Pine Robbers

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Pine Robbers
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"Pine Robbers" were loosely organized, criminal gangs and marauders who were British sympathizers and Loyalists, during the American Revolutionary War, who used the Pine Barrens, of the New Jersey Colony, to wreak havoc, in the region. The pine barrens created densely forested, terrain, where concealment of guerrilla and criminal activities, could be easily carried out.
Founding location Pine RobbersNew Jersey Pine Barrens, New Jersey Colony (British Royal Colony), British North America, British Empire
Years active 1776-1783
Territory New Jersey Pine Barrens, New Jersey Colony (British Royal Colony), British North America, British Empire
Ethnicity British-American
Membership (est.) ?
Criminal activities horse theft, highway robbery, burglary, murder

"Pine Robbers" were loosely organized, criminal gangs and marauders who were British sympathizers and Loyalists, during the American Revolutionary War, who used the Pine Barrens of New Jersey Colony to wreak havoc in the area.

Guerrilla and criminal activities[edit]

While the Tories, who had received their land from the King George III, were amiable neighbors during the day and enemies of the Patriots by night, the pine robbers were disgruntled British sailors who had jumped ship. They banded together with local outlaws to burn and loot throughout the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The pine robbers were commonly known to commit crimes against Patriots and Loyalists, alike.

John Bacon and the "Refugees"[edit]

John Bacon was one of the more notorious Loyalist leaders of the pine robbers. In December 1782, Bacon and his gang, the "Refugees," were involved in the Battle of Cedar Bridge, where a surprise attack by Captain Edward Thomas of the Mansfield Militia and Captain Richard Shreeve of the Burlington County Light Horse forced John Bacon to quickly build a makeshift barricade at Cedar Bridge. The Patriot forces charged the Refugees, but Bacon and three gang members escaped death or capture.

On April 3, 1783, John Bacon was surrounded by the Patriot militia from Burlington, New Jersey, while drinking in a local tavern. With no chance of escape, he was bayoneted and shot to death.

Legacy[edit]

References[edit]

  • Ward, Harry M. Between the Lines: Banditti of the American Revolution. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2002.

External links[edit]