Battles for the American Revolution: Germantown (October 4, 1777)
At the Battle of Germantown on October 4, 1777, during the American Revolution, British forces in Pennsylvania defeated the American Continental Army under General George Washington (1732-99).
After capturing Philadelphia in September 1777, British General William Howe (1729-1814) camped a large contingent of his troops at nearby Germantown. Washington launched a surprise attack on the poorly defended British camp, but his army failed to pull off his complex battle plan. The British drove away the Americans, inflicting twice as many casualties as they suffered. The defeat at Germantown, which came soon after a similar loss at Brandywine, led some prominent Americans to question Washington’s leadership. However, despite the losses, many of his soldiers had performed well, and Germantown demonstrated that Washington’s once-unskilled army was on its way to becoming the well-trained force that would win the war.
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