ushistory.org Homepage

September 4

Play a Tune

HomepageSite MapOn the March to Brandywine: — Part 5 of 9On the March to Brandywine: — Part 7 of 9
Return to homepage for the Philadelphia Campaign of 1777

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. He gave an impassioned speech to the troops that recalls Shakespeare's rousing "Henry V" Agincourt speech.

Who is either without ambition for the applause of their countrymen and of all posterity as the defenders of their country and the procurers of peace and happiness to unborn millions in the present and future generations? -G Washington

This day is called the feast of Crispin:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,

And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
-Henry V

Washington's troops responded to his impassioned speech. 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.

Support ushistory.org!
doi
Buy money, old maps, Liberty Bell, Constitution, Declaration, more