Brandywine Battlefield Park
The peacefully preserved remains of one of Washington’s few defeats
Most preserved battlefield sites memorialize winning fights, but the Revolutionary Army actually lost ground at Brandywine. Still, the rolling hills of Brandywine Battlefield Park serve as a memorable addition to any Revolutionary War tour of the Philadelphia area. George Washington used the Benjamin Ring House for his headquarters before the battle, and though the house burned in the 1930s, it is now preserved to be what it looked like in 1777.
Nearby is the house in which the Marquis de Lafayette stayed prior to the battle, the home of a wealthy farmer, Gideon Gilpin, whose property was pillaged by the British in the wake of the battle. The Visitors Center shows a video of the battle and its aftermath.
The revolutionaries lost a crucial battle at Brandywine on another fateful September 11, this one in 1777. They were outmaneuvered by the British Gen. Howe and had to retreat, eventually to Valley Forge several miles away, where they spent a devastating winter. Two weeks later, Howe occupied the colonial capital, Philadelphia.
Open Tue – Sun
Make certain to see Gen. Lafayette’s quarters, the Gilpin house, particularly its kitchen and cooking items from the 18th Century.
If you come on President’s Day, kids will be given wooden muskets to muster before Gen. Washington, who will cut his birthday cake with a sword.