A Proud Defeat


Just a few days ago on September 11th, 1777, the largest land battle of the Revolutionary War thus far took place at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, along the Brandywine River. The British and Americans were fighting for control of the capitol, Philadelphia. The British felt that gaining control of the Philadelphia, a major supply center for the colonists, would help them defeat the Continental Army. Sir William Howe landed the British and Hessian troops at Elk Ferry on Chesapeake Bay with the intention of marching his soldiers thirty miles to Phladelphia. The Americans, led by General George Washington, studied the British progression, and moved his army to Chadds Ford, a crossing at Brandywine River, to meet them. When he reached the Brandywine River, General Washington positioned his troops at Chadds Ford. He expected the British troops to cross at Chadds Ford and therefore placed most of his troops there. Washington placed his troops on the high ground east of the Brandyine River, thinking that it was an exemplary defensive position. Sir Howe however, outwitted the American troops by only sending half of his troops to the crossing, and directing the other half of his troops to make a surprise attack on the flank of the Continental Army to defeat the Americans. The fighting was fierce, around dusk, when the American's ammunition was running low, they were forced to retreat east torward Chester. The Americans retreated and therefore were defeated. However, they saw this battle as a win rather than a loss. The Continental Army was proud of the way they fought because in the end, there were significantly more British casualties than American. After a gruesome battle, the Americans still waved their flag high in the air, proud of their defeat.


The Continental Army Stands Strong

The Continental Army is made up of local militias and various other troops that are under control of the individual states. The fact that the Continental Army is not a professional army, but is simply made up of local farmers and merchants, proves to show that the recent battle at Chadds Ford on the Brandywine River can be seen as a moral victory. Their performance at Chadds Ford gave the Americans a great deal of confidence to those brave men fighting in the Continental Army.


Besty Ross Flag Flies High

 The Battle at Brandywine River that took place just a few days ago, is a battle that will go down in history. This is the first time that the new flag of the Revolution was flown by the Continental Army. The new flag, commonly known as the Betsy Ross Flag, was made by Betsy Ross. She tells us, "I just waited for the day when the members of the secret committee

from the Continental Congress came to me." Those members were George Washington, Robert Morris,


and George Ross. The three asked her to sew the first flag of the nation just last year. She put to

work, and before she knew it, her flag was flying proudly at the Battle at Brandywine River.

Britain's Advantage

Britain had a major advantage during the Battle at Brandywine River. For the first time, the British were using the Ferguson Rifle. The Ferguson Rifle was delveloped by and named after Scotsman Patrick Ferguson. The rifle is breech loading, and has the capablility of firing twice as many rounds as any other gun. It is also easy to reload when you don't have a lot of time. During the battle at Brandywine River, the Ferguson Rifle provided the British with a huge advantage over the Continental Army's guns and muskets. It is rumored that for unknown reasons, General Howe of the British Army, ordered that the Ferguson Rifle be placed into storage despite its excellent performance at Brandywine.

Continental Army
British Troops

British Troops stand ready to fight with Ferguson Rifle. (left)

Continental Army stands determined to win. (right)

General George Washington

1. Why did General George Washington choose Chadds Ford as the location to meet the British?
2. How did the Continental Army's lack of intelligence about the British Army's intentions contribute to their defeat?
3. Why did the Continental Army consider this defeat a "victory"?