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Coryell's Ferry Militia


WHO? The Coryell’s Ferry Militia led by Captain Robert V. Gerenser
WHAT? The 28th annual Lt. James Monroe crossing the Delaware Parade
WHERE? New Hope, Pa, on South Main Street and Ferry Street
WHEN? Saturday December 14th, 2013 Noon Sharp. No Rain Date.
WHY? To present to the public an important chapter in the History of New Hope PA. and the Nation.
HOW? Through the skills of an amazing historian, re-enactors of Coryell’s Ferry Militia.

The Coryell’s Ferry Militia is New Hope’s ambassador to History. The group was formed in 1984 by several of New Hope’s prominent citizens. Founding member, Bob Gerenser keeps the militia focused on presenting the impressive history of the town to a public that is no longer shown that history.
Current core members are Lt. Bob Gerenser, Jr., Justine Oleksa Walters, Steve Rote, Mary F. Coffee, Elaine McNeely, G.A. Cristiano and Ron Gehring .
 All citizens of New Hope and the surrounding areas are welcome to participate as long as they are dressed in proper colonial garb and good health.
The events during the winter of 1776 and the American Revolution and Coryell’s Ferry (now New Hope) are astounding.
Pre-eminent of those events was the vital mission carried out by Lt. James Monroe and Captain William Washington (George’s third cousin). General George Washington (our first president) asked for volunteer’s to cross the Delaware River at dusk. The crossing had to be far enough up river so as not to alert the British forces that an attack was coming. This mission was to cut off all communications between the British stationed at Princeton and the Hessian mercenaries billeted in the old French and Indian War Barracks in Trenton, N. J. Lt. Monroe had to cross several hours before the main body of troops with General George Washington at McKonkey’s Ferry (now Washington Crossing, Pa.) so that he could be in a place to be effective.
Just at dusk, Captain William Washington and Lt. James Monroe (our fifth president) and 57 private soldiers crossed at Coryell’s Ferry Pa into the Jersies. The troops went to their post at Princeton-Pennington Rd. and successfully completed their mission. A farm that was nearby was occupied by a Doctor Riker. Doctor Riker sensed that the cold soldiers huddled in that intersection were on a valuable and secret mission. Once the good doctor ascertained they were indeed Continental Soldiers, he offered to come along stating “that perhaps I may be able to help some poor fellow”. Doctor Riker’s words came true later the next morning when Captain Washington and Lt. Monroe marched on to Trenton, joined up with General Washington and as a special honor were charged to lead the attack on the Hessian Barracks. It was Doctor Riker’s quick actions that stemmed the bleeding wounds of the heroes. The men were brought back to the Coryell House , now Havana’s where they recovered and went on to greater glory.

It is this story of triumph achieved by great patriots that the Coryell’s Ferry Militia keeps alive!
The event features a parade, military formation and artillery demonstration and Delaware River Boat Crossing.

Arrangements have been made with Scott Lance of Munro’s Bateaux reenactment group.  They are bringing their boat to this year’s event and…WE WILL CROSS THE RIVER!


The last several years the river has not cooperated and a crossing could not be attempted.  Plus, Hurricane Lee two years ago captured the Coryell’s Ferry Militia’s replica flat bottom ferry boat and carried it downriver, so we had no conveyance to achieve a crossing.


That situation has changed with the acceptance of an invitation by Munro’s Bateaux, Captained by Scott Lance, they will be the reenactment group to be the ferry to cross the river this year.


In 28 years we have crossed the river successfully.  When we fail to cross our guests speculate what would have happened if Washington’s Army had failed in their effort to cross the river.


Watching a reenactment is one of the easiest ways to understand a particular piece of history.  The people presenting the event know a great deal about the subject and are willing to answer your questions.  Imagine having a history book that could speak with you to clarify events you may have a question about.


The 28th annual Monroe Crossing is open to the public and is free.  Parade starts at noon and will march from Odette’s restaurant just South of town and head North to East Ferry Street.  There the mission will be explained, the troops inspected and the crossings will commence.  Any one who has pre-registered with event organizers and is in good health and is wearing appropriate 18th clothing may attend.


For more info contact: or Captain Bob Gerenser 267-337-1227

The event is open to the public and free.
Join us Saturday, December 14th, 2013 at Noon sharp. Meet us on the South Main Street Bridge between Mechanic Street and Ferry Street. Join the parade and March to the river with Coryell’s Ferry Militia and honor all the Armed Forces of The United States, past and present.
Following the parade, all re-enactors are invited to retire to Gerenser’s Exotic Ice Cream and The New Hope Grille, 22 South Main Street, New Hope, Pa. for food and refreshments.
Special thanks to: New Hope Borough Council, New Hope Police Department, Joe Knox and Rick Sweeney constables, PennDOT, Pa. Fish and Boat Commission, The Delaware Power Boat Association, The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, and our Sponsors, The New Hope Chamber of Commerce, and Captain Charlie Morris and crew.

For more information contact: Robert V. Gerenser 267-337-1227
Coryell’s Ferry Militia
22 South Main Street
New Hope, Pa. 18938
Media Outlets: Please forward this press release to all appropriate additional sites in your realm, including Face Book, Twitter, and others social sites.
The history that this event is based on is “THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY of JAMES MONROE.