The Patriots Daily Bites of American History Series 18 : Battle of Brandywine




The Patriots Daily Bites of American History Series # 18

by US History Teacher Gregory Dixon 1956 

 Battle of Brandywine: 
Pennsylvania taken:

At the same time the battle was raging at Bennington General Howe was marching to Pennsylvania. Washington had not enough men to meet him in an open fight but he so worried him and wasted his time that the British General finally went back, with his army, to New York in disgust! he then started by sea finding that he could not go up the Delaware River which was fortified against him. he sailed south and landed at the head of the Chesapeake Bay and marched against Philadelphia.

Washington met him at Brandywine Creek and tried to check his advance but Howe had a much stronger force and the battle (September 11,1777) delayed but did not stop the British. Two weeks later the British entered the city of Philadelphia which was then the capitol of the United States. Leaving a small portion of Germantown, now a portion of Philadelphia, General Howe led his men down to Delaware to capture the forts on the river to take possession of the river. 

While he was gone Washington attacked the British at Germantown but was driven back. He then fell back to the hills at the Schuylkill at Valley Forge about twenty miles north west of Philadelphia. Meanwhile great events had happened in the North. Burgoyne had fought two battles in the neighborhood of Saratoga (1777), had been utterly defeated and his entire army, numbering about 6,000 men, captured. If to this number we add that of the prisoners taken by the US before the surrender and the loss of the enemy at Bennington, it would give to a total of ten thousand or about one third of the entire British Force in America. 

The captured army was marched off by the American officers triumphantly bearing the Stars and Stripes which had just been adopted as our national Flag. General Gates got the credit for the victory but Benedict Arnold and Daniel Morgan with his sharp shooters were the men who really won it. It was done partly by gallant fighting and partly by cutting off all supplies from the enemy and at last literally starving them into surrender.

The Battle of Saratoga had these two immense results: 1) It completely broke up the English plans for the war. 2) It secured for US the aid of England’s old and powerful enemy, France. Sometime after the victory Lafayette received letters from Paris. When he had read them he ran to Washington and embracing him with tears of joy cried out: “THE KING HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE INDEPENDENCE OF AMERICA AND WILL SIGN A TREATY TO HELP ESTABLISH IT!” 

The next year (February 6,1778) Benjamin Franklin, our minister to Paris, obtained the treaty to which the french King pledged to send men, ships and money to complete the war. Franklin and Washington were the two great men who carried the war through to final success. Washington fought by destroying the enemy and Franklin helped by gaining friends. Washington by the sword and Franklin by the purse.
(to be continued)

From the Treaty with France to the end of the war: 1778-1783:

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