George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine
The Battle of Brandywine was fought on September 11, 1777 in the area surrounding Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania and the Brandywine River. The above picture is a painting of the battle by Howard Pyle. The events leading up to the battle included the British under British General Sir William Howe putting together an armada of 260 ships to carry some 17,000 British soldiers from Sandy Hook, New York to Maryland’s Elk River some 60 miles south of Philadelphia. From there, the British marched on the 20,600 strong army under George Washington which was positioned between the British and Philadelphia. Washington had chosen a strong position on high ground at Chadd’s Ford. Because of heavy fog and the inexperience of the American forces, however, the Americans did not detect until it was too late a flanking movement of British troops led by British General Lord Cornwallis. As a result of the American loss, the Continental Congress had to abandon Philadelphia and move first to Lancaster, PA. for one day and then on to York, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, the British were able to occupy Philadelphia, which they did until June 1778.