Overview and Summary of the Battle of Germantown
After defeating the Continental Army at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11 Sir William Howe outmanoeuvred George Washington and seized Philadelphia. General Howe set up his headquarters and 9,000 troop garrison at Germantown, in the northwest section of the city of Philadelphia. The Battle of Germantown took place on Saturday, October 04, 1777 when George Washington directed the simultaneous advance, under cover of darkness, of four different units of American troops. The four columns of American soldiers were to converge near General William Howe's headquarters and catch the British by surprise. The American advance started well in the early morning with some of the the British retreating. However the advance faltered when one of the four American columns lost its bearings in a dense fog and thick smoke. Bad luck dogged the other columns who failed to coordinate effectively. The Continental Army launched furious assaults against Cliveden, the stone house of Chief Justice Chew, but the greatly outnumbered defenders beat them back, inflicting heavy casualties. The American army were forced to retire to Valley Forge, a strong place in the hills that were not far from Philadelphia.
The Importance and Significance of the Battle of Germantown
Significance of the Battle of Germantown: The significance of the conflict was that the British seized Philadelphia after the victories at the Battle of Brandywine Creek and the battle of Germantown. Despite the defeat at Germantown it still boosted American morale and self-confidence as they believed the defeat was the result of bad luck, not bad tactics.