On the March to Brandywine: — Part 6 of 9
Back to the British
On September 4th, Howe decided it was time to get lean and mean. He evacuated the sick to the remaining ships of the fleet. Tents and dispensable baggage were kept with the invalids. All wagons were brought to the fore for ammo and provisions.
Rodney and Maxwell reported to Washington that the British fleet was slipping down the Elk river southward out of the Chesapeake Bay. A British prisoner reported that the 150-ship fleet was preparing to go round to Delaware Bay. On the 4th some ships had made it as far as Annapolis
Washington, hearing that the British ships were sailing down the Chespeake, knew that a land battle was close at hand, and gave an impassioned speech to the troops to inspire them. Washington's troops responded. A soldier wrote home to his brother,
Our troops will stand a very hot engagement. I believe the General is determined to stand it to the last before he'll suffer the enemy to git Philadelphia.