Virtual Marching Tour of the American Revolutionary War

Letters of the 13th

As was often the case, Washington spent a good portion of the day writing. In addition to writing Congress and penning General Orders, the commander in chief also wrote to Lord Howe that day. In his letter to Howe, the American General commended the British General for taking care of the Americans wounded at Brandywine.

Washington also wrote to General Armstrong ordering him to set up redoubts and post militiamen at fords along the east side of the Schuylkill. This would help to prevent the British from crossing the river.

Thomas Wharton, Jr., President of the Pennsylvania Executive Council, also received a letter from Washington dated the 13th. In it, Washington commended Wharton for ordering militia to protect Swede's Ford, a town along the Schuylkill.

Washington was not only considering the defenses along the Schuylkill River, but the Delaware River as well. The Americans controlled three forts in and along the Delaware leading to Philadelphia. He indicated to Congress in his letter that he was not happy at the pace in which improvements to the forts were proceeding. Further, he regretted that he would not be able to spare any of his men for the defense of the forts as Congress requested.

The confused situation at the forts would have disastrous consequences for the Americans a month later.