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Virtual Marching Tour of the American Revolutionary War
Click here to begin your Virtual TourThe Philadelphia Campaign 1777
From Rebels to Mature Army

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The Road to Valley Forge

BACKGROUND TO THE CAMPAIGN
A quick history of the Revolutionary War 1765-1777. Plus an overview of the events leading up to the campaign.

LANDING AT HEAD OF ELK
Over 260 British ships arrived at Head of Elk, Maryland. Washington was ready.
The trip took overly long, horses died by the hundreds. British General Howe was anxious to move on, but first he had to unload his massive armada.


ON THE MARCH TO BRANDYWINE
Howe heads for Philadelphia. Washington blocks the path.
On the way to their first engagement of 1777, Washington exposes himself to capture, Howe misses an opportunity, the rains fall, and everyone seems prepared for what happens next.


THE BATTLE OF BRANDYWINE
The first battle in the campaign
Howe conceives and executes a daring 17 mile march catching Washington by surprise. The Continental Army is impressive, but the day belongs to the British.


BATTLE OF THE CLOUDS
Both armies were poised for another major engagement
Five days after the Battle of Brandywine, a confrontation is rained out.


PAOLI MASSACRE
Bloody bayonets in a midnight raid
"Mad" Anthony Wayne, assigned to attack the rear guard of the British army, is himself surprised in a "dirty" early morning raid.


MARCH TO GERMANTOWN
Washington prepares to win back the capital
Congress flees Philadelphia as the British occupy the city amid chaos and fear.


THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN
The battle is fought in and around a mansion.
For the first time the British retreat during battle, but fog and confusion turned the American advance around.


FORT MIFFLIN
"Men split open like fish"
A staggering 3-week bombardment for control of two American forts on the Delaware. The British needed these to get food and supplies to occupied Philadelphia.


WHITEMARSH ENCAMPMENT
Court-martials, prisoners of war, and skirmishes
The final stand of the campaign sees over a month of minor scrapes and posturing. Time for fighting draws to a close.


THE BRITISH IN PHILADELPHIA
The British party through the winter in warmth and comfort.
Theater, romance, looting, and a huge party. Farewell General Howe. Welcome General Henry Clinton.


THE WINTER AT VALLEY FORGE
Bloody footprints, hunger, sacrifice, and desperation give way to resilience, pride and a new army.
Demoralized, sick, unpaid troops are transformed by the will, faith and passion of Washington and the skills taught by Van Steuben. The French Alliance is forged. A plot to overthrow Washington fails. When the American army leaves Valley Forge, the tide of the war turns.


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