Follow the Philadelphia Campaign on the road to Valley Forge

imageLeading up to the December book launch for my novel, Becoming Valley Forge, I’m going to blog about some of the steps General George Washington and the Continental Army took in what’s called the Philadelphia Campaign on the road to Valley Forge. The road starts today, September 11, 1777.  That’s when 13,000 British troops, led by General William Howe, engaged in battle with 11,000 patriot troops led by General Washington in Brandywine, Chester County, in what’s called the Battle of Brandywine.  Washington’s troops suffered heavy losses with some 900 killed, 800 wounded and 400 captured.  Losses might have been heavier if Washington had not been warned by Squire Thomas Cheyney that the British Army was gathering on the banks of the Brandywine Creek.  Squire Cheyney owned the land where Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is located (and where I work as Chief of Staff and Deputy to the President), and he is buried across the street from the university in the Cheyney family cemetery.  One unsung hero of the Battle of Brandywine was Ned Hector, an African American private in Col. Proctor’s 3rd Pennsylvania Artillery Regiment.  As the British were overrunning the patriots, a call went out for the Patriots to retreat, save themselves, and leave their wagons and weapons on the battlefield. Hector refused, gathered his weapons and those that were left by his retreating colleagues before leaving the battlefield.  After the war, he resided in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, where Hector Street is named after him.  After the battle, Washington’s army withdrew to Chester, Pa. For more information about Becoming Valley Forge, see http://www.theelevatorgroup.com.  — Sheilah Vance

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