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Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

VALLEY FORGE, PENNSYLVANIA. 18 September 1777. In 1777 the Continental Army maintained a small depot at Valley Forge, using it to store bread, flour, and grain and iron tools and equipment, mostly products of Colonel William Dewees's iron forge. The British advance toward Philadelphia threatened the depot. In the afternoon of 18 September Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton, Captain Henry Lee, and eight dragoons arrived to assist Dewees in removing the materiel. At this point General William Howe arrived at Tredyffrin, four miles away. Informed of the depot by a local Loyalist sympathizer, he detached Lieutenant Colonel William Harcourt with part of the Sixteenth Light Dragoons and three companies of light infantry to capture it. A small skirmish took place as Lee retreated west and Hamilton crossed the Schuylkill in a scow. One American was killed and another man wounded; Hamilton's and British major Peter Craig's horses were also shot. Most of the supplies fell into Howe's hands, but the incident is significant primarily because it was the largest military engagement to take place at the famous site.

SEE ALSO Philadelphia Campaign.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

McGuire, Thomas J. The Battle of Paoli. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2000.

                              revised by Robert K. Wright Jr.

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