Monday, September 22, 2014

Brandywine Battlefield


View near Battle hill I believe
Now starting my segments on the battlefields I visited this summer. Other then the heat and humidity which was high I had excellent weather for my entire vacation which I'm very grateful for since I spent a lot of time walking up and down the the battlefields which was a real treat.:-)

I won't describe the entire battle of the Brandywine which can be found here other then to say it was one of the largest battles of the American Revolution and a serious defeat for Washington's army losing them the capital which normally spells defeat for a nation, but to Washington's credit he kept the army together to fight another day.

I had a chance to visit the Brandywine battlefield museum, but I have no pictures as you not allowed to take any. I always thought it might be hot wearing hunting shirts, but in truth the linen is quite thin so probably no problem in the heat, but the wool coats would no doubt be pretty darn hot for those unfortunate enough to have to wear one. The muskets themselves are very large and by the look quite cumbersome to have use and carry.

The battlefield is very large and requires some time to traverse and gives you a real appreciation of the effort it took by the men involved to march around to both do an outflanking march and to counter it in full gear in the heat and then fight a battle.

The grounds are very lush and green albeit I've been advised the undergrowth wasn't near as heavy in the time of the battle which would have made traversing woods a bit easier then today. The creek isn't very deep, but they would need to use the forded areas to get across safely without having to swim which would be hard to do in gear.

 I had a lot of fun and highly recommend visiting the grounds if you get a chance.:-)
Stone marking Washington's Headquaters
Front of Washington's Headquarters


Rear of Washington's Headquarters
Lafayette's Headquarters
Front of Lafayette's Headquarters
Rear of Lafayette's Headquarters
Center of Battle Hill near Birmingham meeting house
Left of Battle Hill
Right of Battle Hill
One of the fords of Branywine creek
Brandywine Creek
Looking towards a ford of Brandywine creek

32 comments :

  1. Awesome!! Really starting to look forward to seeing this for myself next year!

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    1. It was pretty awesome and if your imagination is as high as mine I suspect you will have a lot of fun!

      Christopher

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  2. Looks so peaceful now, must have been really something to walk the battle site

    Ian

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    1. It is very peaceful and lovely countryside to visit in it's own right.

      Christopher

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  3. As Ian mentioned, it does look so peaceful and pleasant now. It's great to see the area preserved so well too.

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    1. The battlefield is quite well preserved although much of it is now in private hands, but you still get a good impression of the field and conditions for those involved.

      Christopher

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  4. Excellent photos, Christopher and please keep them coming! Love the stone houses. I have yet to visit Brandywine but it is on my list.

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    1. Thanks and I have Gettysburg which will take more then one post and Antietam as well. Yes indeed the stone architecture is extremely charming in Pennsylvania and well worth seeing!

      Christopher

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    2. I really enjoyed the two days I spent at Antietam. Had I known, I could have recommended a terrific B&B in Sharpsburg. Gettysburg is still on my To Do list.

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    3. Yes Antietam really is lovely and the battlefield is very well preserved in it's natural state and I enjoyed myself immensely. Antietam for myself is the most interesting battle of the ACW in terms of the battle itself where Lee came the closest to losing everything only being saved at the last moment. However, Gettysburg artefacts and exhibits really dwarfs Antietam and any other battlefield for that matter and so you will need days to go over it and is really awe inspiring. I was just blown away!

      Christopher

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  5. Great post Christopher, looks very scenic, the countryside looks Beautiful , no wonder we Brits didn't want to give it up!!!

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    1. Thanks and the countryside is very beautiful! Indeed one can see why both fought so hard!

      Christopher

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  6. You've really got some great images with you from that tour. Have your visit inspired any plans of refighting sequences of the battle in 28mm?

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    1. Thanks and I'm happy many of the pictures turned out. When my collection is large enough there is no question I will fight this battle or at least portions of it in 28mm. Having viewed the grounds does really add inspiration:-)

      Christopher

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  7. Makes me want to swim the Atlantic! Very interesting post, and some lovely pictures - Thanks!

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    1. Thanks and I'm happy you enjoyed the pictures!

      Christopher

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  8. One can almost hear the sounds of battle only lookng at the photos. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I tell you have an imagination just like mine Nick.:-)

      Christopher

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  9. They've done a wonderful job of preserving the buildings. I'm curious to know if the insides are intact and if any of the original furnishings still exist.

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    1. They have indeed done a wonderful job Anne. The insides are intact and are a mix of authentic pieces and reproductions with more later then former.

      Christopher

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  10. Great photos and thank you for sharing! It's nice to see that not every battefield has been swallowed up or encroached on by development.

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    1. Thank you Monty! Of course some of the battlefield is gone and much of it in private hands, but enough of it is still there and well preserved to get a nice look at it.

      Christopher

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  11. Very interesting report Christopher with some wonderful pictures. I look forward to seeing your refight of this battle!

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    1. Thanks Jonas and I hope to do a re-fight at some point in the future.

      Christopher

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  12. With regard to the physical discomfort of fighting with authentic gear in heat and humidity, the key is staying hydrated. Linen shirts, waistcoats and breeches for summer campaigns breathe very well. The wool coats are marvelous when temps drop into the 50sF. Not so much when it is 85F at 2:30pm. The problems come from the neck stock & hat. Equipment is comparable to or lighter than modern gear. Brown Bess musket 11 pounds. Add a pound for the bayonet. Ten pounds for cartridge box, haversack and canteen. Everything else should be piled under guard of a trustworthy comrade before the first shot is fired. But then, there is the approach march (17 miles at Brandywine)... . As a red-coated reenactor, I have done Brandwine a couple of times.

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    1. Well I sure can appreciate how uncomfortable the wool coat must have been if you got caught out on a hot September day re-enacting the Brandywine battle! Probably not too much fun with a neck stock rubbing the sweat into your neck and helping trap the heat in. If I were to re-enact the AWI period I would prefer to do the Americans(not just because I am one) as I would choose a Hunting shirt for summer and a wool overcoat for winter.:-)

      Christopher

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  13. Fantastic stuff, and superb photos. I've always had an interest in the Battle of Brandywine in particular, partly for the egocentric reason that it's on my birthday. I've always wanted to visit so it's great to see these.

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    1. Thank you and you should visit if you get a chance.

      Christopher

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  14. I'm wondering why Lafayette would have an HQ building - wasn't he just a staff officer at the time? Now I'm curious about this and will have to do a little research. Nice pictures.

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    1. There is some debate if Lafayette stayed in the Ring house or Gilpin, but from accounts it seems Gilpin knew Lafayette when he visited many years later so probably he did stay in the above residence. At the time of the battle of Brandywine Lafayette was new to the army and more or less a political appointment given the rank of general and commanded no troops at the Brandywine and indeed did act in a staff role.

      Christopher

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  15. I have just added another 'to do' on my list when I retire. You also take a very good picture Christopher, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Pat and I think you will enjoy the visit when you go.

      Christopher

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