We approach the 241st anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine with a historic opportunity to save 21 acres at one of the most important Revolutionary War battlefields in the country. Right now, every $1.00 of your support multiplies to $16.48 to save this crucial part of America’s history.
The Battle: The Battle of Brandywine, fought on September 11, 1777, saw several of the Revolution’s key participants on the field. On the British side, Maj. Gen. Sir William Howe and his subordinate Lord Charles Cornwallis. squared off against Gen. George Washington, Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene, and the Marquis de Lafayette on the American side.
At every point on the battlefield during that hot, late-summer day, the Americans were outnumbered nearly 2-to1. The battle featured a British flanking movement that caught Washington by surprise, followed by bayonet charges, artillery duels and patriot countercharges. Eventually, the force of numbers was too much for Washington’s army to bear, and he and a wounded Lafayette had to retire from the field.
In the words of historian John Reed, “Though Brandywine was militarily an American defeat, it had stunned Howe by its fierceness and gave the Americans spirit . . . American troops had proved that they could stand against British regulars in open fight.”
The Opportunity: These 21 acres are located in what’s now a high-priced suburb of Philadelphia, so the cost is significant. The total price of these two separate preservation projects, including transaction costs but excluding restoration costs, is $1,565,940. Fortunately, we’re partnering with a superb local organization (the Brandywine Conservancy) and local government (East Bradford Township) which are covering a massive portion of the cost ($1,470,940, to be exact) through a combination of grants and their own funds!
That means 93.9 percent of the total needed by our partners to purchase the property is already on the table – we just need to raise the final $95,000.
More good news – the land is currently open ground, maintaining its wartime terrain. Local historians tell us these tracts would be exceptional areas for interpretation, communicating the stories of this epic battle and the civilians who witnessed it.
Our goal is to raise the $95,000 we need to save this land by Sept. 11th, the 241st anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine. If just 1,000 patriots give $95, we will be able to declare this land saved forever.
To show our appreciation, we’ll send full-sized reproductions of a rare map of the Brandywine Battlefield to the first 1,000 contributors to this important campaign. If you’re among the first 1,000 patriots to donate $95 or more to save these 21 acres, you’ll receive this historic gift (which isn’t available to the general public). Meticulously prepared by British engineers in 1778, this map is entitled “Battle of Brandywine in which the rebels were defeated,” and measures a generous 22 inches wide by 28 inches tall. Each one is printed on high-quality paper stock and will be shipped to you rolled in a protective tube – not folded.
Why This Matters: We’ll leave you with the inspiring words from a publication of our friends at the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati, who generously provided the map reproductions for this campaign:
“We must never lose sight of the fact that our revolution was won by brave men on fields of battle – men who risked and in some cases lost their lives to secure the freedom we enjoy. Those battlefields are sacred places where the drama of our War for Independence can still be imagined and remembered. Population growth and the economic success of our country – success that is a consequence of the very free institutions established by the heroes of our revolution – put continuously mounting development pressure on these great historic places. We can save them, but we have to do it now.”
Please support the American Battlefield Trust today with your most generous gift and help save even more of America’s precious and irreplaceable history.