“Soldiers and Countrymen…”

Before the horrific terrorist attacks that struck the United States on September 11, 2001, this date in American history saw the longest single day engagement with the highest number of combatants during the entire American Revolution fought in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Known to history as the Battle of Brandywine, approximately 30,000 soldiers were involved and 1,887 became casualties, the majority, 1,300 being Americans. One of those 1,300 individuals was Reverend or Chaplain Joab Trout, from New Hampshire.

Battle of Brandywine
(courtesy of NYPL)

The night before the engagement, he gave the following sermon beat the evening call on the eve of battle. And 242 years later the words still echo with a sense of patriotism and stoicism for a cause that was worth fighting and dying for. Below is the full sermon:

Fight for Osborne Hill

From a Pennsylvania State Historical Commission marker, one quickly can find out the importance of Osborne Hill to the Battle of Brandywine, fought on September 11, 1777.

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Osborne Hill Marker (courtesy of Keith Smith, hmdb.org)

The hillside was the site of British General William Howe’s post in which he coordinated and commanded the different components of the British and Hessian forces that day. The battle opened the way for the British conquest of Philadelphia and was the largest, in terms of manpower fighting, of any American Revolutionary War battle.

Now, this important tract of land needs a few more people to fight for its control and preservation. Continue reading “Fight for Osborne Hill”

ERW Weekender: The Brandywine Battlefield: A History & Visiting the Field

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Emerging Revolutionary War and Revolutionary War Wednesday is pleased to welcome guest historian and author Michael C. Harris this week. 

The Battle of Brandywine was fought on September 11, 1777.  Visiting the battlefield to commemorate what took place there began just three years later.  On his way to Virginia in 1780, the Marquis de Lafayette made a point of stopping for day at the battlefield where he was wounded and giving a tour to the officers that were travelling with him.  An older Lafayette returned in 1825 during his celebrated 15-month tour of America.

However, it would not be until after the American Civil War during the golden age of preservation that any kind of markers or monuments began to appear around the ten-square-mile landscape.  During the 1877 centennial, artillery pieces were placed to mark the fighting near Sandy Hollow.  Eighteen years later, a monument was dedicated along Birmingham Road supposedly marking the spot where Lafayette was wounded.  Had Lafayette been alive, he would have been able to put out the error in location.

Continue reading “ERW Weekender: The Brandywine Battlefield: A History & Visiting the Field”