Battle of Germantown Facts

Battle of Germantown Facts
The Battle of Germantown was fought on October 4, 1777 in the Philadelphia suburb of Germantown, Pennsylvania between General William Howe's British forces and General Georg Washington's American forces. The loss was devastating for the Americans and proved to be a decisive victory for the British because it came after the British had taken control of the American capital of Philadelphia. Washington had hoped to defeat British at Germantown and retake Philadelphia, but was forced to retreat. Howe, though, failed to pursue Washington, who camped his troop at Valley Forge for the winter. When Washington reemerged in the spring, the French gave more help and he was able to lead his troops to a series of victories.
Interesting Battle of Germantown Facts:
Germantown was founded by German immigrants in the late seventeenth century. It is now part of the Philadelphia city limits.
Washington's plan was the surprise the British in Germantown by approaching them from four directions. Some military historians believe it was a sound plan, but too complex for many of his inexperienced troops.
The American forces numbered around 11,000, while the British had about 9,000 men.
The regular British forces were reinforced by two Hessian brigades and the loyalist Queen's Rangers.
The Hessians were commanded by General Wilhelm von Knyphausen.
The Continental Army was augmented by 3,000 militia, mainly from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, and the 2nd Canadian Regiment.
The two American flanking columns were militia, while the middle columns were Continentals.
The battle began well for the Americans, as they advanced quickly.
About 120 British soldiers retreated to the mansion known as "Cliveden," which was owned by the wealthy Quaker Benjamin Chew. The mansion is often just known as "Chew House."
Washington ordered the Chew House to be taken, but the Americans suffered heavy casualties in two unsuccessful wave attacks.
American General Adam Stephen led a charge on the Chew House after he was ordered not to do so. He was later found to have been drunk during the battle. Due to his behavior, Stephen was court martialed and discharged from the army.
A heavy fog that descended on the battlefield led to friendly fire casualties among the Americans.
After other failed attempts to capture the British and Hessian camps, the Americans finally retreated. Howe pursued the Americans for a few miles, but was stymied by General Nathanael Greene's infantry and artillery commanded by General Anthony Wayne.
The Americans suffered 152 killed, of which thirty were officers. More than 400 Americans were also captured.
The British had seventy-one killed.
Washington began marching the army the night before to arrive at the battlefield in the morning, which is also seen by many as a mistake. The march made his inexperienced troops tired and the nighttime hampered communication.
Although a decisive victory for the British, it cannot be considered a strategic victory. Howe failed to destroy Washington's army, which was essential if the British were to win the war.

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