Original Document
Original Document
Letter from George Washington to the Continental Congress (1777)

On September 26, 1777, British troops marched into Philadelphia and occupied the city forcing the Continental Congress, meeting in the Pennsylvania State House (later renamed Independence Hall), to flee to the interior of Pennsylvania. General Washington and his Army had battled the British south of Philadelphia at Brandywine Creek on September 11. That evening, Washington sent a letter to the Continental Congress reporting the outcome:

I am sorry to inform you that in this day's engagement we have been obliged to leave the enemy masters of the field. Unfortunately the intelligence received of the enemy's advancing up the Brandywine, and crossing at a Ford about six miles above us, was uncertain and contradictory, notwithstanding all my pains to get the best . . . Our loss of men is not, I am persuaded, very considerable; I believe much less than the enemy's . . . Notwithstanding the misfortune of the day, I am happy to find the troops in good spirits; and I hope another time we shall compensate for the losses now sustained. . .

The Marquis La Fayette was wounded in the leg, and General Woodford in the hand. Divers other officers were wounded, and some slain, but the numbers of either cannot now be ascertained.

I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient humble servant,


P. S. It has not been in my power to send you earlier intelligence; the present being the first leisure moment I have had since the action.

Letter, George Washington to Continental Congress, September 11, 1777.
George Washington Papers, 1741-1799
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