John Turmbull: The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 ( 1787–1831)

(Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, USA)

A painting by the American artist John Trumbull (1756 – 1843). This painting is part of a a series of historical paintings dedicated to the American revolution (1775–1783). Depicted is the battle of Princeton at January 3, 1777 during the New York and New Jersey campaign - a series of battles for control of New York City and the state of New Jersey. Turnbull shows several different events of the battle as if they occurred simultaneously. A the center is the American general Hugh Mencer. At the start of the battle Mencer attacked the British but a counter attack of the British stopped his advance. Mencer was bayoneted by two British grenadiers and then left him for dead (he died later as a result of his wounds). On the left is the death of the American captain Daniel Niel, the commander of theEast Jersey Artillery, shown as he is bayoneted against a cannon. At the right is the death of the 26-years old British Captain William Leslie of the 17th British Foot Regiment - Leslie, nephew of the British Major General Alexander Leslie, was shot twice at the start of the battle and killed instantly by the ball which passed through his heart. After the battle Leslie was buried by George Washington with military honours. In the background is the American counter charge visible. After the British defeated the charge of Mencer, his troops fled the battlefield. Arriving in time, Washington gathered the fleeing US soldiers and charged the British, defeating them. Turnbull shows the charge being led by the American General George Washington and Doctor Benjamin Rush. Although the battle was seen as a minor victory in British eyes, the US victory convinced the Americans that they could defeat the British forces and the British lost control of most the state of control of New Jersey. Painting from 1787-1831.