The War for Independence began with the "Shot Heard Around the World" in 1775 at Lexington and Concord followed by Bunker Hill and the British Occupation of Boston. In early 1776 the British Army left for New York where the battle of Long Island occurred as the Declaration of Independence was signed, now the uprising by Colonial Patriots became a war of American "traitors" fighting for Independence. By the end of 1776 George Washington led his troops in retreat south through New Jersey to escape across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, crossing back over to defeat the Hessians at Trenton and stand up to the British Troops at Princeton. All this set the stage for the most ferocious fighting of the American Revolution, the Philadelphia Campaign.
After a long pause in action, the British Troops under the command of Gen Howe and Cornwallis sailed in August with 15,000 troops from New York with the objective to take Philadelphia. They moved their armada up the Chesapeake to the Elk River as Washington marched his 15,000 Continentals down through Pennsylvania to meet the challenge at Chadds Ford where the British were forced to cross (i.e. "ford") the Brandywine River. On September 11, 1777 The Battle of Brandywine would become the largest single day land battle of the War and is still the largest battle against a foreign Army on American soil, a clash of 30,000 in the Brandywine Valley.
The day and night before this great battle the entire British and Hessian Armies marched into the small town of Kennett Square and occupied the homes and taverns where they rested and planned their attack strategy. This occupation was devastating to the local community as livestock, horses, food, etc were taken by the British Army. Sept 10, 1777 is a day that forever changed Kennett Square and impacts daily lives even to this day as we continue to live on this battlefield of the American Revolution.
Join us as we recreate the Occupation of Kennett Square in the streets of the town and in the local Taverns as General Howe and Cornwallis deliver the detailed battle plans for the next day. Hear first hand accounts of local towns people who describe the events they witnessed and the hardships endured. This is a day to remember, learn, reflect and have fun celebrating the history and resilience of Kennett Square and our Continental ancestors.
Watch as British Regulars march through the streets of Kennett Square around local restaurants and taverns, occupying them for their own amusement demanding drinks and loyalty to King George! A Fife and Drum team will alert the community to the presence of His Majesty's forces and demand pledges of loyalty. (Don't worry, all in good fun). Perhaps you will also encounter a Hessian or 2, so brush up on your german...
General Howe Delivers his message to the citizens of Kennett Square from the balcony overlooking the main street. Be sure to hear what the General has to say to the King's Loyal Subjects as his Army Occupies their homes and taverns.
Join us at the Apple Ally outside Kennett Brewing Company as it is used by the British High Command to deliver the Battle Plan for the following day. KBC will have the Olde Speckled George (a beer made using George Washington's own recipe) and other food specials with outdoor seating! You will hear a description of the events to unfold over the next 24 hours. There may also be short presentations by local historians, schedule TBD. Participation by all citizens will be encouraged to read actual first hand accounts of the Occupation. Vendors will be on-site so be you can take home some history!
After the presentations please plan to stay and enjoy meeting the British army, as questions and share a Colonial Era beer!
This event complies with all State of PA Covid19 guidelines and is conducted outside.
Put on your Colonial Garb and join us!
Kennett Occupation Day - 2020
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