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Encyclopedia > Battle of Brandywine
Battle of Brandywine
Part of the American Revolutionary War

Hessian map of the Philadelphia campaign,
Date September 11, 1777
Location Near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
Result Decisive British victory
Belligerents
United States Great Britain
Commanders
George Washington William Howe
Strength
8,000 6,000
Casualties and losses
300 killed
600 wounded
400 captured
11 guns lost
93 Killed
488 wounded
11 missing

The Battle of Brandywine was a battle of the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolutionary War fought on September 11, 1777, in the area surrounding Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The battle, which was a decisive victory for the British, left Philadelphia, the revolutionary capital, undefended. The British captured the city on September 26, beginning an occupation that would last until June, 1778. Combatants United States Great Britain Commanders Anthony Wayne Charles Grey Strength 3,850 troops 1,300 troops Casualties 53 killed, 113 wounded, 17 captured 4 killed, 5 wounded The Battle of Paoli (also known as the Battle of Paoli Tavern or the Paoli Massacre) was a battle in the Philadelphia... Combatants United States Kingdom of Great Britain Commanders George Washington William Howe Strength 11,700 8,000 Casualties 152 killed, 521 wounded, 400 captured 71 killed, 450 wounded, 14 missing The Battle of Germantown was a battle in the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolutionary War fought on October 4... Combatants Continental Army Colonial militia Great Britain German mercenaries Commanders George Washington William Howe Charles Cornwallis W. von Knyphausen Strength 11,000 14,000 Casualties 90 killed or wounded 32 captured 60 killed or wounded Map of the Battle of White Marsh The Battle of White Marsh was a battle... Combatants Pennsylvania militia Great Britain Commanders John Lacey Charles Cornwallis Strength Unknown Unknown Casualties Unknown Unknown The Battle of Matsons Ford was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought December 11, 1777 in the area surrounding Matsons Ford (present-day Conshohocken and West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania). ... This article is about the American Revolutionary War winter encampment. ... Combatants Pennsylvania militia Great Britain, Commanders John Lacey Lt. ... This article should belong in one or more categories. ... Combatants United States of America Great Britain Commanders George Washington Sir Henry Clinton Strength 11,000 10,000 Casualties 69 killed, 37 died of heat-stroke 160 wounded 95 missing Total: 361 65 killed 59 died of heat-stroke 170 wounded 50 captured 14 missing Total: 358 The Battle of... Combatants United States Great Britain Commanders George Washington William Howe Henry Clinton The Philadelphia campaign (1777–1778) was a British initiative in the American Revolutionary War. ... This article is about military actions only. ... is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1777 (MDCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania is a small township 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in Delaware County. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Quaker City Motto: Philadelphia maneto (Let brotherly love continue) Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Mayor John F. Street (D) Area    - City 369. ... is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Background

In late July 1777, after a distressing 34-day journey from Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey, an armada of more than 260 ships carrying some 17,000 British troops under the command of the British General Howe landed at the head of Maryland's Elk River, on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay near present-day Elkton, approximately 40–50 miles (60-80 km) southwest of Philadelphia. Unloading the ships proved to be a logistical problem because the narrow river neck was shallow and muddy. Sandy Hook from the top of Twin Lights Lighthouse, Highlands, NJ. Sandy Hook is a narrow coastal spit of land, approximately 6 miles in length and 0. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Armada may refer to: Armada Española, the Spanish Navy. ... William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, KB, PC (10 August 1729 – 12 July 1814) was a British General who was Commander-in-Chief of British forces during the American Revolutionary War, one of the three Howe brothers. ... Official language(s) None (English, de facto) Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Largest metro area Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area Area  Ranked 42nd  - Total 12,407 sq mi (32,133 km²)  - Width 101 miles (145 km)  - Length 249 miles (400 km)  - % water 21  - Latitude 37° 53′ N to 39° 43′ N... Map of the rivers of the Eastern Shore of Maryland with the Elk and its watershed highlighted. ... The Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. ... Elkton is a town in Cecil County, Maryland, United States. ...


General George Washington had situated the American forces, about 10,600 strong, between Head of Elk and Philadelphia. His forces were able to reconnoiter the British landing from Iron Hill, about nine miles (14 km) to the northeast. Because of the delay debarking from the ships, Howe did not set up a typical camp but quickly moved forward with the troops. As a result, Washington was not able to accurately gauge the strength of the opposing forces. George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... Elkton is a town in Cecil County, Maryland, United States. ... For other uses, see Philadelphia (disambiguation) and Philly. ...


Washington chose the high ground near Chadds Ford to defend against the British, since Chadds Ford allowed a safe passage across the Brandywine River on the road from Baltimore to Philadelphia. Accordingly, 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, a few hundred yards south of Chadds Ford, which was covered by Generals Anthony Wayne's and Nathanael Greene's divisions. General John Sullivan's division extended northward along the Brandywine's east banks, covering the high ground north of Chadds Ford along with General Adam Stephen's division and 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 that the area was secure. Flag Seal Nickname: Monument City, Charm City, Mob Town, B-more Motto: Get In On It (formerly The City That Reads and The Greatest City in America; BELIEVE is not the official motto but rather a specific campaign) Location Location of Baltimore in Maryland Coordinates , Government Country State County United... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... John Armstrong (1717-1795) was an American civil engineer and soldier who served as a major general in the Revolutionary War. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Lebanese Kataeb militia The term Militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary [1] citizens to provide defense, emergency, law enforcement, or paramilitary service, and those engaged in such activity, without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. ... Anthony Wayne (January 1, 1745 - December 15, 1796), was a United States Army general and statesman. ... This article is about the American Revolutionary War hero. ... John Sullivan (b. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... For other persons named William Alexander, see William Alexander (disambiguation). ... Moses Hazen (1733-1802) was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. ...


The British grouped forces at nearby Kennett Square. Howe had no intention of mounting a full scale attack against the prepared American defenses. He instead employed a flanking maneuver similar to those used in the Battle of Long Island. A portion of the army, about 5,000 men under the command of Wilhelm von Knyphausen, were to advance to meet Washington's troops at Chadds Ford, while the remainder, under the command of Lord Charles Cornwallis, were to march north to Jefferis' Ford, several miles to the north, which Washington had overlooked, and then march south to flank the American forces. Kennett Square is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. ... This article is about the military tactic. ... Combatants United States Kingdom of Great Britain Commanders George Washington, Israel Putnam William Howe, Charles Cornwallis, Henry Clinton Strength 11,000-13,000 unknown, nearly 20,000 (about 10,000 of which were militia ) 22,000 (including 9,000 Hessians) Casualties 1,719 total (312 dead, 1,407 wounded, captured... General Wilhelm von Knyphausen (1716 – 1800), Hessian mercenary officer during the American Revolutionary War. ... Cornwallis redirects here. ...


Battle

A map of Brandywine Creek showing the location of the Brandywine Battlefield
A map of Brandywine Creek showing the location of the Brandywine Battlefield

September 11 began with a heavy fog, which provided cover for the British troops. Washington received contradictory reports about the British troop movements and continued to believe that the main force was moving to attack at Chadds Ford. The British appeared on the Americans' right flank at around 2 p.m. With Hazen's brigades outflanked, Sullivan, Stephen, and Stirling tried to reposition their troops to meet the unexpected British threat to their right flank. But Howe was slow to attack the American troops, which bought time for the Americans to position some of their men on high ground at Birmingham Meeting House, about a mile (2 km) north of Chadds Ford. By 4 p.m., the British attacked with Stephen's and Stirling's divisions bearing the brunt of the attack, and both lost ground fast. Sullivan attacked a group of Hessian troops trying to outflank Stirling's men near Meeting House Hill and bought some time for most of Stirling's men to withdraw. But Sullivan's men were cut down by return British fire, forcing them to retreat. Image File history File links Christina_brandywine. ... Image File history File links Christina_brandywine. ... is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The term Hessian refers to the inhabitants of the German state of Hesse. ...


At this point, Washington and Greene arrived with reinforcements to try to hold off the British, who now occupied Meeting House Hill. The remains of Sullivan's, Stephen's, and Stirling's divisions held off the pursuing British for nearly an hour but were eventually forced to retreat. The Americans were also forced to leave behind most of their cannons on Meeting House Hill because most of the artillery horses were killed.

The battlefield today

Knyphausen, on the east bank of the Brandywine, launched an attack against the weakened American center across Chadds Ford, breaking through Maxwell's and Wayne's divisions and forcing them to retreat and leave behind most of their cannons. Armstrong's militia, never engaged in the combat, also decided to retreat from their positions. Further north, Greene sent Colonel Weedon's troops to cover the road just outside the town of Dilworth to hold off the British long enough for the rest of the Continental Army to retreat. Darkness brought the British pursuit to a standstill, which then left Weedon's force to retreat. The defeated Americans were forced to retreat to Chester where most of them arrived at midnight, with some stragglers arriving until morning. The Continental Army was an army formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. ... Chester is a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, population 36,854 at the 2000 census. ...


Losses

The official British casualty list detailed 587 casualties: 93 killed (8 officers, 7 sergeants and 78 rank and file); 488 wounded (49 officers, 40 sergeants, 4 drummers and 395 rank and file); and 6 rank and file missing unaccounted for [1]. Only 40 of the British Army’s casualties were Hessians[2]. Historian Thomas J. McGuire writes that, “American estimates of British losses run as high as 2,000, based on distant observation and sketchy, unreliable reports”[3].


No casualty return for the American army at Brandywine survives and no figures, official or otherwise, were ever released. Most accounts of the Patriot loss were from the British side. One initial report by a British officer recorded American casualties at over 200 killed, around 750 wounded, and 400 unwounded prisoners taken. A member of General Howe’s staff claimed that 400 Rebels were buried on the field by the victors[4]. Another British officer wrote that, “The Enemy had 502 dead in the field” ”[5]. General Howe’s report to the British Secretary of War, Lord Germain, said that the Americans, “had about 300 men killed, 600 wounded, and near 400 made prisoners”[6]


The nearest thing to a hard figure from the Patriot side was by Major-General Nathanael Greene, who estimated that Washington’s army had lost between 1,200 and 1,300 men[7].


350 wounded Americans were taken on September 14 from the British camp at Dilworth to a newly-established hospital at Wilmington [8]. This would suggest that of the “near 400” prisoners reported by Howe, only about 40 had surrendered unwounded.


If General Greene’s estimate of the total American loss was accurate, then between 1,160 and 1,260 Americans were killed or wounded in the battle of September 11, 1777. The British also captured 11 out of 14 of the American artillery guns.


Result

The 7th Pennsylvania Regiment flag has come to be known as the Brandywine Flag

Although Howe had defeated the American army, the unexpected resistance he had met prevented him from destroying it completely. The American morale had not been destroyed; despite losing the battle, the Americans had good spirits hoping to fight the British again another day. But neither commander in the battle had proven themselves. Washington had committed a serious error in leaving his right flank wide open and nearly brought on destruction if it had not been for Sullivan, Sterling, and Stephen's divisions that fought for time. Howe had waited too long to attack the American right flank, showing again his lack of killer instincts because he was still afraid of sustaining heavy casualties since the costly victory at the Battle of Bunker Hill two years earlier, and thus allowed most of the American army to escape. The 7th Pennsylvania Regiment was raised January 4, 1776 at Carlisle, Pennsylvania for service with the Continental Army. ... Brandywine Flag The Brandywine flag was a banner carried by Captain Robert Wilsons company of the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment. ... For a list of numerous places and things that are named after this battle, see Bunker Hill. ...


British and American forces maneuvered around each other for the next several days with only minor encounters such as the Paoli Massacre on the night of September 20-21. The Paoli Massacre is the name given to an incident during the American Revolutionary War. ... is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Continental Congress abandoned Philadelphia, first to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for one day and then to York, Pennsylvania. Military supplies were moved out of the city to Reading, Pennsylvania. On September 26, 1777, British forces marched into Philadelphia unopposed. The Continental Congress resulted from the American Revolution and was the de facto first national government of the United States. ... , Official name: City of Lancaster Nickname: The Red Rose City Country  United States State  Pennsylvania County Location Penn Square  - coordinates , Highest point  - elevation 368 ft (112 m) Area 7. ... Nickname: Coordinates: , Country United States State Pennsylvania County York Incorporated  - Borough September 24, 1787  - City January 11, 1887 Government  - Mayor John Brenner Area  - City  5. ... Berks County’s location in Pennsylvania Reading’s location in Berks County Country United States State County Berks Founded 1748 Government  - Mayor Thomas McMahon (D) Area  - City 10. ... is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1777 (MDCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ...


References

  1. ^ McGuire, Thomas J.; The Philadelphia Campaign: Volume 1: Brandywine and the Fall of Philadelphia; Stackpole Books; Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; 2006; ISBN 978-0-8117-0178-5; ISBN-10: 0-8117-0178-6, page 269
  2. ^ Martin, David G.; The Philadelphia Campaign June 1777-July 1778; Combined Books; Conshohocken, Pennsylvania; 1993; ISBN 0-938289-19-5, page 76
  3. ^ McGuire, page 269
  4. ^ Martin, page 76
  5. ^ McGuire, page 269
  6. ^ McGuire, page 269
  7. ^ Boatner, Mark Mayo, Cassell’s Biographical Dictionary of the American War of Independence 1763-1783, Cassell, London, 1966, ISBN 0 304 29296 6, page 109
  8. ^ McGuire, page 278

Further reading

  • History of the British Army by Sir John Fortescue
  • The War of the Revolution by Christopher Ward
  • September 11, 1777. Washington's Defeat at Brandywine Dooms Philadelphia by Bruce E. Mowday. ISBN 1-57249-342-9

See also

Combatants United States Great Britain Commanders George Washington William Howe Henry Clinton The Philadelphia campaign (1777–1778) was a British initiative in the American Revolutionary War. ...

External links

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Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Image File history File links WikiNews-Logo. ... Image File history File links Wikiversity-logo-Snorky. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about military actions only. ... The First Continental Congress was a body of representatives appointed by the legislatures of twelve North American colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1774. ... The Articles of Association was a petition of grievances against Great Britain by the American colonies, and a compact among them to collectively impose economic sanctions to pressure a resolution. ... Download high resolution version (2000x3008, 3986 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Independence Hall is a U.S. national landmark located inside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets. ... John Trumbulls Declaration of Independence depicts the five-man drafting committee presenting the first draft of the Declaration of Independence to the Second Continental Congress. ... The United States Declaration of Independence was an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies in North America were Free and Independent States and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to... The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 has been described as the most democratic in America and was authored primarily by Timothy Matlock, Dr. Thomas Young, George Bryan, James Cannon, and Benjamin Franklin. ... Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze, 1851, Metropolitan Museum Washingtons crossing of the Delaware, occurring on December 25, 1776 during the American Revolutionary War, was the first move in a surprise attack against the Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey in the Battle of Trenton. ... The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, commonly known as the Articles of Confederation, was the first governing document, or constitution, of the United States of America. ... Combatants United States Great Britain Commanders George Washington William Howe Henry Clinton The Philadelphia campaign (1777–1778) was a British initiative in the American Revolutionary War. ... War for Independence Battle of the Clouds September 16, 1777 The Battle of the Clouds (also known as the Battle of Warren or Whitehorse Tavern or the Battle of Goshen) occurred September 16, 1777. ... This article is about the bell in the United States. ... Combatants United States Great Britain Commanders Anthony Wayne Charles Grey Strength 3,850 troops 1,300 troops Casualties 53 killed, 113 wounded, 17 captured 4 killed, 5 wounded The Battle of Paoli (also known as the Battle of Paoli Tavern or the Paoli Massacre) was a battle in the Philadelphia... Combatants United States Kingdom of Great Britain Commanders George Washington William Howe Strength 11,700 8,000 Casualties 152 killed, 521 wounded, 400 captured 71 killed, 450 wounded, 14 missing The Battle of Germantown was a battle in the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolutionary War fought on October 4... Soldiers Barracks Artillery Shed Mifflin Hospital Originally called Fort Island Battery, and also known as Mud Island Fort, Fort Mifflin was commissioned in 1771 and sits on the Delaware River near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... Combatants Continental Army Colonial militia Great Britain German mercenaries Commanders George Washington William Howe Charles Cornwallis W. von Knyphausen Strength 11,000 14,000 Casualties 90 killed or wounded 32 captured 60 killed or wounded Map of the Battle of White Marsh The Battle of White Marsh was a battle... Combatants Pennsylvania militia Great Britain Commanders John Lacey Charles Cornwallis Strength Unknown Unknown Casualties Unknown Unknown The Battle of Matsons Ford was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought December 11, 1777 in the area surrounding Matsons Ford (present-day Conshohocken and West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania). ... This article is about the American Revolutionary War winter encampment. ... Combatants Pennsylvania militia Great Britain, Commanders John Lacey Lt. ... This article should belong in one or more categories. ... Combatants United States Great Britain Commanders George Washington William Howe Henry Clinton The Philadelphia campaign (1777–1778) was a British initiative in the American Revolutionary War. ... Combatants Britain United States Commanders Colonel John Butler Colonel Zebulon Butler Strength 900 regulars and Native American warriors 360 milita Casualties 3 killed 8 wounded 300+ killed and captured (164+6 known dead) The Wyoming Valley battle and massacre was an encounter during the American Revolutionary War between American Patriots... The Congress of the Confederation or the United States in Congress Assembled was a body of representatives appointed by the legislatures of the United States from March 1, 1781 to March 4, 1789. ...

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