Battlefields and Encampments
America's battlefields and historic forts are living monuments to critical moments in our nation's history. Stand at the front lines of pivotal Revolutionary War battles when you visit these historic sites in the Philadelphia region.
Originally built by the British in 1771, Fort Mifflin supported the American Revolution by delaying the re-supply of British forces occupying the rebel capital of Philadelphia in November of 1777. Beginning in October of that year, a valiant 5-week battle took place culminating in the greatest bombardment of the Revolutionary War. Surrounding the Fort on three sides, the British shot over 10,000 cannonballs at the Fort, causing the garrison to evacuate during the night of November 15, 1777. The battle’s survivors left their flag flying, set fire to what remained of the Fort, and made their way across the Delaware River to Fort Mercer. Fort Mifflin never surrendered.
General Washington and the Continental Army used this time to establish winter quarters in Valley Forge. Too late in the season for British General Howe give chase, the garrison at Fort Mifflin extended the war, providing the American army time to regroup until the spring of 1778.
The site of the Battle of Paoli (also called the Paoli Massacre), fought in September of 1777, was one of the most brutal for the Americans during the Philadelphia Campaign. 100 years later, a monument was erected at the site, which still stands today. The site has remained as farm fields and woods since the battle, making it our nation’s most pristine Revolutionary War battlefield. A shaded 3/4 mile trail takes visitors on a self-guided tour with interpretive panels telling the story of the Battle and its legacy. Sturdy, period-accurate, split rail and “snake” fences illustrate how these obstacles slowed down the Continental Soldiers.
Red Bank Battlefield Park
Explore the site of a fierce battle between Hessians and Colonials in October of 1777 and learn about what life was like for an 18th-century Quaker family at the Red Bank Battlefield and Whitall House. Now part of the Gloucester County Parks system, the park features picnic pavilions and a scenic path along the Delaware River. Red Bank Battlefield Park is open from dawn to dusk, and the Whitall House is open seasonally.
Brandywine Battlefield Park
Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site is located on 50 acres, in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. It is a portion of the 15 square miles that the Battle of Brandywine was fought September 11, 1777, during the American Revolution. The battle was a major victory for the British & enabled them to capture the city of Philadelphia.
Valley Forge National Historical Park
The site of the 1777-1778 winter encampment of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and now home to the preservation and education of that period. With over a thousand acres to explore, there's plenty of activity at Valley Forge, including encampment tours, natural trails, children activities, and historic programs.