battle of the Brandywine

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BRANDYWINE CREEK, BATTLE OF (11 September 1777), was fought in Chester County, Pennsylvania, ten miles northwest of Wilmington, Delaware. The British and Hessian troops commanded by the generals Sir William Howe, Lord Cornwallis, and Baron Wilhelm von Knyphausen composed a force of nineteen thousand. The American army under General George Washington numbered eleven thousand. The British crossed the east side of the creek at Jeffrie's Ford, continued southward, and suddenly attacked General John Sullivan's troops near Birmingham Meeting house. The outnumbered Americans suffered one thousand casualties and were compelled to retire. At night Washington withdrew his army toward Philadelphia.


Canby, Henry Seidel. The Brandywine. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1941.

Townsend, Joseph. The Battle of Brandywine. New York: New York Times, 1969.

Charles W.Heathcote/a. r.

See alsoGerman Mercenaries .

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Brandywine, battle of, 1777. Burgoyne set out from Canada on his march south against the American rebels in June 1777. The following month, Howe took a large force from New York by sea, landed in Maryland, and moved north. Washington moved south to protect Philadelphia and took up position on the Brandywine Creek. On 11 September Howe outflanked him, pushed him back, and went on to occupy Philadelphia, driving out the Congress. But British elation was short-lived when news came through in October that Burgoyne had surrendered at Saratoga.

J. A. Cannon

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battle of Brandywine, in the American Revolution, fought Sept. 11, 1777, along Brandywine Creek. The creek, formed by two small branches in SE Pennsylvania, flows southeast to join, near Wilmington, Del., the Christina River, which empties into the Delaware. The British under Sir William Howe were advancing on Philadelphia from Elkton, Md., and General Washington, realizing that they would cross the stream, placed most of his army at Chadds Ford. Howe sent General Wilhelm Knyphausen to feint an attack at Chadds Ford, while he himself, with General Cornwallis, struck the American right flank, where Gen. John Sullivan could not check the attack. Washington ordered a retreat to Chester, Pa. The British continued their advance and took Philadelphia (Sept. 27, 1777).

See H. S. Canby, The Brandywine (1941).