The Cocked Musket Frozen in Time

This musket was hooked in 1903 by an eight-year-old boy fishing in the Hackensack River at the Historic New Bridge Landing in New Jersey, where General Washington led his 2,000 troops from Fort Lee in a ragged retreat from the British invasion of November 20, 1776, as memorialized in Thomas Paine’s American Crisis. British troops attacked the American rear guard at the Bridge on November 21, 1776.

The musket is fully cocked, which means whoever held it was ready to fire, but something happened during the battle—and it ended up in the river.



I saw this musket for the first time recently and I can’t get it out of my mind.

Who held it? What went wrong? What was the scene like? What was on this person’s mind that day and when the Redcoats attacked? How old was he? Did he survive?

I so wish I could know the answers!

It is a Charleville musket so historians figure a patriot owned it. I feel like there’s an amazing story behind this musket… if only we knew it. If only we could go back in time.

And imagine the little boy’s delight when he reeled this musket in.

Muskets, knife fights and more action are key elements of the American Revolutionary War Adventure Patriots, Redcoats & Spies, which is not just for kids. Discover more at:



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