First Continental Congress
The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies who met from September 5 to October 26, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, early in the American Revolution. It was called in response to the Intolerable Acts passed by the British Parliament, which the British referred to as the Coercive Acts, with which the British intended to punish Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party; the Congress met to consider options, including an economic boycott of British trade and drawing up a list of rights and grievances. The Congress called for another Continental Congress in the event that their petition was unsuccessful in halting enforcement of the Intolerable Acts, their appeal to the Crown had no effect, so the Second Continental Congress was convened the following year to organize the defense of the colonies at the onset of the American Revolutionary War. The delegates urged each colony to set up and train its own militia; the Congress met from September 5 to October 26, 1774.
Peyton Randolph presided over the proceedings. Charles Thomson, leader of the Philadelphia Committee of Correspondence, was selected to be Secretary of the Continental Congress; the delegates who attended were not of one mind concerning. Conservatives such as Joseph Galloway, John Dickinson, John Jay, Edward Rutledge believed their task to be forging policies to pressure Parliament to rescind its unreasonable acts, their ultimate goal was to develop a reasonable solution to the difficulties and bring about reconciliation between the Colonies and Great Britain. Others such as Patrick Henry, Roger Sherman, Samuel Adams, John Adams believed their task to be developing a decisive statement of the rights and liberties of the Colonies, their ultimate goal was to end what they felt to be the abuses of parliamentary authority, to retain their rights, guaranteed under both Colonial charters and the English constitution. Roger Sherman denied the legislative authority of Parliament, Patrick Henry believed that the Congress needed to develop a new system of government, independent from Great Britain, for the existing Colonial governments were dissolved.
In contrast to these ideas, Joseph Galloway put forward a "Plan of Union" which suggested that an American legislative body be formed with some authority, whose consent would be required for imperial measures. In the end, the voices of compromise carried the day. Rather than calling for independence, the First Continental Congress passed and signed the Continental Association in its Declaration and Resolves, which called for a boycott of British goods to take effect in December 1774, it requested that local Committees of Safety enforce the boycott and regulate local prices for goods. These resolutions adopted by the Congress did not endorse any legal power of Parliament to regulate trade, but consented, nonetheless, to the operation of acts for that purpose. Furthermore, they did not repudiate control by the royal prerogative, explicitly acknowledged in the Petition to the King a few days later; the Congress had two primary accomplishments. The first was a compact among the Colonies to boycott British goods beginning on December 1, 1774.
The West Indies were threatened with a boycott unless the islands agreed to non-importation of British goods. Imports from Britain dropped by 97 percent compared with the previous year. Committees of observation and inspection were to be formed in each Colony to ensure compliance with the boycott. All of the Colonial Houses of Assembly approved the proceedings of the Congress, with the exception of New York. If the Intolerable Acts were not repealed, the Colonies would cease exports to Britain after September 10, 1775; the boycott was implemented, but its potential for altering British colonial policy was cut off by the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The second accomplishment of the Congress was to provide for a Second Continental Congress to meet on May 10, 1775. In addition to the Colonies which had sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, the Congress resolved on October 21, 1774, to send letters of invitation to Quebec, Saint John's Island, Nova Scotia, East Florida, West Florida.
However, letters appear to have been sent only to Quebec. None of these other colonies sent delegates to the opening of the Second Congress, though a delegation from Georgia arrived the following July. List of delegates to the Continental and Confederation congresses Papers of the Continental Congress Timeline of United States revolutionary history Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. Vol 4-10 online edition Burnett, Edmund C.. The Continental Congress. Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 0-8371-8386-3. Henderson, H. James. Party Politics in the Continental Congress. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8191-6525-5. Launitz-Schurer, Loyal Whigs and Revolutionaries, The making of the revolution in New York, 1765-1776, 1980, ISBN 0-8147-4994-1 Ketchum, Divided Loyalties, How the American Revolution came to New York, 2002, ISBN 0-8050-6120-7 Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution online edition Puls, Samuel Adams, father of the American Revolution, 2006, ISBN 1-4039-7582-5 Montross, Lynn.
The Reluctant Rebels. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-389-03973-X. Primary sourcesPeter Force, ed. American Archives, 9 vol 1837-1853, major compilation of documents 1774-1776
Westmoreland County, Virginia
Westmoreland County is a county located in the Northern Neck of the Commonwealth of Virginia. At the 2010 census, the population was 17,454, its county seat is Montross. As established by the Virginia colony's House of Burgesses, it was separated out of Northumberland County in 1653, the territory of Westmoreland County encompassed much of what became the various counties and cities of Northern Virginia, including the city of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Prince William County; these were part of Westmoreland until 1664. Westmoreland County was the birthplace of George Washington, the first President of the United States; the county was the place of residence for Colonel Nicholas Spencer, who patented the land at Mount Vernon in 1674 with his friend Lt. Col. John Washington, ancestor of George Washington. Spencer, who served as President of the Council and acting Governor of the Colony of Virginia, was the cousin of, agent for, the Barons Colepeper, proprietors of the Northern Neck.
Spencer lived at his plantation, which his descendants sold to Robert Carter I. Robert Carter's grandson, Robert Carter III, voluntarily freed 500 slaves from Nomini Hall beginning in 1791 and settled many on lands he gave them, his manumission is the largest known release of slaves in North America prior to the American Civil War and the largest number manumitted by an individual in the U. S. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles, of which 229 square miles is land and 24 square miles is water; the county is located on the Northern Neck and is part of the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA winemaking appellation. Charles County, Maryland - north St. Mary's County, Maryland - northeast Northumberland County, Virginia - southeast Richmond County, Virginia - south Essex County, Virginia - southwest King George County, Virginia - northwest George Washington Birthplace National Monument Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge Mothershead unit At the 2000 census, there were 16,718 people, 6,846 households and 4,689 families residing in the county.
The population density was 73/sq mi. There were 9,286 housing units at an average density of 40/sq mi; the racial makeup of the county was 65.41% White, 30.89% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.75% from other races, 1.29% from two or more races. 3.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 6,846 households of which 25.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.70% were married couples living together, 13.50% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.50% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.60% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.91. 23.00% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 23.90% from 25 to 44, 27.80% from 45 to 64, 19.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.
The median household income was $35,797 and the median family income was $41,357. Males had a median income of $31,333 and females $22,221; the per capita income was $19,473. About 11.20% of families and 14.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.10% of those under age 18 and 12.50% of those age 65 or over. The county's economy is based on agriculture. Tourism is another significant economic driver, related to historical sites such as George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Robert E. Lee's birthplace, Stratford Hall Plantation, the Westmoreland County Museum as well as gambling activities available in Colonial Beach; the county is an extended exurb of Washington, D. C.. Northern Neck Coca-Cola Bottling Inc. and the weekly Westmoreland News are located in Montross. George Washington, the first president of the United States John Washington, great-grandfather of George Washington Bushrod Washington, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and first president of the American Colonization Society, nephew of George Washington and inheritor of Mount Vernon James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States Robert E. Lee, a general best known for fighting on behalf of the Confederate Army in the American Civil War Richard Henry Lee, a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence, United States Senator, the sixth president of the United States in Congress Assembled Francis Lightfoot Lee, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence Richard "Squire" Lee Thomas Brown, the second governor of Florida Nicholas Spencer, acting governor of Virginia, co-patentee of Mount Vernon estate Thomas Lee, a leading political figure in colonial Virginia Thomas Sandford, American Revolutionary War soldier, Kentucky legislator, Member of the Eighth and Ninth U.
S. Congress. Sloan Wilson, the author of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Rob Wittman, United States Congressman Thomas Marshall Grandfather of Chief Justice John Marshall Walter Balderson, Emmy Award-winning video engineer John dos Passos, the author of the U. S. A. trilogy and other works Colonial Beach Montross Westmoreland County is a notable bellwether for U. S. Presidential politics, having voted for the winner in eve
Pohick Church is an Episcopal church in the community of Lorton in Fairfax County, United States. Called the "Mother Church of Northern Virginia," the church is notable for its association with important figures in early Virginian history such as George Washington and George Mason, both of whom served on its vestry; as Pohick Episcopal Church, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The origins of Pohick Church can be traced to a chapel of ease for Overwharton Parish, which appears to have been built around 1695 in the Woodlawn area of today's community of Mount Vernon; this church, the first in the parish and thus the first in Northern Virginia, was recorded in a 1715 land grant as being along the Potomac Path, the "county main road," which today is U. S. Route 1. In 1730 the parish relocated the church south, building a frame structure, the so-called "church above Occoquan Ferry" near what became the community of Colchester; the site of this church is today occupied by Cranford United Methodist Church.
No other trace of the original structure or its site exists. By 1730 the population of the parish had grown and it was decided by the Virginia General Assembly to create a new parish, out of Overwharton to better serve the needs of the people; the church at Occoquan became the parish church of this new parish. In 1732 another split was made, Truro Parish was formed; the first person to preach there was the Reverend Lawrence DeButts, who in 1733 was contracted to preach at various points around the parish three times a month for a year, for the sum of eight thousand pounds of tobacco. Dr. Charles Green was the first rector of Pohick Church. Green was confirmed to the post in 1736 and traveled to London for ordination, returning to take up his duties the following year. During his tenure as rector Green was involved in a major scandal when he was accused by Lawrence Washington of sexual misconduct with his wife Anne. Washington demanded Green's ouster from his post at the church; this took place in the chapel of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg beginning on November 6, 1745.
In the end, the rector remained at Pohick for the next twenty years as a respected clergyman. He was replaced as rector by Lee Massey, a former lawyer, ordained in 1766 and took up his post the following year. Massey's duties took him to other churches in the parish, as a result Pohick Church was not open for services every Sunday of the year. George Mason began his long association with the church in February 1749–50, when he was named warden to replace the deceased Jeremiah Bronaugh. Elected to the post of warden, on October 25, 1762, was George Washington. He, would go on to serve as vestryman, attending frequent meetings at the church despite its distance from his home at Mount Vernon. In October 1763 Washington and George William Fairfax were appointed churchwardens for the following year. By 1767, the Pohick vestry determined that the now-dilapidated frame structure serving the parish should be replaced. George Washington argued the need for finding a new location, believing that the new building should be more centrally located, at the intersection of the Potomac Path and the back road – today's Telegraph Road – for the convenience of members of the congregation.
George Mason, for his part, argued that the new structure should be built at the site of the old church, as the cemetery contained the graves of many family members. The final vote was seven to five in favor of moving the site of the church; the new location was settled on, a building committee was impaneled. Recalling the Biblical image of a "city upon a hill", the highest point of land in the vicinity was chosen as the site of the new church. Twenty percent of the building's cost was raised at a 1772 auction of pews in which many local landowners participated; the churchyard was laid out at a meeting of the vestry, held on the future site of the church, in 1769.
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the president to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U. S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U. S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New York; the original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington – the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army – by order from his Newburgh, New York headquarters on August 7, 1782. The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers by Gen. George Washington himself. General Washington authorized his subordinate officers to issue Badges of Merit as appropriate. From on, as its legend grew, so did its appearance. Although never abolished, the award of the badge was not proposed again until after World War I.
On October 10, 1927, Army Chief of Staff General Charles Pelot Summerall directed that a draft bill be sent to Congress "to revive the Badge of Military Merit". The bill was withdrawn and action on the case ceased January 3, 1928, but the office of the Adjutant General was instructed to file all materials collected for possible future use. A number of private interests sought to have the medal re-instituted in the Army. On January 7, 1931, Summerall's successor, General Douglas MacArthur, confidentially reopened work on a new design, involving the Washington Commission of Fine Arts. Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General, was named to redesign the newly revived medal, which became known as the Purple Heart. Using general specifications provided to her, Will created the design sketch for the present medal of the Purple Heart; the new design, which exhibits a bust and profile of George Washington, was issued on the bicentennial of Washington's birth.
Will's obituary, in the edition of February 8, 1975 of The Washington Post newspaper, reflects her many contributions to military heraldry. The Commission of Fine Arts solicited plaster models from three leading sculptors for the medal, selecting that of John R. Sinnock of the Philadelphia Mint in May 1931. By Executive Order of the President of the United States, the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington's birth, out of respect to his memory and military achievements, by War Department General Order No. 3, dated February 22, 1932. The criteria were announced in a War Department circular dated February 22, 1932, authorized award to soldiers, upon their request, awarded the Meritorious Service Citation Certificate, Army Wound Ribbon, or were authorized to wear Wound Chevrons subsequent to April 5, 1917, the day before the United States entered World War I; the first Purple Heart was awarded to MacArthur. During the early period of American involvement in World War II, the Purple Heart was awarded both for wounds received in action against the enemy and for meritorious performance of duty.
With the establishment of the Legion of Merit, by an Act of Congress, the practice of awarding the Purple Heart for meritorious service was discontinued. By Executive Order 9277, dated December 3, 1942, the decoration was applied to all services; this executive order authorized the award only for wounds received. For both military and civilian personnel during the World War II era, to meet eligibility for the Purple Heart, AR 600-45, dated September 22, 1943, May 3, 1944, required identification of circumstances. After the award was re-authorized in 1932 some U. S. Army wounded from conflicts prior to the first World War applied for, were awarded, the Purple Heart: "...veterans of the Civil War and Indian Wars, as well as the Spanish–American War, China Relief Expedition, Philippine Insurrection were awarded the Purple Heart. This is because the original regulations governing the award of the Purple Heart, published by the Army in 1932, provided that any soldier, wounded in any conflict involving U.
S. Army personnel might apply for the new medal. There were but two requirements: the applicant had to be alive at the time of application and he had to prove that he had received a wound that necessitated treatment by a medical officer."Subject to approval of the Secretary of Defense, Executive Order 10409, dated February 12, 1952, revised authorizations to include the Service Secretaries. Dated April 25, 1962, Executive Order 11016, included provisions for posthumous award of the Purple Heart. Dated February 23, 1984, Executive Order 12464, authorized award of the Purple Heart as a result of terrorist attacks, or while serving as part of a peacekeeping force, subsequent to March 28, 1973. On June 13, 1985, the Senate approved an amendment to the 1985 Defense Authorization Bill, which changed the precedence of the Purple Heart award, from above the Good Conduct Medal to above the Meritorious Service Medals. Public Law 99-145 authorized the award for wounds received as a result of friendly fire.
Public Law 104-106 expanded the eligibility date, authorizing award of the Purple Heart to a former prisoner of war, wounded after April 25, 1962. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 changed the criteria to delete authorization for award of the Purple Heart to any non-military U. S. national s
George Washington in the French and Indian War
George Washington's military experience began in the French and Indian War with a commission as a major in the militia of the British Province of Virginia. In 1753 Washington was sent as an ambassador from the British crown to the French officials and Indians as far north as present-day Erie, Pennsylvania; the following year he led another expedition to the area to assist in the construction of a fort at present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before reaching that point, he and some of his men, ambushed a French scouting party, its leader was killed. This peacetime act of aggression is seen as one of the first military steps leading to the global Seven Years' War; the French responded by attacking fortifications Washington erected following the ambush, forcing his surrender. Released on parole and his troops returned to Virginia. In 1755 he participated as a volunteer aide in the ill-fated expedition of General Edward Braddock, where he distinguished himself in the retreat following the climactic Battle of Monongahela.
He served from 1755 until 1758 as colonel and commander of the Virginia Regiment, directing the provincial defenses against French and Indian raids and building the regiment into one of the best-trained provincial militias of the time. He led the regiment as part of the 1758 expedition of General John Forbes that drove the French from Fort Duquesne, during which he and some of his companies were involved in a friendly fire incident. Unable to get a commission in the British Army, Washington resigned from the provincial militia and took up the life of a Virginia plantation owner. Washington gained valuable military skills during the war, acquiring tactical and logistical military experience, he acquired important political skills in his dealings with the British military establishment and the provincial government. His military exploits, although they included some notable failures, made his military reputation in the colonies such that he became a natural selection as the commander in chief of the Continental Army following the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.
His successes in military and political spheres during that conflict led to his election as the first President of the United States of America. Born into a well-to-do Virginia family in Bridges Creek near Fredericksburg in 1732, Washington was schooled locally until the age of 15, his father's sudden death occurred. This eliminated the possibility of schooling in England, his mother rejected attempts to place him in the Royal Navy. Thanks to the connection by marriage of his half-brother Lawrence to the wealthy Fairfax family, Washington was appointed surveyor of Culpeper County in 1749. Washington's brother had purchased an interest in the Ohio Company, a land acquisition and settlement company whose objective was the settlement of Virginia's frontier areas, including the Ohio Country, territory north and west of the Ohio River, its investors included Virginia's Royal Governor, Robert Dinwiddie, who appointed Washington a major in the provincial militia in February 1753. The Ohio Country was occupied by a variety of Indian tribes that were nominally under the suzerainty of the Iroquois Confederacy based in what is now northwestern New York.
The area was the subject of several conflicting claims by British and French colonies. The British provinces of Virginia and Pennsylvania both claimed the area, traders from Pennsylvania had been trading with the Indians at least since the early 1740s. In 1752, representatives of the Ohio Company reached an agreement with the local Indian leaders allowing the construction of a fort and a small settlement at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, for the establishment of some settlements south of the Ohio River; the French were alarmed by these developments, in 1753 began the construction of a series of fortifications in the uppermost headwaters of the Ohio River, intending to extend the line of forts downriver and deny British traders and settlers access to the territory. When news of this reached Virginia, Governor Dinwiddie sought advice from the British government in London, he received orders to send a messenger to the French, reiterating British claims and demanding that they stop construction of their forts and quit the territory.
Governor Dinwiddie chose Major Washington 21 years old, for the trek into the Ohio Country to assess the French military situation, to deliver the British demands. He was a good choice despite his youth because he was familiar with the frontier from survey work, had good health, both government and Ohio Company leaders trusted Washington. Although he had no frontier warfare experience, neither did most other Virginians. Washington departed from Williamsburg at the end of October 1753. In Fredericksburg he picked up Jacob Van Braam, a family friend who spoke French, before heading into the Virginia highlands. There he was joined by Christopher Gist, an Ohio Company agent, familiar with the territory, a few backwoodsmen to assist with expedition logistics; when the expedition arrived at the site of the proposed fort, Washington noted that the site was well chosen, having "the entire Command of the Monongahela". The expedition proceeded on to Logstown, a large Indian settlement a short way down the Ohio River.
After parleying with the Indians, the Mingo "Half King" Tanacharison and three of his men agreed to accompany the British expedition to meet with the French. Washington learned that many of the Ohio tribes were as unhappy about the British plans for settli
Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999; the city is the economic and cultural anchor of a larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area, this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England, it was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Siege of Boston.
Upon gaining U. S. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation, its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year. Boston's many firsts include the United States' first public park, first public or state school and first subway system; the Boston area's many colleges and universities make it an international center of higher education, including law, medicine and business, the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 2,000 startups. Boston's economic base includes finance and business services, information technology, government activities. Households in the city claim the highest average rate of philanthropy in the United States; the city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States as it has undergone gentrification, though it remains high on world livability rankings.
Boston's early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine but renamed it Boston after Boston, England, the origin of several prominent colonists. The renaming on September 7, 1630, was by Puritan colonists from England who had moved over from Charlestown earlier that year in quest for fresh water, their settlement was limited to the Shawmut Peninsula, at that time surrounded by the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River and connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC. In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city. Puritan ethics and their focus on education influenced its early history. Over the next 130 years, the city participated in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their Indian allies in North America. Boston was the largest town in British America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid-18th century.
Boston's oceanfront location made it a lively port, the city engaged in shipping and fishing during its colonial days. However, Boston stagnated in the decades prior to the Revolution. By the mid-18th century, New York City and Philadelphia surpassed Boston in wealth. Boston encountered financial difficulties as other cities in New England grew rapidly. Many of the crucial events of the American Revolution occurred near Boston. Boston's penchant for mob action along with the colonists' growing distrust in Britain fostered a revolutionary spirit in the city; when the British government passed the Stamp Act in 1765, a Boston mob ravaged the homes of Andrew Oliver, the official tasked with enforcing the Act, Thomas Hutchinson the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The British sent two regiments to Boston in 1768 in an attempt to quell the angry colonists; this did not sit well with the colonists. In 1770, during the Boston Massacre, the army killed several people in response to a mob in Boston.
The colonists compelled the British to withdraw their troops. The event was publicized and fueled a revolutionary movement in America. In 1773, Britain passed the Tea Act. Many of the colonists saw the act as an attempt to force them to accept the taxes established by the Townshend Acts; the act prompted the Boston Tea Party, where a group of rebels threw an entire shipment of tea sent by the British East India Company into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was a key event leading up to the revolution, as the British government responded furiously with the Intolerable Acts, demanding compensation for the lost tea from the rebels; this led to the American Revolutionary War. The war began in the area surrounding Boston with the Battles of Concord. Boston itself was besieged for a year during the Siege of Boston, which began on April 19, 1775; the New England militia impeded the movement of the British Army. William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe the commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, led the British army in the siege.
On June 17, the British captured the Charlestown peninsula in Boston, during the Battle of Bunker Hill. The British army outnumbered the militia stationed there, but it was a Py
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