In the early morning hours of September 11, 1777, British General Sir William Howe and approximately 7,500 men marched toward what Howe believed would be the decisive battle against the wily George Washington and his band of American Rebels.
Cresting a high eminence known as Osborne Hill, Howe saw the Americans forming a defensive position just in front of him. Nevertheless, he was confident his well-disciplined troops could make quick work of the Americans, destroy Washington’s army, and, if possible, capture the upstart nation’s capital, Philadelphia. He was wrong. With figures like the Marquis de Lafayette and General Nathanael Greene rallying them, Washington’s men stood toe-to-toe with the British for some 11 hours. Though they were ultimately forced to retreat, the Americans preserved their army and denied Howe the sweeping victory he had hoped to achieve.
Through our Campaign 1776 initiative, we now have a chance to save 88 acres at the Brandywine Battlefield, including Osborne Hill, from which British General Lord Charles Cornwallis is said to have observed the battle. What was once the scene of an epic battle is now a bedroom community for the city of Philadelphia, and these 88 acres would be an ideal location for a substantial housing development. Saving this land now will ensure that it retains its wartime character and will help preserve the memory of the brave patriots who gave their lives to create our nation.