The chapter was organized by Mrs. Harriette Curtis Clark (Mrs. Delaware) at the home of Mrs. F. William Curtis in Newark, Delaware with thirteen women in attendance. It was the fifth chapter to be organized in Delaware.The name Cooch’s Bridge was chosen because all the charter members lived near the site of Delaware’s only Revolutionary War engagement and one-third of them were members of the Cooch family.
A chapter flag was purchased in 1995 and is displayed at all chapter and state meetings. A chapter web page was created and linked to the NSDAR website in 1996.
In 1998 the former Captain William McKennan Chapter of Hockessin, Delaware merged with the chapter. The Captain William McKennan Chapter had been founded in 1948 with members from Cooch’s Bridge.
Pictured Above/Right: President General, Ann T. Dillon
Twelve members have served as Delaware State Regents: Miss Eleanor Eugenia Todd, 1922-1925; Ola Worth Cann (Mrs. J. Pearce) 1925-1928; Mrs. Cooch, 1928-1932; Louise Webber Dayett (Mrs. J. Irwin), 1946-1947; Pauline Kimball Skinner (Mrs. Glenn S.), 1947-1950; Miss Gallaher, 1968-1971; Mrs. Wolf, 1977-1980; Mary Ann Shaver Llewellyn (Mrs. Winfield C.), 1983-1986; Miss Hancock, 1989-1992; Joyce Jones Franks (Mrs. Roger G.E.), 1998-2001; Priscilla Pearce Zaller (Mrs. Kurt) 2001-2002; Saundra Moore Chapman (Mrs. Paul Jeffrey), 2003-2007.
ABOUT COOCH’S BRIDGE
The only land battle ever fought in the state of Delaware took place on September 3, 1777 during the Revolutionary War at Cooch’s Bridge near Newark. This “sharp skirmish” was the first battle of the British campaign to capture Philadelphia, our first capital city.
On August 25, 1777, General Howe’s troops began disembarking near Elk Landing, MD after nearly a month at sea coming from New York City. That same day the Continental Army under George Washington entered Delaware and fortified the steep northern bank of Red Clay Creek, thus blocking the most direct route from Elk Landing to Philadelphia.
On the morning of September 3, 1777, a British column of nine thousand men under General Cornwallis advanced toward Cooch’s Bridge from Glasgow. About a half-mile south of Cooch’s Bridge they were fired upon by Continental troops under General Maxwell which were waiting in ambush. The Americans fell back to a defensive position after a brief exchange. They were forced to retreat two more times until they made a determined stand at Cooch’s Bridge and the Cooch home. Finally, the British brought up several light cannon and drove the out-numbered and out-gunned Americans down the road to Christiana.
The British continued two miles further north and occupied the town of Newark to prevent the Americans from attacking the British base at Elk Landing. General Cornwallis used the Cooch home as his headquarters for the next five days. His aide, Captain John Andre, drew a map showing the British units posted around the Cooch house. The officers drank all of Cooch’s wine, and the troops burned Cooch’s grist mill when they left.
Thomas Cooch, Sr. and his wife and two children emigrated from England to Delaware in 1746. He purchased several hundred acres of land around Iron Hill and built a home and mill next to the bridge over the Christina Creek in 1760. Nine generations of the Cooch family have lived in the ancestral home, which has been modified several times.
Local tradition firmly favors the evidence that the stars and stripes were first flown in battle at Cooch’s Bridge. The new flag had been approved by Congress on June 14, 1777 in Philadelphia.
Source (in part): Wikipedia.org