This year marks the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Brandywine, the largest single day battle of the Revolutionary War. The Chester County Commissioners are honored to commemorate this anniversary, share news on opportunities to engage with our history, and celebrate a grant awarded for further studies of the Battle.
There will be two days of re-enactments in Birmingham Township, Chester County on September 16 and 17 to recreate a part of the historic confrontation between American and Crown Force soldiers at historic Sandy Hollow. This re-enactment is taking place on the very lands where some of the fiercest battle action occurred.
“This re-enactment offers an exceptional opportunity for people to engage with our history, witnessing first hand re-enactments of our nation’s battle for independence,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline. “While this event is in our backyard, the battle itself was of national and lasting significance.”
At the re-enactment, visitors can witness active cavalry, cannon fire, and authentic encampments, as well as tour the camps, sample period food, and more. Full information on the event can be found at www.brandywine2017.org.
In addition to these re-enactment events, the Commissioners are pleased to announce the awarding of a $50,000 National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program Preservation Planning Grant to Chester County, the only such grant given in Pennsylvania this year.
The $50,000 grant will fund further studies in the southern battlefield, helping advance knowledge of American and Crown Force positions and movements prior to the battle. The grant will also allow the update of an interactive map of battle action, helping the battle to come alive. This project follows previous planning, public education, and heritage interpretation efforts on the Campaign of 1777 that have been conducted by the County’s Planning Commission that can be found on http://www.chescoplanning.org/HisResources/BattleBrandywine.cfm, and which offer a detailed look into the history of the battle and the opportunities for education and interpretation that lie in the future.
“The County is very pleased to receive this award, which will help advance our efforts to appropriately identify preservation and heritage interpretation opportunities in our County related to the Battle of Brandywine,” noted Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “Federal funding is a critical part of these battlefield studies, which provide a great return to the local and regional community in the form of enhanced historical knowledge, increased visitation, and targeted preservation efforts.”
In understanding the importance of the Brandywine Battlefield’s role in forming this nation, the Chester County Planning Commission has been working on battlefield preservation and outreach for over 30 years and has undertaken multiple battlefield plans and studies in conjunction with other partners such as the Brandywine Battlefield Task Force. The task force is a group of over 200 entities, including the 15 battlefield municipalities and two counties, local organizations, residents, and state and federal agencies, interested in battlefield outreach and preservation.
“Working in partnership with our municipalities, Delaware County, historic organizations, state and federal agencies, and our residents has enabled us to make significant progress in our understanding of the Battle of Brandywine, share this knowledge with the public, and preserve our history,” stated Commissioner Terence Farrell. “We are pleased to work with so many people who care so passionately about our County.”