Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777

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Savas Beatie, Mar 19, 2014 - History - 480 pages
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"Brandywine Creek calmly meanders through the Pennsylvania countryside today, but on September 11, 1777, it served as the scenic backdrop for the largest battle of the American Revolution, one that encompassed more troops over more land than any combat fought on American soil until the Civil War. Long overshadowed by the stunning American victory at Saratoga, the complex British campaign that defeated George WashingtonÕs colonial army and led to the capture of the capital city of Philadelphia was one of the most important military events of the war. Michael C. HarrisÕs impressive Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777, is the first full-length study of this pivotal engagement in many years. General Sir William Howe launched his campaign in late July 1777, when he loaded his army of 16,500 British and Hessian soldiers aboard a 265-ship armada in New York and set sail. Six difficult weeks later HoweÕs expedition landed near Elkton, Maryland, and moved north into Pennsylvania. WashingtonÕs rebel army harassed HoweÕs men at several locations including a minor but violent skirmish at CoochÕs Bridge in Delaware on September 3. Another week of hit-and-run tactics followed until Howe was within three miles of ChadsÕs Ford on Brandywine Creek, behind which Washington had posted his army in strategic blocking positions along a six-mile front. The young colonial capital of Philadelphia was just 25 miles farther east. Obscured by darkness and a heavy morning fog, General Howe initiated his plan of attack at 5:00 a.m. on September 11, pushing against the American center at ChadsÕs Ford with part of his army while the bulk of his command swung around WashingtonÕs exposed right flank to deliver his coup de main, destroy the colonials, and march on Philadelphia. Warned of HoweÕs flanking attack just in time, American generals turned their divisions to face the threat. The bitter fighting on Birmingham Hill drove the Americans from the field, but their heroic defensive stand saved WashingtonÕs army from destruction and proved that the nascent Continental foot soldiers could stand toe-to-toe with their foe. Although fighting would follow, Philadelphia fell to HoweÕs legions on September 26. HarrisÕs Brandywine is the first complete study to merge the strategic, political, and tactical history of this complex operation and important set-piece battle into a single compelling account. More than a decade in the making, his sweeping prose relies almost exclusively upon original archival research and his personal knowledge of the terrain. Enhanced with original maps, illustrations, and modern photos, and told largely through the words of those who fought there, Brandywine will take its place as one of the most important military studies of the American Revolution ever written."
 

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Contents

Chapter
1
Afternoon September 11 1777
10
August 25 September 2 1777
16
Preliminaries
20
Chapter 3
92
September 10 1777
156
Chapter 9
180
September 10 1777
202
Evening September 11 1777
323
September 1216 1777
370
Epilogue
392
Was the Earliest American Flag Carried into Battle
411
Where did Lafayette Sleep?
413
The Ferguson Rifles after the Battle of the Brandywine
428
A History of the Battlefield
439
The Use of Cavalry
446

Chapter 11
246

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About the author (2014)

Michael C. Harris is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington and the American Military University. He has worked for the National Park Service in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Fort Mott State Park in New Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at the Brandywine Battlefield. He has conducted tours and staff rides of many east coast battlefields, and enjoys speaking with audiences about all things military, and especially the American Revolution and Civil War. Michael is certified in secondary education and currently teaches in the Philadelphia region. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Michelle and son Nathanael, after George Washington's most dependable subordinate, General Nathanael Greene. Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777 is his first book.

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