Kennett Heritage Center

Kennett Occupation Day


September 9:  General Howe and his 18,000 Crown Troops and camp followers left their encampment near Hockessin, Delaware. One column, led by Hessian General Knyphausen traveled through New Garden Township via route 41 and Old Baltimore Pike and reached the tiny crossroads settlement of Kennett around midnight. 

The other column commanded by General Cornwallis used country paths and byways to traverse the Red Clay Creek and reunited with Knyphausen at Kennett mid-morning the next day.

September 10: Knyphausen’s Division bivouacked east of the village along the line of McFarlan Road, while Cornwallis’ Division encamped along Route 82 extending north and south through the village. The army was arranged in two north-south trending parallel lines. Arranged thus, the Crown Forces remained around Kennett Square until 4-5 AM on September 11. From their positions, the two divisions formed their columns which would launch the attack against Washington’s army defending the line of the Brandywine.

from "The Army March'd at Day Break in Two Columns" by by Wade P. Catts, RPA, Robert A. Selig, Ph.D., and Kevin Bradley, RPA