In September of 1777 southeastern Pennsylvania became the main theatre of the of the Revolutionary War when a British army of 18,000 men commanded by General William Howe landed in the upper Chesapeake Bay and marched east to capture Philadelphia, the American capital. General George Washington with his Continental Army attempt to block the British along the east bank of the Brandywine Creek in Chester County, resulted in the Battle of Brandywine, September 11. Although the British won, Washington, through much marching and maneuvering, was, for about two weeks, able to stop Howe from achieving his objective.
During that time both armies marched back and forth through what are now Delaware, Montgomery, and Chester Counties over many of the same roads that we travel on 245 years later, such as Ridge Pike, Germantown Pike, and Swamp Pike. During that short period the armies clashed at the Battle of Germantown and Paoli, Washington marched most of his army into camp along Swamp Pike in Limerick and New Hanover Townships and then into camp in the area around Pennypacker Mills. The presence of thousands of soldiers also put terrible pressure on the families of this area as the local farmers lost much of their crops and livestock and citizens’ homes were looted.
On September 26 Howe achieved his goal when part of the British Army occupied Philadelphia, while the Continental Congress fled the city. On December 19, Washington led his army into its third winter encampment of the war, at Valley Forge where it remained until June 1778 when it left camp and Pennsylvania in pursuit of the British army that, after all the hard work, evacuated Philadelphia on June 18.
This course, using lecture, maps and power point, will cover this period discussing the battles, the armies’ movements and the toll they took on the civilian population.
Classes will be from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Historical Sociey of Montgomery County, 1654 DeKalb Street, Norristown on the following Wednesdays: Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2 and 9.
Cost is $60 for non-members, $50 for members. Please call 610-272-0297 to reserve your spot!