AWI campaign - The battle of Surridge Farm
The AWI campaign is still going strong, and a key battle happened on Tuesday evening. Howe caught Washington in open field for the first time, something Howe has been trying to achieve since the first engagements
The battlefield. The British will set up on the end of the table closest to the camera
Washington found himself a few days to the north of Philadelphia, and only had time to build one redoubt. He put his two batteries of guns in this defensive position, and contemplated his plan.
Howe had approaching 8,000 troops, a mixed bag of British and Hessian regiments. He had a brigade of guards and grenadiers - which would play a key role in the events which followed.
Washington was keen to give Howe another bloody nose, similar to that dished out in the previous battle at Cormacks Creek, and determined he would fight. His troops, including a brigade under General LaFayette, formed line, and waited for the British approach.
Washington rallies his troops as the British form up
General Howe about to inspect some Hessian line infantry
From the start, Howe showed his aggressive intent and marched in a broad line toward the American lines.
A Hessian Brigade marches swiftly along the road toward the American centre
Washington outnumbered Howe in cavalry, but neither side managed to get them the room to manoeuvre, this was going to be an infantry battle.
Hessian Jagers move through some heavy woods on the British right flank
General Johann Stim brigade closes in column toward some woods on the British left flank. They are surprised by General Stephens 3,000 militia hiding in the densely wooded area.
Stim was later shot in the stomach, and seriously wounded, played no further part in the battle.
In the centre, 600 Highlanders punch a whole in the American lines
A battalion of British guards enters the fray
They close on the American regulars
Slightly blurred, but more and more weight is brought to bear on the wavering American lines
Stephens militia is pushed back, then routs
The battle was, for the first two hours a hard fought affair, and Washington was pleased with his boys, but suddenly, the American moral collapsed in the centre, and this sent shock waves across the American lines, and it turned into a rout. Washington narrowly avoiding capture, unlike his colleague LaFayette who was captured by some Highlanders.
Howe was aggressive, and kept up his attacking momentum, using his superior troop quality to decisively beat his opponent.
Washington was visibly crushed, and almost surrendered the campaign..........
Will Rochambeau, and his French smell inevitable defeat, or can they rescue the revolution? The future of the campaign hangs in the balance...........