|Johann Ewald's map of the Bound Brook action (Wikimedia)|
To recap quickly, the Bound Brook garrison was an American post in advance of their main winter cantonments. It was being used to support New Jersey militia raids on the British lines and attacks on British foraging expeditions. The British assaulted it partly to destroy its usefulness as a forward operating base and perhaps partly in hopes of drawing the main American army, or a portion of it, into a general engagement.
The gradual escalation of the Forage War and the seeming intelligence domination of the battlefield by the Americans had left the British in the Jerseys, like Frederick the Great when operating in Austrian territory, completely in the dark as to enemy strengths and locations. To begin with, the vastly underestimated the forces they would face in small-war operations. When they sent a company, a battalion of American appeared. When they sent a battalion, it was attacked by a brigade. By the end of the winter, then, they were prone to employ overwhelming force in any operation, no matter how small. So this attack was planned to feature four converging columns totalling almost 4,000 men to attack an outpost that they expected to have only 1,000 men in it (in fact, by April 13th, the American garrison had shrunk to 500 men).
The assault force easily overran the post, though failure to coordinate the columns perfectly meant an uneasy start to the action for the initially unsupported jaegers. The failure of coordination also meant that the bulk of the Americans escaped, rather than being captured. The British then left the area before the American relief force, a division under MG Nathanael Greene, came up. It's not clear if that force was sent to contest the post with the British or just to reclaim it once they had departed; the British had brought neither guns nor engineers, so it is unlikely they planned to hold the position once captured.
|Another view of the AO, with highlights, from a Hessian map of the theatre. (West Jersey History Project)|