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Jersey City And Its Historic Sites
By Harriet Phillips Eaton
This Web version, edited by GET NJ
The great day among the men came in June at the general muster of the militia, or "General Training Day." This dated from the early days of Bergen, the first militia having been organized June 30th, 1663. All men between eighteen and forty-five (or fifty) years of age were required to meet upon that day each year to go through military evolutions. All who absented themselves without a valid excuse were subject to a fine. There was a company at Hackensack, one at New Durham, one at Bergen and another at Bergen Point. The several companies of the county formed a brigade and met at different places on successive years, more frequently at New Durham or Bergen. Colonel Sip was a colonel of militia and John I. Van Horn a captain. Both served in the war of 1812-14. Captain Van Horn was in charge of a rough block fort at
Sandy Hook. He used to say that there was nothing to do only when an American ship was being chased by the enemy, their guns afforded it protection and enabled it to get safely into port. The war of 1812-14 being largely a naval war, the militia of this locality did not take a very active part in it. But during the war, the fort at Paulus Hook was held by Drum Major John G. Sexton of the militia and six men under his command.
One great enjoyment of "Training Day" with the Bergen Company was the supper they always had at the tavern on Bergen avenue. This supper was a great event, looked forward to through many months. While all meals at this tavern were held in high esteem, upon this one day there was an unusually fine menu. The praises of those gastronomic successes are still sung by such of the fortunate participants as are still with us.
The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
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