Brandywine British Account

Journal of Major John Andre, Adjutant General in the British Army.

Sept. 10th and 11 th. The army marched in two columns under Lord Cornwallis and General Knyphausen (Sir William Howe was with the form~ and proceeded to the forks of Brandywine, crossed the ford there and b. circuit of about fifteen miles came upon the enemy's right flank, near Birmingham Meeting House. The latter took the straight road to Chad's Ford opposite to which the Rebel army lay.

The design, it seemed, was that General Knyphausen, taking post at Chad’s Ford, should begin early to cannonade the enemy on the opposite side, there by to take up his attention and make him presume an attack was when intended with the whole army, whilst the other column should be perform the detour. Lord Cornwallis's riding being engaged was to be the signal for the troops under General Knyphausen to cross the ford when they were to push their advantage.

The event fell little short of the project. General Knyphausen posted I himself early in the day on the heights opposite the Rebel army. This was distributed on all the most advantageous eminences overlooking the ford which lay beneath. On one of these hills they had thrown up a small breastwork with two guns, one a I2-pounder, and beneath this, flanking the ford and road, another battery of three guns and a howitzer. Felled trees obstructed the passage at other fords near this place. It was not without some opposition that General Knyphausen took up his ground, and whilst he was then a body of 2000 men crossed the river and came upon his right. They were driven back by one or two regiments.

On the left, Sir William Howe, drawing near Birmingham, found the Rebels posted on the heights to oppose him. Washington had drawn part of his army here about two hours before, on receiving the first intimation of General Howe's approach. At about 4 o'clock the attack began near the meeting House. The Guards were formed upon the right, the British Grenadiers in the centre, and the Light Infantry and Chasseurs on the left. The Hessian Grenadiers supported the Guards and British Grenadiers, and the 4th Brigade supported the Light Infantry and the left of the Grenadiers. The 3d Brigade under General Grey was the reserve. The Guards met with very little resistance and penetrated to the very height overlooking the 4-gun battery of the Rebels at Chad's Ford, just as General Knyphausen had crossed. The Hessian Grenadiers were to their left and not so far advanced. The British Grenadiers divided after passing Birmingham Meeting House, the ISt Battalion inclining to the right and the 2d pushing about a mile beyond the village of Dilworth. The Light Infantry and Chasseurs inclined to the left, and by this means left an interval which was filled up by part of the 4th Brigade. The Light Infantry met with the chief resistance at a hill on which the Rebels had four pieces of cannon. At the end of the day the 2d Battalion Grenadiers received a very heavy fire; the 64th Regiment, which was near them, was engaged at the same time. The Rebels were driven back by the superior fire the troops, but these were too much exhausted to be able to charge or pursue. The reserve moved centrically in the rear of the whole and inclined successively to the parts most engaged.

General Knyphausen, as was preconcerted, passed the ford upon hearing the other column engaged, and the troops under him pushed the enemy with equal success. Night and the fatigue the soldiers had undergone prevented any pursuit. It is remarkable that after reconnoitering after the action, the right of General Howe's camp was found close on General Knyphausen's left, and nearly in a line, and in forming the general camp next day scarce any alteration was made.