MORRISTOWN: WHERE AMERICA SURVIVED on WXXI-TV

MORRISTOWN: WHERE AMERICA SURVIVED on WXXI-TV

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 10:30pm
Pictured: Re-creation of soldier practicing hit-and-run tactic.


Credit: Courtesy of NJN Public Television

This documentary revisits the winter of 1779-80 when Washington’s troops arrived at the densely wooded area just south of Morristown, New Jersey, to build a log hut city for their winter camp.

By 1780, the entire eastern seaboard of the United States was plunged into a winter of major snowfalls and unrelenting freezing temperatures. George Washington himself reported that “... the oldest people now living in this region do not remember so hard a winter.” MORRISTOWN: WHERE AMERICA SURVIVED airs Monday, March 1 at 10:30 p.m. on WXXI- TV (DT 21.1/ cable 1011 and 11).
 
MORRISTOWN: WHERE AMERICA SURVIVED tells the story of that “hard winter” of 1779-1780, when Washington took more than 10,000 troops toMorristown, New Jersey — where they struggled to survive and the American Revolution hung in the balance. Edward Herrmann narrates.
 
The Continental Army cleared 2,000 acres of trees to build their huts in an area called Jockey Hollow, making it the fifth-largest “city” in population at the time. There, soldiers suffered through a long series of snow storms that sealed them off from supplies of food and clothing. Washington’s army was falling apart as the British waited in New York to make their move. When the British attacked in the spring, these same soldiers who had starved through the brutal winter rallied with local militia to repel the British. 
 
The documentary follows the soldiers’ experiences through the winter and into spring, a story that has not received the attention it deserves. Much of MORRISTOWN: WHERE AMERICA SURVIVED rests on primary quotes — from the letters of George Washington to the recollections of Joseph Plumb Martin, who left one of the only detailed accounts of the life of a young private at Morristown.
 
Based on John T. Cunningham’s book The Uncertain Revolution, MORRISTOWN: WHERE AMERICA SURVIVED takes a renewed look at a pivotal moment in history. The program was shot at Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey.
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