French and Indian War:
In 1758, the Barracks was the biggest building in Trenton. About 300 British and Irish soldiers were the first to live here. The building was made of stone and had dark red woodwork. There were about 20 soldiers' rooms, each with two windows, a door and a fireplace. Twelve soldiers were housed in each room, with two men sleeping in each wooden bunk. The soldiers received rations of food, firewood, candles, cider, salt, and vinegar. There was a kitchen in the cellar, but most soldiers cooked in their rooms. In the center of the building was a little house with a staircase to the second floor and the balcony. The Officers' House was fancier and more comfortable. Cows, pigs, chickens and horses were kept outside in the yard. The first soldiers to occupy the Barracks were two companies of Irishmen, the Inniskillin's (1758-1759); two companies of lowland Scots, the First Regiment of Foot (1759-1760); and two companies of British soldiers with Swiss officers, the Royal American (1761-1762).
When the Revolutionary War started, the Barracks was used by American troops. British prisoners of war from St. John and Chambly, Canada, were imprisoned in the Officers House while four companies of the Second New Jersey Regiment of the Continental Line were raised here. In December, 1776, British and Hessian troops occupied Trenton. Some of them stayed in the Barracks. Colonists loyal to the English king also arrived so that they could be protected by the soldiers. During the First Battle of Trenton on Dec. 26, in a miraculously successful morning raid, General Washington captured many of the Hessians. The Americans returned to Trenton and used the Barracks. In 1777, the Barracks became an army hospital under Dr. Bodo Otto. Many soldiers and supplies passed through Trenton until the end of the war. The last soldiers in the Barracks may have been sick and wounded soldiers from the siege of Yorktown in 1781.
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