regiment” and was considered one of the best fighting units at that time.
What happened to the Amwell men who served during the War of 1812? And what the heck was that conflict all about? Find out on Friday evening April 27th at 7 p.m. when Brian Murphy gives his presentation, “One Good Drubbing” at the East Amwell Municipal Building. Murphy will share his unique collection of artifacts and letters that tell the story of Captain Hoppock, Lieutenant Runk and the other Amwell men who participated in a war which fostered great changes in our fledgling nation.