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Delaware to preserve Revolutionary War battle site

Sophia Schmidt/Delaware Public Media
Cooch's Bridge

The First State now owns the land where the only Revolutionary War battle in Delaware was fought.

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is purchasing the property where the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge took place in 1777. Delaware officials gathered with members of the Cooch family last week to announce the deal.

Thomas Cooch acquired the land in 1746.

The state is paying the Cooch family about $1.1 million for the house and outbuildings there - along with 10 acres of surrounding land. The Delaware Open Space Council is covering $875,000 of the cost, with a couple of philanthropic groups pitching in the remaining $225,000.

Tim Slavin with the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs said they will take feedback from the public about preserving it.

“And as the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs begins the process of improving the site and making it available to the public, it will become one among many proud sites we have in Delaware,” he said.

Historical archaeologist Wadd P. Catts said the site is believed to be the final resting place for about two dozen American soldiers.

“The Battle of Cooch’s Bridge was fought on Sept. 3, 1777. Fighting here was described by American, British and Hessian participants as heavy, severe, sharp and bloody.”

The purchase allows for continuing archaeological study to try to locate the unmarked graves. Slavin said archaeological digging to locate the remains could start next summer.

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