Battle of Crooked Billet
The Battle of Crooked Billet was a battle in the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolutionary War fought on May 1, 1778 near the Crooked Billet Tavern. In the skirmish action, British forces under the command of Major John Graves Simcoe launched a surprise attack against Brigadier General John Lacey and three regiments of Pennsylvania militia, who were caught sleeping; the British inflicted significant damage, Lacey and his forces were forced to retreat into neighboring Bucks County. The British Army, led by General William Howe, had captured New York City in 1776 and Philadelphia in 1777. After the capture of Forts Mifflin and Mercer, which had prevented the resupply of British-occupied Philadelphia by sea, the British relied upon the overland route between New York City and Philadelphia for the movement of men and communication. British troops regularly foraged for supplies in the countryside around the city. Since December and the Continental Army were in winter quarters at Valley Forge, northwest of Philadelphia.
John Lacey, was tasked by Washington with patrolling the region north of Philadelphia, between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. Washington ordered Lacey and the militia to prevent farmers from taking their goods into Philadelphia to sell to the British, to protect patriots in the region from harassment by British and Loyalist troops. Washington was critical of both Pennsylvania's militia recruitment and Lacey's performance. Pennsylvania, despite promising 1,000 militia to patrol that area, had been unable to raise that many, Washington was considering calling in militia from neighboring states. Washington wrote that militia stipulated by the state had never been above half kept up and that General Lacey had only 70 men left in the field. Lacey had not been as effective as Brigadier General James Potter at interdicting trade with the British, Washington hoped Potter, off on leave, would soon return. In late April Lacey began a series of maneuvers and patrols across the area that ended with his arrival on April 27 at the Crooked Billet Tavern in present-day Hatboro.
One of his straggling companies was attacked by a British patrol, Loyalist spies informed John Graves Simcoe, leader of the Loyalist Queen's Rangers, of Lacey's whereabouts. In Philadelphia, General Howe ordered Simcoe, to "secure the country and facilitate the inhabitants bringing in their produce to market." During the winter of 1778, British and Loyalist troops led raids into Bucks County, despite the presence of Lacey and the militia. In April, Simcoe secured permission from Howe to launch an attack on his militia. On the afternoon of April 30, he and Lieutenant Colonel Robert Abercromby led their contingent of troops out of Philadelphia and towards the Crooked Billet. By Lacey's troops numbered about 400, including fresh arrivals from Cumberland and York Counties; that night Lacey ordered Lieutenant William Neilsen to begin a patrol between 2:00 and 3:00 am, ordered the brigade of Thomas Downey to stand on alert. Neilsen failed to follow his orders, his patrol only left camp shortly before daybreak on May 1.
They had not gone. The British troops arrived at Crooked Billet at daybreak on May 1. Simcoe had planned a "pincer"-type attack, with his troops attacking from the north and east, Abercromby's troops from the south and west. Lacey's pickets, in place to warn against any type of threat, noticed the British troops, but failed to fire off a warning shot for fear of being killed or captured. Neilsen sent a runner back to the camp to raise the alarm. Surprised and outnumbered, the militia were soon routed and forced to retreat into Warminster, losing their supplies and equipment at their bivouac site. An account of the battle, published on May 5 in Philadelphia's Royal Pennsylvania Gazette, reads as follows: On Thursday night last, a small party of the British infantry and Queen's rangers, with a few of Capt. HOVEDEN's Pennsylvania, Capt. JAMES's Chester dragoons, left the city about eleven o'clock, proceeded up the Old York road. About a mile beyond the Billet they fell in with Lacey's brigade of militia, consisting of about 500 men, attacked them: Lacey, at first, made some appearance of opposition, but, in a few seconds, was thrown into confusion, obliged to retreat with precipitation, were pursued about 4 miles.
They left between 80-100 dead on the field. Besides the above waggons, 3 were burnt after taking out the horses; the royal party did not lose a single man on this occasion, have only 7 men wounded, 2 horses killed. As a result of this engagement, the American forces lost ten wagons full of much-needed supplies, Lacey had 20% of his force killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Lieutenant Nielson, the officer in charge of the pickets, was court-martialed and cashiered from the militia for disobeying orders. On May 11, Potter returned from his leave of absence and Lacey was relieved of his command. Washington requested that Lacey remain with the militia for a short time in order to familiarize Potter with the region. By late June, the British had withdrawn from Philadelphia, the militia's safeguarding of the region was no longer of concern to Washi
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U. S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the sixth-most populous U. S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U. S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis; the Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, served as temporary U. S. capital while Washington, D. C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a railroad hub; the city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans; the city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a gross domestic product of US$445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States; the city is known for its arts, culture and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent US$6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has emerged as a biotechnology hub. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, is the home of many U. S. firsts, including the first library, medical school, national capital, stock exchange and business school. Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall.
The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is undergoing gentrification, the city maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape Indians in the village of Shackamaxon; the Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are called Delaware Indians, their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases smallpox, violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin; the American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west.
In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living in Wisconsin, in their traditional homelands. Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey; the Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina and spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area.
The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a
Siege of Yorktown
The Siege of Yorktown known as the Battle of Yorktown, the Surrender at Yorktown, German Battle or the Siege of Little York, ending on October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by British peer and Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, the siege proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in the North American theater, as the surrender by Cornwallis, the capture of both him and his army, prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict; the battle boosted faltering American morale and revived French enthusiasm for the war, as well as undermining popular support for the conflict in Great Britain. In 1780, about 5,500 French soldiers landed in Rhode Island to help their American allies fight the British troops who controlled New York City.
Following the arrival of dispatches from France that included the possibility of support from the French West Indies fleet of the Comte de Grasse and Rochambeau decided to ask de Grasse for assistance either in besieging New York, or in military operations against a British army operating in Virginia. On the advice of Rochambeau, de Grasse informed them of his intent to sail to the Chesapeake Bay, where Cornwallis had taken command of the army. Cornwallis, at first given confusing orders by his superior officer, Henry Clinton, was ordered to build a defensible deep-water port, which he began to do in Yorktown. Cornwallis' movements in Virginia were shadowed by a Continental Army force led by the Marquis de Lafayette; the French and American armies united north of New York City during the summer of 1781. When word of de Grasse's decision arrived, both armies began moving south toward Virginia, engaging in tactics of deception to lead the British to believe a siege of New York was planned. De Grasse sailed from the West Indies and arrived at the Chesapeake Bay at the end of August, bringing additional troops and creating a naval blockade of Yorktown.
He was transporting 500,000 silver pesos collected from the citizens of Havana, Cuba, to fund supplies for the siege and payroll for the Continental Army. While in Santo Domingo, de Grasse met with Francisco Saavedra de Sangronis, an agent of Carlos III of Spain. De Grasse had planned to leave several of his warships in Santo Domingo. Saavedra promised the assistance of the Spanish navy to protect the French merchant fleet, enabling de Grasse to sail north with all of his warships. In the beginning of September, he defeated a British fleet led by Sir Thomas Graves that came to relieve Cornwallis at the Battle of the Chesapeake; as a result of this victory, de Grasse blocked any escape by sea for Cornwallis. By late September and Rochambeau arrived, the army and naval forces surrounded Cornwallis. After initial preparations, the Americans and French built their first parallel and began the bombardment. With the British defense weakened, on October 14, 1781, Washington sent two columns to attack the last major remaining British outer defenses.
A French column under Wilhelm of the Palatinate-Zweibrücken took Redoubt No. 9 and an American column under Alexander Hamilton took Redoubt No. 10. With these defenses taken, the allies were able to finish their second parallel. With the American artillery closer and its bombardment more intense than the British position began to deteriorate rapidly. Cornwallis asked for capitulation terms on October 17. After two days of negotiation, the surrender ceremony occurred on October 19. With the capture of more than 7,000 British soldiers, negotiations between the United States and Great Britain began, resulting in the Treaty of Paris of 1783. On December 20, 1780, Benedict Arnold sailed from New York with 1,500 troops to Portsmouth, Virginia, he first raided Richmond, defeating the defending militia, from January 5–7 before falling back to Portsmouth. Admiral Destouches, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in July 1780 with a fleet transporting 5,500 soldiers, was encouraged by Washington and French Lieutenant General Rochambeau to move his fleet south, launch a joint land-naval attack on Arnold's troops.
The Marquis de Lafayette was sent south with 1,200 men to help with the assault. However, Destouches was reluctant to dispatch many ships, in February sent only three. After they proved ineffective, he took a larger force of 8 ships in March 1781, fought a tactically inconclusive battle with the British fleet of Marriot Arbuthnot at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Destouches withdrew due to the damage sustained to his fleet, leaving Arbuthnot and the British fleet in control of the bay's mouth. On March 26, Arnold was joined by 2,300 troops under command of Major General William Phillips, who took command of the combined forces. Phillips resumed raiding, defeating the militia at Blandford burning the tobacco warehouses at Petersburg on April 25. Richmond was about to suffer the same fate; the British, not wanting to engage in a major battle, withdrew to Petersburg on May 10. On May 20, Charles Cornwallis arrived at Petersburg with 1,500 men after suffering heavy casualties at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
He assumed command, as Phillips had died of a fever. Cornwallis had not received permission to abandon the Carolinas from his superior, Henry Clinton, but he believed that Virginia would be easier to capture, feeling that it would approve of an invading British army. With the arrival of Cornwallis and more reinforcements from New York, the British Army numbered 7,200 men. Cornwallis wanted to push Lafayette, whose force now
Battle of Bound Brook
The Battle of Bound Brook was a surprise attack conducted by British and Hessian forces against a Continental Army outpost at Bound Brook, New Jersey during the American Revolutionary War. The British objective of capturing the entire garrison was not met; the U. S. commander, Major General Benjamin Lincoln, left in great haste, abandoning papers and personal effects. Late on the evening of April 12, 1777, four thousand British and Hessian troops under the command of Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis marched from the British stronghold of New Brunswick. All but one detachment reached positions surrounding the outpost before the battle began near daybreak the next morning. During the battle, most of the 500-man garrison escaped by the unblocked route. U. S. reinforcements arrived in the afternoon, but not before the British plundered the outpost and began the return march to New Brunswick. Following the Battles of Trenton and Princeton in December 1776 and January 1777, the Continental Army of Major General George Washington entered winter quarters in Morristown, New Jersey, while the British and German forces of Lieutenant General William Howe settled into winter quarters in New York City and northeastern New Jersey.
Throughout the winter months, a guerrilla war of sorts went on, in which American militia companies, sometimes with Continental Army support, harassed British and German outposts and ambushed their foraging and raiding expeditions. One of the forward bases used for these operations was at Bound Brook, located on the Raritan River upriver from New Brunswick, the major British camp in New Jersey; the post was responsible for patrolling three bridges across the Raritan to be used by the British in moves against the main camp at Morristown. In February 1777, the Bound Brook outpost consisted of 1,000 men under the command of Major General Benjamin Lincoln, but this was reduced by expiring militia enlistments to 500 in mid-March; the troops that remained were from the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, a company from the 4th Continental Artillery, two independent companies from the Wyoming Valley in what is now northeastern Pennsylvania, but was also claimed by Connecticut as Westmoreland County. Lincoln expressed concern over his exposed position to General Washington, noting that many units were not in a position to "render the least assistance to this post in case it is attacked", that he was keeping wagons ready in case a precipitate departure was needed.
Lieutenant General Lord Charles Cornwallis, in command of the British forces in New Jersey, had had enough of the ongoing petite guerre, organized a reprisal action against the Bound Brook outpost. According to the Hessian jäger Captain Johann Ewald, Cornwallis asked him to draft a plan of attack on February 12, after the Battle of Quibbletown on February 8, but the plan could not be executed until springtime because it necessitated fording the Raritan. On the night of April 12, the plan was put into action. Under the overall command of Cornwallis, 4,000 British and Hessian troops marched from New Brunswick to make a multi-pronged surprise attack; the right flank, under the command of Major General James Grant, consisted of the Hessian jäger corps, grenadiers from the English Brigade of Guards, a detachment of British light dragoons. While most of this column advanced from Raritan Landing, two companies of light infantry went further right, aiming to cut off the main road from Bound Brook to the Continental Army camp at Morristown.
The center, under the command of Hessian colonel, Carl von Donop, consisted of the Hessian grenadier battalions von Linsing and Minnigerode, the left, commanded by Cornwallis, consisted of two battalions of British light infantry, the 1st battalion of grenadiers, another detachment of light dragoons. Donop's column advanced up the right bank of the Raritan, aiming to gain control of the bridge directly at Bound Brook, while Cornwallis took a longer route to ford the river above Bound Brook and thus cut off the possibility of retreat in that direction. Ewald and a few of his jägers were in the vanguard of Grant's column and engaged the American sentries to the south of Bound Brook. Unaware that this was supposed to be a feint, Ewald drove the sentries back nearly to the main redoubt where the outpost's cannons were located. By sunrise he was nearly surrounded; the surprise was nearly complete. Colonel von Donop reported that General Lincoln "must have retired en Profond Négligé", Lincoln's papers were taken.
The British plan was marred by the early skirmishing involving Ewald, the too-late arrival of the companies sent to cut off the road to Morristown. The British captured cannons and supplies, looted Bound Brook, but returned to New Brunswick that morning; the Continental Army response was immediate. The British had left by the time they arrived; this detachment caught up with the British near Raritan Landing, where they killed 8 and captured 16. General Howe reported that about 30 Americans were killed and 80 to 90 were captured, while General Lincoln reported that 60 of his men were killed or wounded. Howe claimed no seven wounded among the British and Hessians. Washington reported that "he
The Conway Cabal was a group of senior Continental Army officers in late 1777 and early 1778 who aimed to have George Washington replaced as commander-in-chief of the Army during the American Revolutionary War. It was named after Brigadier General Thomas Conway, whose letters criticizing Washington were forwarded to the Second Continental Congress; when these suggestions were made public, supporters of Washington mobilized to assist him politically. Conway ended up resigning from the army, General Horatio Gates, a leading candidate to replace Washington, issued an apology for his role in events. No formal requests were made asking for Washington's removal as commander in chief. There was no sign of any formal conspiracy amongst the various malcontents, although Washington was concerned that there might be one, it was the only major political threat to Washington's command during the war. In the fall of 1777 forces of the British Army captured Philadelphia, the seat of the Second Continental Congress, forced to relocate to York, Pennsylvania.
The series of military setbacks caused many in the Continental Army and Congress to question George Washington's leadership of the war effort. In contrast, the northern army of General Horatio Gates had won a signal victory over John Burgoyne's forces, compelling Burgoyne to surrender his entire army after the Battles of Saratoga. Gates controversially claimed credit for the victory; some historians feel that this was more due to the actions of Benedict Arnold, who, in the first battle on September 19 and independently defended his forces against British assaults. It was alleged that Gates had failed to provide Arnold with adequate reinforcements which would have turned the battle into an outright American victory, although there is not universal agreement on this matter. Gates was politically well connected to Congress; some congressmen such as Richard Henry Lee, John Adams, Samuel Adams wanted tighter Congressional control of the war effort and supported Gates. Although John Adams did not call for Washington to be replaced, he worried that Washington was being made into a military idol, was fearful of the effects of this upon republicanism.
Military custom dictated that, after Saratoga, Gates would have sent his official report to Washington, his immediate superior. However, Gates sent his report directly to Congress. Washington sent his staff officer, Colonel Alexander Hamilton, to meet Gates and tell him on Washington's behalf to send three of his brigades to Washington's troops outside Philadelphia; the logic was that Washington required more troops to fight General William Howe's British Army, which had just taken the capital, whereas Gates had no major British force to contend with. Gates suggested that another British detachment might invade, he agreed to send only one 600-man brigade, which Hamilton discovered was the weakest of the three requested. Hamilton exacted a promise from Gates to send two brigades. At the same time, Gates wrote to Washington. "Conspiracy" is too strong a term to use in describing varied actions taken by disaffected officers and Congressional delegates unhappy with the course of the war. Most of those involved shared the view only that Washington was a less-than-perfect commander in chief, few of their activities were coordinated.
General Gates was used as a stalking horse to replace Washington, had himself engaged in some lobbying for the command, but he was not responsible for the strong response within the Congress. Opposition to Washington's command in Pennsylvania was anchored by Thomas Mifflin, a former Congressional delegate and a former quartermaster of the Continental Army who had worked with Washington, his view of Washington as a rank amateur was supported by Lee, Benjamin Rush, others. A number of French officers, commissioned into the Continental Army were critical of Washington; these notably included Johann de Kalb, Louis Lebègue Duportail, Thomas Conway. Thomas Conway was an Irishman, educated in France and had served in its military. Recruited by American diplomat Silas Deane, he arrived at Washington's headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey in the spring of 1777. With Washington's support, Congress made him a brigadier general in the Continental Army, he served with some distinction under Washington during the Philadelphia campaign.
His time in combat included distinguished service at Germantown. In October 1777, Conway began lobbying Congress for a promotion to major general, including in his writings criticisms of Washington. Washington in turn had grown to distrust Conway, finding his personal conduct arrogant and unbearable. Conway had publicly admitted that his desire for promotion was rooted in the fact that if he became a major general in the Continental Army, he could become a brigadier general once he returned to the French service. Washington opposed Conway's promotion, as he felt there were many American-born officers senior in rank to Conway and more deserving of promotion who would be upset by such a move, he identified Conway as someone "without conspicuous merit" and that his promotion would "give a fatal blow to the existence of the army." He continued adding, "It will be impossible for me to be of any further service if such insuperable difficulties are thrown in my way." This was seen as an implicit threat to resign.
As part of Conway's efforts at self-prom
Battle of Brandywine
The Battle of Brandywine known as the Battle of Brandywine Creek, was fought between the American Continental Army of General George Washington and the British Army of General Sir William Howe on September 11, 1777. The "Redcoats" of the British Army defeated the American rebels in the Patriots' forces and forced them to withdraw northeast toward the American capital and largest city of Philadelphia where the Second Continental Congress had been meeting since 1775; the engagement occurred near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania during Howe's campaign to take Philadelphia, part of the American Revolutionary War. More troops fought at Brandywine than any other battle of the American Revolution, it was the longest single-day battle of the war, with continuous fighting for 11 hours. Howe's army departed from Sandy Hook, New Jersey across New York Bay from the occupied town of New York City on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, on July 23, 1777, landed near present-day Elkton, Maryland, at the point of the "Head of Elk" by the Elk River at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay, at the southern mouth of the Susquehanna River.
Marching north, the British Army brushed aside American light forces in a few skirmishes. General Washington offered battle with his army posted behind Brandywine Creek - off the Christina River. While part of his army demonstrated in front of Chadds Ford, Howe took the bulk of his troops on a long march that crossed the Brandywine far beyond Washington's right flank. Due to poor scouting, the Americans did not detect Howe's column until it reached a position in rear of their right flank. Belatedly, three divisions were shifted to block the British flanking force at Birmingham Friends Meetinghouse and School, a Quaker meeting house. After a stiff fight, Howe's wing broke through the newly formed American right wing, deployed on several hills. At this point Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen attacked Chadds Ford and crumpled the American left wing; as Washington's army streamed away in retreat, he brought up elements of General Nathanael Greene's division which held off Howe's column long enough for his army to escape to the northeast.
Polish General Casimir Pulaski defended Washington's rear assisting in his escape. The defeat and subsequent maneuvers left Philadelphia vulnerable; the British captured the city two weeks on September 26, beginning an occupation that would last nine months until June 1778. In late August 1777, after a distressing 34-day journey from Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey, a Royal Navy fleet of more than 260 ships carrying some 17,000 British troops under the command of British General Sir William Howe landed at the head of the Elk River, on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay near present-day Elkton, Maryland 40–50 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Unloading the ships proved to be a logistical problem because the narrow river neck was shallow and muddy. General George Washington had situated the American forces, about 20,300-strong, between Head of Elk and Philadelphia, his forces were able to reconnoiter the British landing from Iron Hill near Newark, about 9 miles to the northeast. Because of the delay disembarking from the ships, Howe did not set up a typical camp but moved forward with the troops.
As a result, Washington was not able to gauge the strength of the opposing forces. After a skirmish at Cooch's Bridge south of Newark, the British troops moved north and Washington abandoned a defensive encampment along the Red Clay Creek near Newport, Delaware to deploy against the British at Chadds Ford; this site was important as it was the most direct passage across the Brandywine River on the road from Baltimore to Philadelphia. On September 9, Washington positioned detachments to guard other fords above and below Chadds Ford, hoping to force the battle there. Washington employed General John Armstrong, commanding about 1,000 Pennsylvania militia, to cover Pyle's Ford, 5.8 miles south of Chadds Ford, covered by Major Generals Anthony Wayne's and Nathanael Greene's divisions. Major General John Sullivan's division extended northward along the Brandywine's east banks, covering the high ground north of Chadds Ford along with Major General Adam Stephen's division and Major General Lord Stirling's divisions.
Further upstream was a brigade under Colonel Moses Hazen covering Buffington's Ford and Wistar's Ford. Washington was confident; the British grouped forces at nearby Kennett Square. Howe, who had better information about the area than Washington, had no intention of mounting a full-scale frontal attack against the prepared American defenses, he instead employed a flanking maneuver. About 6,800 men under the command of Wilhelm von Knyphausen advanced to meet Washington's troops at Chadds Ford; the remainder of Howe's troops, about 9,000 men, under the command of Charles, Lord Cornwallis, marched north to Trimble's Ford across the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek east to Jefferies Ford across the East Branch, south to flank the American forces. September 11 began with a heavy fog. Washington received contradictory reports about the British troop movements and continued to believe that the main force was moving to attack at Chadds Ford. Knyphausen's Column At 5:30 a.m. the British and Hessian troops began marching east along the "Great Road" from Kennett Square, advancing on the American troops positioned where the road crossed Brandywine Creek.
The first shots of the battle took place about 4 miles west of Chadds Ford, at Welch's Tavern. Elements of Maxwell's continental light infantry skirmished with
Battle of Germantown
The Battle of Germantown was a major engagement in the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolutionary War. It was fought on October 4, 1777, at Germantown, between the British Army led by Sir William Howe, the American Continental Army, with the 2nd Canadian Regiment, under George Washington. After defeating the Continental Army at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, the Battle of Paoli on September 20, Howe outmaneuvered Washington, seizing Philadelphia, the capital of the United States, on September 26. Howe left a garrison of some 3,000 troops in Philadelphia, while moving the bulk of his force to Germantown an outlying community to the city. Learning of the division, Washington determined to engage the British, his plan called for four separate columns to converge on the British position at Germantown. The two flanking columns were composed of 3,000 militia, while the centre-left, under Nathanael Greene, the centre-right under John Sullivan, the reserve under Lord Stirling were made up of regular troops.
The ambition behind the plan was to surprise and destroy the British force, much in the same way as Washington had surprised and decisively defeated the Hessians at Trenton. In Germantown, Howe had the 40th Foot spread across his front as pickets. In the main camp, Wilhelm von Knyphausen commanded the British left, while Howe himself led the British right. A heavy fog caused a great deal of confusion among the approaching Americans. After a sharp contest, Sullivan's column routed the British pickets. Unseen in the fog, around 120 men of the British 40th Foot barricaded the Chew Mansion; when the American reserve moved forward, Washington made the erroneous decision to launch repeated assaults on the position, all of which failed with heavy casualties. Penetrating several hundred yards beyond the mansion, Sullivan's wing became dispirited, running low on ammunition and hearing cannon fire behind them; as they withdrew, Anthony Wayne's division collided with part of Greene's late-arriving wing in the fog.
Mistaking each other for the enemy, they opened fire, both units retreated. Meanwhile, Greene's left-centre column threw back the British right. With Sullivan's column repulsed, the British left outflanked Greene's column; the two militia columns had only succeeded in diverting the attention of the British, had made no progress before they withdrew. Despite the defeat, France impressed by the American success at Saratoga, decided to lend greater aid to the Americans. Howe did not vigorously pursue the defeated Americans, instead turning his attention to clearing the Delaware River of obstacles at Red Bank and Fort Mifflin. After unsuccessfully attempting to draw Washington into combat at White Marsh, Howe withdrew to Philadelphia. Washington, his army intact, withdrew to Valley Forge, where he re-trained his forces; the Philadelphia campaign had begun badly for the Americans. Washington's Continental Army suffered a string of defeats at Cooch's Bridge and Paoli. After inflicting a stinging defeat on Anthony Wayne's division at Paoli on September 20, the British army marched north to Valley Forge west to the French Creek bridge.
At this point, Howe's right wing faced Fatland Ford on the Schuylkill River near Valley Forge while the left wing was opposite Gordon's Ford at French Creek and the left center faced Richardson's Ford. The American army defended all these Schuylkill crossings, plus one farther downstream at Swede's Ford near Norristown. On September 22, a small British force under Sir William Erskine feinted north and another force mounted a demonstration at Gordon's Ford. Howe's moves convinced Washington that the Britisher was trying to seize his supply base at Reading and turn his right flank. Washington moved north, they crossed the Schuylkill at Fatland and Richardson's Fords without opposition, after a brief rest, headed downstream toward Swede's Ford where the American militia abandoned three cannons. Charles Cornwallis subsequently seized Philadelphia for the British on September 26, dealing a blow to the revolutionary cause. Howe left a garrison of 3,462 men to defend the city, moving the bulk of his force north, some 9,728 men, to the outlying community of Germantown.
With the campaigning season drawing to a close, Howe determined to locate and destroy the main American army. Howe established his headquarters at the former country home of James Logan. Despite having suffered successive defeats, Washington saw an opportunity to entrap and decisively defeat the divided British army, he resolved to attack the Germantown garrison, as the last effort of the year before entering winter quarters. His plan called for a ambitious assault. Washington's hope was that the British would be surprised and overwhelmed much how the Hessians were at Trenton. Germantown was a hamlet of stone houses, spreading from what is now known as Mount Airy on the north, to what is now Market Square in the south. Extending southwest from Market Square was Schoolhouse Lane, running 1.5 miles to the point where Wissahickon Creek emptied from a steep gorge, into the Schuylkill River. Howe had established his main camp along the high ground of Church lanes; the western wing of the camp, under the command of Hessian general Wilhelm von Knyphausen, had a picket of two Jäger battalions, positioned on the high ground above the mouth of the Wissahickon to the far left.
A brigade of Hessians, two brigades of British regulars camped along Market Square. East of the Square, two British brigades under the command