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Early in December, General Howe tried to launch a surprise attack on the American position. But the British plan had been ferreted out by spies, and the Americans were well prepared for their expedition. On December 5, the British began a probe of the American position in the hills. Three days of non-decisive skirmishing followed, after which the British returned to Philadelphia. It was the last engagement in the campaign of 1777.
Both armies now turned their thoughts to winter encampment. The British would remain snug in Philadelphia. The Americans marched to a small Schuylkill River village called Valley Forge.