Homeworks academic writing service


An introduction to the history of the battle of brandywine

The troubles began the previous August when the British fleet unloaded a force of Redcoats at the top of the Chesapeake Bay with the objective of capturing the American capital at Philadelphia.

Historic Resources

The Americans were routed by the British at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, leaving Philadelphia undefended. Members of the Continental Congress fled the city: General Washington led his weary and demoralized army to Valley Forge a few miles away where they would camp for the winter and prepare for battle with the return of warm weather.

Conditions in the camp were horrendous. Forced to live in damp, crowded quarters, Washington's army of approximately 12,000 suffered from a lack of adequate clothing and food. An estimated 2,000 died. General Washington was in despair as he watched his army disintegrate. However, as time progressed, a transformation occurred. Under Washington's inspired leadership, conditions improved: Most importantly, the training efforts of Baron von Steuben increased discipline and reinvigorated pride among the troops.

Oh no, there's been an error

A former member of the General Staff of the Prussian Army, Steuben arrived in camp in February bearing a letter of introduction from Benjamin Franklin whom he had met in Paris Washington immediately assigned the seasoned soldier the task of training his army.

From dawn to dusk individual soldiers, companies, regiments and battalions were incessantly schooled in the art of war. What had been a ragtag and undisciplined collection of individuals became a cohesive fighting force. Out of this terrible winter emerged a new Army, confident and ready to do battle.

Washington led his Continental Army in pursuit. The subsequent battle at Monmouth, New Jersey ended in a draw. The War for Independence would last another five years, but a major victory of the spirit had been won during the winter at Valley Forge.

He escaped and made his way to America where he volunteered for service in the Continental Army.

Quick Links

He arrived at Valley Forge in December 1777 and published his observations after the war: The capital of Pennsylvania had already done for the British what Capua did in a few months for the soldiers of Hannibal.

The Americans the 'insurgents' as they were called - camped at Valley Forge; the British officers, who were in the city, gave themselves up to pleasure; there were continual balls and other amusements; the troops were idle and enervated by inaction, and the generals undertook nothing all the winter.

Soon I came in sight of the camp.

  • Both sides soon abandoned the fight, however, when a torrential downpour made it difficult for troops to light the flints for their muskets;
  • He arrived at Valley Forge in December 1777 and published his observations after the war;
  • The capital of Pennsylvania had already done for the British what Capua did in a few months for the soldiers of Hannibal;
  • Such also, at the beginning of the War of Independence, was the state of want in the insurgent army, and such was the scarcity of money, and the poverty of that government, now so rich, powerful, and prosperous, that its notes, called Continental paper money, were nearly valueless.

My imagination had pictured an army with uniforms, the glitter of arms, standards, etc. I did not then know that this was not unusual, and I laughed, for it made me think of the recruiting sergeants on the Quai de la Ferraille at Paris, who say to the yokels, 'You will want for nothing when you are in the regiment, but if bread should run short you must not mind eating cakes.

General von Steuben trains American troops at Valley Forge In passing through the camp I also noticed soldiers wearing cotton nightcaps under their hats, and some having for cloaks or greatcoats coarse woolen blankets, exactly like those provided for the patients in our French hospitals.

Brandywine Battlefield Preservation Plan

I learned afterwards that these were the officers and generals. Such, in strict truth, was, at the time I came amongst them, the appearance of this armed mob, the leader of whom was the man who has rendered the name of Washington famous; such were the colonists - unskilled warriors who learned in a few years how to conquer the finest troops that England could send against them.

Such also, at the beginning of the War of Independence, was the state of want in the insurgent army, and such was the scarcity of money, and the poverty of that government, now so rich, powerful, and prosperous, that its notes, called Continental paper money, were nearly valueless.

This eyewitness account was first published in Chevalier de Pontgibaud Robert Douglas, ed. Valley Forge, Crucible of Victory 1969.

How To Cite This Article: After the war, Baron von Steuben became an American citizen and was granted 16,000 acres of land in upstate New York. He died there in 1794 at age 64.