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BATTLE OF BRANDYWINE.
Washington had penetrated his design, and was already on the march with 14,000 men — of whom, however, only 8,000 were fit for service. Unwilling as he was
to hazard a gener
al engagement, he could not allow Philadelphia to fall into the hands of
PHILADELPHIA the enemy without
TAE VICINITY striking a blow in its defence. The British slowly approached, and on the 11th of September reached Chad's Ford on Brandywine Creek, where the Americans lay encamped. One division under Cornwallis took a circuitous route, crossed the creek higher up without opposition, and fell on the American right which had been sent to oppose them. In vain Sullivan, La Fayette, and Stirling, endeavored to stem the tide. La Fayette was wounded and narrowly escaped capture. The timely arrival of Greene's division (which made a memorable march of four miles in forty-two minutes) saved this part of the American army from entire destruction. Wayne, who opposed the British in front, was also driven back. The battle of Brandywine thus resulted in a total defeat of the Americans, with a loss of 300 killed, 600 wounded, and nearly 400 prisoners. The British loss was about 90 killed, and 500 wounded and missing.
Among those who did good service at Brandywine was
remain at sea ? Where did they land ? What city was threatened? What course did Washington take? When did the hostile armies meet? Where? [See Map. -Into what does Brandywine Creek empty ? Mention some other creeks that run nearly parallel to it. Between what two rivers is Philadelphia ?] Give an account of Cornwallis's attack on the American right. What was the result in 348. In the mean time, Washington was not idle. Having received a reënforcement of 2,500 men, on the 4th of October he surprised the British troops stationed at Germantown, six miles from Philadelphia [see Map, p. 249]. The Americans at front of the line? State the loss on each side. Who is mentioned as having done good service at Brandywine? What was Pulaski's previous history? How was he rewarded ? 347. Notwithstanding his defeat, on what did Washington resolve? What prevented another engagement? What obliged Washington to leave the road to Philadelphia open? What befell Wayne? When did Howe enter Philadelphia ? Where bad Congress removed? What did the British gain by taking Philadelphia ? Repeat Franklin's remark. 348. What was done by
Count Pulaski (pu-las'-ke), a Polish noble, who had tried to liberate his country from the Russian yoke. Failing in the attempt, he had sought a new field on which to battle for freedom. For his gallantry in this action Congress made him a brigadier-general.
347. His defeat at Brandywine did not prevent Washington from resolving on another battle; but a violent and protracted storm so injured his arms and ammunition that he was obliged to give up the idea and retreat. Slowly and wearily his men toiled over the miry roads, many of them having no shoes to protect their feet. A movement on the part of the British, which threatened Reading [red'-ding), where the American stores were deposited, forced Washington to take a new position and leave the road to Philadelphia open to the enemy. Gen. Wayne was stationed with 1,500 men to check their advance, but he was surprised by a midnight attack, and driven back with the loss of nearly 300 men. Philadelphia was thus left at the mercy of the British, and on the 26th they entered the city in triumph. Eight days before, Congress had adjourned to meet at Lancaster. They soon after removed to York, where they continued to hold their sessions till the recovery of Philadelphia the following year.
The British were now in pleasant quarters; but otherwise they gained little by the capture of Philadelphia. The country was still unsubdued, and, as long as Howe was stationary, was likely so to remain.
Franklin in his usual witty way remarked, that, instead of Howe's having taken Philadelphia, Philadelphia had taken Howe.
1777] HOWE OBTAINS COMMAND OF THE DELAWARE. 251 first gained important advantages, and would have achieved a victory had not some of the militia failed to perform the part assigned them. A thick fog arose; the British rallied, and finally repelled the assault. The American loss was estimated at 1,000 men, including Gen. Nash, of North Carolina; that of the British was not far from 600. Shortly after this repulse, Washington retired with his army to White Marsh, 14 miles from Philadelphia [see Map, p. 249]. The sufferings of his men increased with the coldness of the weather.
349. The navigation of the Delaware was still in the hands of the patriots. Several miles below Philadelphia, Fort Mifflin, on Mud Island (see Map), commanded the channel ; and opposite to it, on the Jersey shore, was a strong fort at Red Bank. Heavy timbers armed with iron bars pointing down the river had been sunk near Fort Mifflin, to prevent the
passage of vessels. To open communication between his army and fleet, it was necessary for Howe to destroy these defences. Batteries were erected on the Pennsylvania shore opposite Mud Island, and a party was sent down on the Jersey side to storm the works at Red Bank. They entered the fort without opposition, and supposed that it was theirs, but were soon apprised of their mistake by a well-directed fire, which mortally wounded their leader and disabled 400 of his men.
The American commandant, unable to defend the whole of the extensive works, had abandoned part of them, and with this warm reception repulsed the enemy. The attack on Fort Mifflin was at first equally unsuccessful. Two British vessels ran aground, one of which was abandoned by its crew, while the other was set on fire by the Americans. At length, however, the enemy reached such a position that both garrisons were obliged to retire and relinquish to them the command of the river.
Washington on the 4th of October ? [See Map, p. 249.-In what direction is Germantown from Philadelphia ? Near what stream is it?] Give an account of the battle of Germantowi. State the loss on each side. To what place did Washington then retire? [Near what stream is White Marsh ? What hill near it?] 349. Which party held possession of the Delaware? What works gave the Americans possession of the river? What hostile movements against these works were
350. The joyful news of Burgoyne's surrender, received about this time, served to relieve the depression occasioned by Washington's reverses. It roused Howe to additional exertion. At midnight, December 2d, 1777, he held a council of war at a house occupied by a Quaker named Darrah. Mrs. Darrah, who was a true friend of her country, suspected that something important was going on; and, silently rising after retiring to bed, she overheard an order for the British troops to start the following night for the purpose of surprising Washington at White Marsh. Returning to her room, she feigned sleep, but spent the rest of the night in meditating how she could save her countrymen. Not daring to trust any one with her secret, she obtained a permit to pass the British lines, on pretence of having to go to mill for a bag of flour. The ground was covered with snow, but she heeded it not, and hastening on met an American officer to whom she delivered the important information. The next night, she observed the British marching forth on their expedition. They silently approached the camp of Washington, but, to their astonishment, found the whole American army drawn up in readiness to receive them. For three days Howe remained in the neighborhood, but Washington would not leave his intrenchments to give him battle. On Howe's return to Philadelphia, Mrs. Darrah was closely examined, as to whether any member of her family had been awake on the night in question, but nothing was discovered.
351. The weather now rendered it necessary for Washington to withdraw his army from the field to permanent winter-quarters. These he fixed at Valley Forge, on the southwest side of the Schuylkill (skool-kill], 22 miles from Philadelphia. A march of eight days, over frozen ground on which they left the marks of their bleeding feet, brought his men to the spot. Most of the neighboring inhabitants were tories, and, as the British bought their produce at high prices
made by Howe? Give an account of the attack at Red Bank. Of that on Fort Mifflin. 350. What joyful news was now received ? How did it act on Howe ! Tell the story about Mrs. Darrah. 351. What did the weather now oblige Washington to do? What place did he select for his winter-quarters ? [See Map, p. 249.-How is Valley Forge situated ? In what direction is it from White Marsh ?
and paid for it in gold and silver, it was almost impossible for Washington to procure provisions in exchange for the paper money of Congress. He was authorized to seize on what he needed, wherever it could be found within seventy miles of the camp; but many of the farmers concealed their grain, and even resisted the American foraging parties. Meanwhile the British, 19,500 strong, were revelling in comfort and plenty at Philadelphia. This was the dark hour of the American Revolution.
THE AMERICAN ARMY AT VALLEY FORGE.
352. The deplorable situation of the American army at Valley Forge, during the dreary winter of 1777–78, can hardly be imagined. Four thousand men were unable to
What place south of it '] How long were the army in reaching it? What is said of the neighboring inhabitants ? What difficulty troubled Washington ? What was the condition of the British army at this time?