Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gone for Soldiers: Abraham Heath (About 1740 - 1807), Soldier (Part IV)

After being the last troops to leave the Brandywine battlefield on the night of September 11, 1777, Private Abraham Heath and the rest of the soldiers of Major General Nathaneal Greene's Division joined the retreating Continental Army which regrouped around midnight at the town of Chester, 14 miles away. The next day Washington ordered the Army to leave for Germantown, a 19-mile march which included crossing the Schuylkill River at the Middle Ferry Bridge (now the site of the Market Street Bridge in modern Philadelphia).

[Detail from "PhiladelCampaignHessianMap". Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -]

After allowing his men several days rest, on September 14th and 15th General Washington ordered his Army back toward the British forces in a 21-mile march which ended near Malvern with his troops spread over a front three miles long between Warren Tavern and White Horse Tavern. The British Army attacked on September 16th* but the engagement was interrupted by a violent storm (hence the name "Battle of the Clouds") and the American troops moved on toward Yellow Springs.

You can learn all about the Battle of the Clouds here (including an animation)** and here (including lots of modern photos) [PDF]. Unfortunately it's not clear which troops belong to Greene's Division (but if it maintained its earlier position at the back of the army, it would be comprised of the three Continental Brigades which follow the artillery into battle).

["They Passed This Way," PDF. National Park Service]

*It's pure happenstance that this is being posted today, on the 238th anniversary of the Battle of the Clouds.
**These links also include information about the Battle of Paoli, also known as the Paoli Massacre, but the Continental soldiers involved were in Major General Anthony Wayne's Division so it's highly unlikely that Abraham Heath was present.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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