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Brandywine

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

September 11. –We have had a severe time of it to-day. Early in the morning the commander-in-chief receiving intelligence that the British were advancing in two columns from their camp at Kennet Square, made a proper disposition to receive them. The first attack was made by Knyphausen, on a party of Americans under General Maxwell, who had crossed the Brandy wine, and posted himself in an elevated position on both sides of the main road. In this affair the Americans twice repulsed the British, but the latter receiving a strong reinforcement, General Maxwell was. obliged to give way and retreat across the river.

About four o’clock in the afternoon the action became general, and continued very severe until dark, when the British stopped the pursuit, and the Americans retired to Chester, where they are now encamped.1

 

1 Clift’s Diary. The following account is given in the journal of a British officer: –“At four o’clock in the morning the army moved in two columns; that under General Howe and Lord Cornwallis to the left, and crossing the river Brandywine. Some miles above the direct road and Shad’s Ford, came on the right flank and rear of the enemy, who were posted there in great strength, having several batteries and many cannon on exceeding strong ground. Whilst this manoeuvre was performing, the column under the commands of Generals Knyphausen and Grant, marched by the usual road to Shad’s Ford, and attacked several posts the enemy had on the south side of the Brandywine; these being driven across the river, the cannon were drawn up to the most advantageous situations, and a heavy cannonade kept up. As soon as it was perceived that General Howe had attacked the rebels, the troops passed the river, stormed the batteries, and took their cannon. The rout of the enemy then became general. They were pursued as long as daylight and the fatigued condition of the troops would permit, General Howe’s column having marched seventeen miles, the day before the engagement. We took ten pieces of cannon, a royal howitzer, several ammunition wagons, &c. It was difficult to ascertain the number of the enemy killed, as they were scattered over a great extent of ground, “–Pennsylvania Ledger, December 6.

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