Society of the Descendants of Washington's
Army at Valley Forge
Map Their Path

September 7th 1777 - Finds the British beginning their advance on the American Army at Brandywine Creek near Chadds Ford Pennsylvania. On September 7th British General William Howe out-maneuvers General Washington at the Battle of Brandywine. Washington withdraws toward Philadelphia. American forces number 11,000 troops. Casualties at Brandywine were 900 killed in action, 800 wounded, and 400 captured. British troops numbered 13,000, with 350 killed in action, and 8 captured. Washington continued North- East through the town of Chester and the British followed and quickly occupied the town.

On September 16th - At Warren Pennsylvania a major battle is averted after torrential rains soaks the powder supplies of both armies at Warren Tavern. This becomes known as the Battle of the Clouds. In Chester County, General Anthony Wayne’s command is attacked by an advance of troops under command of General Charles Cornwallis as they make their way toward Philadelphia.

September 20th - British troops attacked and defeated General Anthony Wayne at Paoli. British Commander Major Charles Gray ordered his men to remove their rifle flints so they could not fire and alert Wayne of the attack. After the bayonet attack Gray was known as “No Flint Gray”. Wayne had 1500 men under arms mostly the 1st and 2nd Pennsylvania Regiments. Wayne lost 153 killed or wounded, while Maj. Gray lost 4 killed and 5 wounded. This battle is known as the Paoli Massacre and is where Wayne got the nickname “Mad Anthony”.

September 23rd - British General Howe occupies Philadelphia.

October 4th - The Battle of Germantown is considered a psychological success because of its boldness. General Washington attacked William Howe’s encampment at Germantown. Although considered a British victory the Americans proved they could stand toe to toe and fight the British.

November 2nd - Washington and the army march into Whitemarsh and set up camp. A series of surprise attacks convince Washington this is not the location for winter quarters

November 3rd - Washington learns about the Conway Cabal while at Whitemarsh.

November 5th - While here Lydia Byerly overhears British plans to attack and destroy Washington’s Army at Whitemarsh. She walks through snow from her home in Philadelphia to warn the Americans. The British call off the attack finding Washington prepared to the said attack. Major John Andre questions Byerly about who could have warned the Americans. In this minor battle the Americans had 90 men killed or wounded and the British had 60 killed or wounded.

December 11th - Washington begins moving his troops from Whitemarsh to Valley Forge for the winter. After skirmishing back and forth for three days the British quit in frustration. At Norristown while the Continental Army was crossing the Schuylkill River at Matson’s Ford were approached by 7500 British troops under Cornwallis. Washington ordered the bridge burned. It was a standoff with each side occupying the opposite bank of the river. Cornwallis again clashes with the main army in route to Valley Forge. The British capture 2000 sheep and cattle at Gulph Mills. Washington then delays the march to Valley Forge for several days.

December 19th - General Washington leads more than 12,000 troops & camp followers into Valley Forge in order to set up camp for the winter. Washington spends his first days in his marquee tent before moving to the Potts House. Washington offers a design for camp winter huts then offers a $100 reward for the best substitute for boards used in the roofing. He also offers a $12 prize for the first well-constructed hut by each regiment. Washington recorded the weather as piercing wind & snow.

December 20th - Knowing the condition of the army, Washington issues orders to the local population to provide half their grain to the Continental army. Washington writes the President of the Continental Congress the next day on the state of affairs of the army. He notes “ that unless some great and capitol change does not take place, the army will either starve, dissolve, or disperse.”

December 23rd - Thomas Paine visits the camp and writes to Benjamin Franklin that “everyone is busy building huts”. Major General John Sullivan is relieved of his duties, and ordered to construct the bridge across the Schuylkill River.

December 25th - Brings forth a white Christmas with work continuing on huts and only water to drink in celebration of the holiday.

January 15th - With the huts nearing completion, attention turns to fortifications.

January 23rd - General Washington writes Congress suggesting that they send a committee to the encampment to see firsthand the difficulties of the solders and address the problems of the Quartermaster and Commissary departments.

January 28th - A Committee from Congress arrives to check on Washington’s complaints on the condition of the army.

February 10th - Martha Washington arrives in camp.

February 11th - Washington’s Birthday celebrated, a gill of whiskey or rum issued to every man.

February 23rd - Frederick Wilhelm der Steuben arrives at Valley Forge. He commences training the soldiers in close order drill and brings new confidence to a demoralized army. By early May he will be appointed Inspector General with the rank of Major General.

April - France recognizes the colonies and sends military aid in troops and navy support.

June 19th - The Continental Army leaves Valley Forge, Washington in the lead. They learn that the British have deserted Philadelphia.

June 28th - The Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, this is the last important engagement in the north and the longest engagement of the war.

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