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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Military / Wars & Conflicts
  • Language:English
  • Pages:146
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350900200

The British Occupation of Wilmington

by William S. Knightly

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This book is an historical account of the Britsh Army occupation of Wilmington, Delaware after the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. The battle of Brandywine was the largest battle of the American Revolution. Although a decisive victory for General William Howe and his army, the high number of british wounded resulting from the battle required the occupation of Wilmington for use as a large British field hospital. At Wilmington the Royal Navy arrived to eventually embark and treat the British wounded. This is the little known story of the British and German (Hessian) occupiers and their interaction with a local colonial population whom they greatly outnumbered.
The Occupation of Wilmington tells the story of the British army occupation of Wilmington Delaware immediately after the Battle of Brandywine. This battle was the largest battle of the American revolution with over 32,000 troops engaged on September 11, 1777. Although a great victory for General William Howe, his army sustained significant losses in killed and wounded. Over 400 British and Hessian soldiers needed extended hospital care. In order to tend to the wounded, the British seized Wilmington and turned the town into a large field hospital. Eventually, the British committed three regiments to the occupation. These soldiers outnumbered the local population by over two to one. The Royal Navy sailed up the Delaware river to Wilmington in order to embark wounded soldiers and transport Continental prisoners taken at the Battle of Brandywine. This little known story uncovers the extent of British losses at Brandywine, the failure of the Delaware militia to protect Wilmington and the effects of a wartime occupation on the population of a town that just preferred to be left alone.
About the author
Bill Knightly is a graduate of the University of Delaware and retired Army officer who has written extensively on the American Revolution in Delaware. He has produced a number of podcasts on colonial Delaware. He lives with his wife in Wilmington and continues to lecture and lead historical tours of colonial sites in the Brandywine valley of Delaware and nearby Pennsylvannia.