Journal of Colonel Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts.

Journal of Colonel Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts.

September 11h.—This morning a cannonade took place, the enemy having advanced to the heights opposite to those occupied by us, on the other side of the ford. A hot skirmish took place between our light troops, under Maxwell, and a party of Hessians, in which the latter were chiefly killed and wounded, not thirty running away, it being judged by Maxwell that three hundred of them were killed and wounded. The enemy made no attempt to cross at this place The cannonade was mutual; theirs did us no harm, save killing one man.

The enemy remaining paraded on the distant heights, and continuing the cannonade, induced me to think they did not intend to cross at Chad's Ford, but only to amuse us while their main army crossed at some other place. The event proved the conjecture right. The enemy's main body crossed the; Brandywine six or eight miles above, on our right. The General had intelligence of this by some messengers; but it was contradicted by others; and, the information remaining a long time surprisingly uncertain, it was late before a disposition was made to receive the enemy on that quarter. The consequence was that the divisions first engaged, being too far distant to be supported by others, were repulsed; and this laid the foundation for a final defeat. Nevertheless, Weedon's brigade, which got up a little before night, fought bravely and checked the pursuit of the enemy, and gave more time for the others to retreat. This engagement on the right began about half after three P.M., or four, and lasted till night.

When the battle raged most on the right, and the Continental troops were all, save Wayne's division, drawn off to the right, the enemy opposite Chad's Ford began a most furious cannonade, which was as warmly returned from the park of artillery. But at length the enemy pushed over, and, after an obstinate engagement with our artillery and Wayne's division, the latter retreated.

The whole army this night retired to Chester. It was fortunate for us that the night came on, for under its cover the fatigued stragglers and some wounded made their escape.