On our last day we went to Brandywine Battlefield in Chadd's Ford. It was here in the first battle of the Revolutionary War that the British deceived Washington which resulted in the loss of Philadelphia.
The Rest of the Story
Washington picked the high ground at Chadd's Ford as a good place to defend Philadelphia because he expected that the British (who had unloaded their soldiers and armament at the head of the Elk River - the present day site of Elkton) would have to cross (ford) the river here. On September 9th, 1777, he posted forces at all the fords he knew along the Brandywine to prevent the British from crossing. General Howe, put some troops opposite Kennett Square to act as a distractor, but actually on September 11th, the main body of the troups crossed several miles north of Wistar's Ford at a ford unknown to Washington
Although the Continental Army fought bravely, Howe's manuever resulted in the eventual fall of Philadelphia. Congress abandoned Philadelphia and moved first to Lancaster and then to York to escape before the British takeover. Important military supplies were moved out of the Philadelphia area to Reading, Pennsylvania, where they could be defended.
The actual park (which is closed on Monday) has a museum which has a permanent interpretive exhibit and an audio-visual presentation graphically tell the story of the battle and its relation to the Philadelphia Campaign of 1777, and tours of Washington's headquarters and Lafayettes' headquarters.
But that's not all. There are three driving tours that can be taken to battle sites. They are the
Straight Ahead Tour across today's Route 1 where the British made lots of noise and created lots of smoke -- all to deceive Washington (2 hours)
The Cornwallis Tour which traces the route that the British Army took (2 hours) and
The Battle Driving Tour which leads you through the actual battle sequence (1 hour)
Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m.
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