Description

    Battle of Brandywine - Manuscript Copy Letter. Four pages [incomplete], 7.25" x 9", [n.p., n.d.] "A Copy of Lieutn Dnkes[?] Letter Dated German Town Cap Octr 13, 1777". Written a week following the inconclusive action at Germantown, this British officer relates a superb description of the pivotal battle at Brandywine Creek on September 11, 1777. The manuscript reads, in small part: "...we came in sight of the Ground, was formed in a quarter of an Hour, and the Action began in five minutes after, Never a Line I suppose was form'd so quick, we marched in line two Columns on the 11 of Sept. one Commanded by Lord Cornwallis...The Second column by his Excellency Genl. Knyphausen...We had orders the Night before to be ready to March at Day Brake [sic] and to have our Baggage Loaded an Hour before, we Marched in the 2 Columns I have already mentioned, Knyphuasen's Column took the shortest Road where the Rebels had thrown a Work up to hinder our Crossing the Brandy Wine Creek, and for to amuse them there, till Ld Cornwallis with is Column had got Sufficiently round them as so as to make them give us Battle; without stealing off, as they have over done since we landed, for we have been nearer them several times, then we were that Day, they all say he certainly meant to have made a Stand, but never thought we should have attak'd them w[h]ere we did, to be sure he made a Stand, but not long Marching above Sixteen Miles, which We was form Day break to three o Clock in the Afternoon a doing owing greatly to the badness of the Roads which did not allow the Cannon to get on faster, by that time you must imagine our men were pretty much fatigued, having had nothing to Eat or drink, since the Day before, but when they formed at 3 o'Clock the enemy so close, the March and fatigue was all forgot, its impossible for Men ever to go into the field, with more spirit and determined resolution then [sic] they did, to drive them out of the Field, w[h]ere the Rebels were posted on the most advantageous ground, that they could wish, its impossible we could have drove them from the Heights had they behaved like Soldiers, but they show'd themselves just What they are, nothing but a Rebel Banditti, had we been so fortunate as to have had two more hours daylight, we should have drone four times s much as we did...in all probability it would have put an end to the Rebellion..." Washington's loss at Brandywine Creek forced Congress to flee Philadelphia. Washington attempted to dislodge Howe's Army at Germantown on October 4, but was unsuccessful and was obliged to wait out the winter at Valley Forge. Light toning, small loss at top margin, else very good condition.

    Offered together with two slips of paper bearing manuscript notes, likely in the hand of William Seymour Conway, one reading "American Letters &c 1776, 76, 77, 78, 79" (3" x 4.5"); the other, 4.5" x 3", bears 14 lines of notes which appear to be summary notes, and read, in small part: "13 weeks since battle of Concord - not account form England...Ill Harmony between officers of Army & Navy...Conquest of Canada Boasted plan...Quebec..." Also together with several other small papers including an Autograph Document Signed by New York patriot, "John Alsop". Two pages, 7" x 3", New York, June 30, 1773, a receipt for £40 from Aspinwall & Smith. With similar receipt on verso signed by one Samuel Pearce, New York, July 17, 1773, for the amount of £27.15.0. Also together with another manuscript receipt signed "Ann Bauman," 6 x 1.5", New York, Sept. 5, 1774. Andrew Dunscomb (1757-1802) Autograph Document Signed. One page, 6" x 6.5", Philadelphia, January 9, 1792, a receipt of the service accounts of Colonel B. Henderson. Significant losses, weak at folds, else fair.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
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