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Battle of Brandywine
Part of the American Revolutionary War
PhiladelCampaignHessianMap.jpg
Hessian map of the Philadelphia campaign
Date September 11, 1777
Location 39°52′19″N 75°35′24″W / 39.872°N 75.590°W / 39.872; -75.590 (Battlefield Park)Coordinates: 39°52′19″N 75°35′24″W / 39.872°N 75.590°W / 39.872; -75.590 (Battlefield Park)
Result British victory
Belligerents
 Great Britain
Hesse-Kassel
 United States
Commanders and leaders
William Howe
Charles Cornwallis
Wilhelm Knyphausen
George Washington
Marquis de Lafayette
Nathanael Greene
John Sullivan
William Alexander
Adam Stephen
Anthony Wayne
Casimir Pulaski
Strength
15,500 14,600
Casualties and losses
93 killed
488 wounded
6 missing
250 killed
600 wounded
400 captured
Pennsylvania Historical Marker
Designated: March 18, 1952

The Battle of Brandywine, also 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, as part of the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). The forces met near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, as Howe moved to take Philadelphia, then the American capital. The British forces routed the Continental Army and forced them to withdraw, first, to the City of Chester, Pennsylvania, and then northeast toward Philadelphia. More troops fought at Brandywine than any other battle of the American Revolution. It was also 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, and 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 which was 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 it two weeks later on September 26, resulting the city falling under British control for nine months, until June of 1778.

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