The Battle of the Brandywine was a critical military engagement of the American Revolution that took place on September 11, 1777. The action (and events leading up to the day of battle) occurred right here, spanning approximately 35,000 acres over portions of both Chester and Delaware counties, as well as New Castle County.
In 2013, the Brandywine Battlefield Preservation Plan was released (which stemmed from a recommendation in the 2010 Battlefield Study) as a way to work to preserve and raise awareness about the battlefield’s historic buildings and open space landscapes. The plan was completed as a regional planning effort, in cooperation with Brandywine Battlefield Task Force and in working with the 15 battlefield municipalities. The 2013 plan recommended consideration of battle-related local planning, land conservation, historic resource protection, and heritage interpretation efforts (such as signage). The plan also identified battlefield strategic landscapes, which comprised important battle events, open lands, and historic buildings, but were in need of further evaluation for directed local planning. Due to the battlefield’s very large size, strategic landscapes were divided into phases for specific study.
In 2015, four strategic landscapes in the Northern Brandywine Battlefield were studied, which is where tactical battle staging occurred during the morning and into the afternoon the day of battle. This project produced plans for Marshallton Strategic Landscape; Trimble’s Ford and Jefferis’ Ford Strategic Landscapes, and Sconnelltown/Strode’s Mill Strategic Landscape. As well, Delaware County Planning Department studied and completed a plan for Rearguard Defense and Strategic Retreat Strategic Landscapes.
We are excited to now share our latest work on the Brandywine Battlefield, which is focused on the Southern Battlefield area! This project addresses troop movements and strategy in the days and hours leading up to battle, including the Crown Forces approach into PA via New Garden and Kennett Townships and encampment in and around Kennett Square, and troop locations and battle events starting at dawn the day of battle, including Crown Force and American positions and skirmishes in East Marlborough, Kennett, and Pennsbury Townships. Based on the newfound understanding of this historic information, The Army Marched at Dawn Plan discusses battle-era historic resources and landscapes still evident today, 243 years after the battle, as well as preservation strategies, potential land conservation areas, and public heritage interpretation ideas that could connect residents with battle events and resources.
Collectively, these planning efforts seek to honor and preserve Chester County’s role in American history and the nation’s founding, as well as contribute to Chester County’s unique identity, sense of place, and quality of life. All of these projects were completed with grant funding from the American Battlefield Protection Program.
Be sure to keep an eye out for information on a webinar coming up on Thursday, December 17, 2020, which will present some key findings of the Southern Brandywine Battlefield project and give a sneak peek at the next phase of battlefield work – Eastern Battlefield combat areas!
To learn more about the plan and the efforts to preserve Chester County’s history, visit https://chescoplanning.org/HisResources/BattleBrandywine.cfm.