For nearly a decade, Red Bank Battlefield Park, N.J., has been the focus of a series of archaeological studies investigating the Hessian attack on Fort Mercer on October 22, 1777, during the Philadelphia campaign. During a public archaeology program conducted in the summer of 2022, a mass burial space was discovered and is thought to contain remains of Hessian soldiers who lost their lives in the attack. Wade P. Catts, lead archaeologist for the study, discusses how they made the discovery, what was found, and the analyses they’ve made so far.
About the Speaker
Wade P. Catts is the President and Principal of South River Heritage Consulting. A Newark, Delaware, resident, he is a historical archaeologist with more than four decades of experience with the history, archaeology, historic preservation, and cultural resource management in the Middle Atlantic region. He holds a graduate degree in American History from the University of Delaware.
A Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA), he has more than 40 years of experience in the field of cultural resource management. His research interests include the history of farmsteads and agricultural landscapes, military history and archaeology, environmental history, African American studies, and Middle Atlantic regional history and historic preservation. Mr. Catts is a past president and former vice president for Membership of the American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA), the national trade association representing the cultural resources management industry. His military history and archaeology experience includes projects throughout the eastern U.S., including work at battlefields and fortifications in Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Tennessee. Many of these projects were focused on Revolutionary War sites and battlefields, and include studies at Brandywine, Bennington, Cooch’s Bridge, The Battle of the Hook, Hubbardton, Princeton, Red Bank, Short Hills, and Stone Arabia/Klock’s Field.
He is a recipient of the Archaeological Society of Delaware’s Archibald Crozier Award for Distinguished Achievement in and Contributions to Archeology (2016), and the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution History Award Medal for contributions to Delaware and national history and archaeology (2021).