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Thursday, 8 February 2018

88 Acres at the Largest Land Battle of the American Revolution

88 Acres at the Largest Land Battle of the American Revolution

Today I write to you to ask for your help saving 88 acres at the largest land battle of the American Revolution: the Battle of Brandywine. This land includes Osborne Hill, the spot from which British General Lord Charles Cornwallis is said to have observed the battle. Although this battle was ultimately an American defeat, the unyielding determination displayed by the Continental Army was a significant moment in the founding of our nation.

This 11-hour conflict began early on September 11, 1777, when George Washington’s Continental Army took up defensive positions on several small hills along the banks of Brandywine Creek. The Patriots were determined to halt the inexorable advance of Lord William Howe’s British army towards Philadelphia, home of the Continental Congress and capital of the nascent United States of America.

Washington believed his position was secure, having failed to reconnoiter all the places where Howe’s army might cross the Brandywine. Much like at Long Island a year earlier, Washington paid dearly for his blunder. Crossing upstream, the British launched a devastating flanking movement from Osborne Hill — the very land we are now seeking to preserve.

It was in dark moments such as the Battle of Brandywine that George Washington revealed the full extent of his greatness and the soldiers under him demonstrated the depth of their resolve. Recognizing that it was his Continental Army rather than the city of Philadelphia that served as the beating heart of the Revolution, he organized a bold rear-guard counterattack, buying time for his men to escape.

Today, it is my hope that you will join me in honoring that courage and dogged perseverance in the face of defeat by preserving 88 acres of the Brandywine Battlefield at Osborne Hill.

American Battlefield Trust