The first in a monumental two-volume set on the pivotal 1777 campaign of the American Revolution, this book is an in-depth examination of the military engagements that resulted in the British capture of Philadelphia. Based on surviving accounts of soldiers and civilians, the author weaves together the compelling story of the fight for the Continental capital.
In the winter of 1777, after the victories at Trenton and Princeton, George Washington painstakingly rebuilt the Continental Army. The following spring, all eyes turned to the British commander-in-chief, Sir William Howe, to see when and where he would resume the drive on the rebel capital. Numerous skirmishes and seemingly pointless maneuvers finally led to Pennsylvania. The two main armies finally clashed in the bloody Battle of Brandywine on September 11, where Howe's flanking tactics inflicted a serious defeat on Washington. Rallying his forces, Washington resumed his defense of Philadelphia, only to be thwarted at the Schuylkill and suffer a small but bloody defeat at Paoli. Congress fled the capital as the British Army approached, and the campaign to win the hearts and minds of the American people raged in full fury as the two armies marched through the region.
Thomas McGuire teaches American history at Malvern Preparatory School near Paoli, Pennsylvania, and is the author of Battle of Paoli and Stop The Revolution.