Battle at Chadds Ford ~ Historic Chadds Ford Days
Saturday, September 16th and Sunday, September 17th, 2023
10:00am - 5:00pm
The CFHS is excited to announce that we will be hosting a battle reenactment on September 10th and 11th. Join us for a historical journey back to September 11th 1777 when the British army engaged Washington's troops at Chads' Ford. Two timed skirmishes and a firing demo will take place each day. Additionally, reenactors, camp followers, demonstrators and other historians will be on site for all to engage with. Live music, food, and beverages will be available.
Additionally for the kids: 2pm Saturday and Sunday, "School of the Soldier" with 1st Delaware. Experience what it would be like to be a soldier in Washington's Army. Youth will join the Regiment on the field using wooden muskets learning drill and firing commands.
Mark your calendars for this wonderful event!
AUTHORS and ARTISANS who would like to attend the event, please stay tuned...
REENACTORS and DEMONSTRATORS interested in taking part at the event, please stay tuned...
September 16th & 17th: 10am - 5pm
The Chadds Ford Historical Society
Barn Visitors Center
1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, PA 19317
Admission is available at the gate on the day of the event (no pre-sale tickets are available):
$10 for adults 18 and older
$5 for children 7 - 17
FREE for ages 6 years & under and CFHS members (please show your membership card)
Note: we will NOT have an ATM at the event. We will be accepting Cash & Credit Cards at Admissions and our Bread Sales booth, as will the food & drink vendors.
Dogs are welcome and must be on a leash - Please clean up after your pet. Please note: noise levels will be high during the skirmishes at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30p.m., also during the firing demo at 1:30 p.m., so be aware when you bring your furry family member.
Parking is located in a field adjacent to the festival on N. Creek Road. Police and attendants will be onsite to guide you. Please park only in lots designated for event parking. Please DO NOT PARK along Route 1 (Baltimore Pike), Creek Road (Route 100), in nearby business parking lots or neighborhoods.
You won't want to miss this unique celebration of the Battle of Chadds Ford!
Join us and have a historically good time.
Come celebrate "Occupation Kennett, ” a reenactment that will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10th, 2022 in the heart of Kennett Square. "Redcoat” reenactors will take over the hamlet as they did on Sept. 10th, 1777. The free event is co-hosted by the Kennett Heritage Center.
As of this writing, the organizers of this event will follow current CDC guidelines.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Join us for a reenactment and colonial festival celebrating the Sept. 11th, 1777, anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine, hosted by the Chadds Ford Historical Society.
The two-day reenactment/festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11, 2022, on the grounds of the Historical Society at 1736 N. Creek Road, Chadds Ford. Free parking on site.
Ever wondered what it would be like to be in 1777, along the Brandywine River, hearing the roar of cannons and sounds of armies skirmishing in the hills? Well, this is your chance to experience it!
The Chadds Ford Historical Society will host this weekend event including skirmishes, military drills, battlefield encampments, reenactors, camp followers, colonial demonstrators, artisans, authors, non-profits, youth activities and a dozen lectures by noted historians. Get a glimpse of what it was like to experience the largest single-day battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Brandywine. On Sept. 11th, 1777, an estimated 30,000 American and British soldiers reconvened in Chads’ Ford, then a crossing along the Brandywine River. Continental armies from the 1st Delaware, 2nd Pennsylvania, 6th Pennsylvania, and 1st Maryland regiments as well as those from the Kings army and loyalists to the crown of the 43rd Regiment of Foot, Von Wreden’s Jaegars, 1st New Jersey Volunteers, and the Queen’s Rangers will take part in skirmishes and firing demonstrations. Experience the sights and sounds of a booming cannon and musket fire.
Additional reenactors will play the part of “camp followers” for either the Continental or British armies. Visitors will have a chance to learn what life was like “on the road,” trailing behind their respective army, setting up camp and assisting in the daily needs of the troops.
Witness “living history” of the 18th century featuring reenactors and colonial craftsmen demonstrating trades such as blacksmithing, beer making, candle making, tape weaving, chair caning, portrait painting, woodcarving, paper marbling, to name a few. Enjoy the sounds of an 18th century dulcimer, join in with colonial dancers, converse with peddlers, sutlers and re-enactors such as “Ned Hector,” one of a handful of Black soldiers who fought with Washington’s Army at Chads’ Ford. Meet Dr. Franklin who will be traveling from Philadelphia City to attend, he will bring some experiments such as his famous kite and the development of the lighting rod. Also, on display will be 18 firearms from a 1680’s matchlock to an 1820’s caplock, along with an original 1763 “Brown Bess”.
Enjoy traditional festival food and treats from local vendors, such as Fletcher’s Kitchen, Floga Bistro, Sweet Serendipity and Scooped Ice Cream as well as local wine and beer from the Chadds Ford Winery, Deer Creek Malt, and Kennett Brewing Company all while listening to live music from “Ken and Joe’s Dead Set”, and “Jump Fingers” in the outdoor seating area.
Shop from local artisans selling their unique items such as pottery, candles, jewelry, and artwork.
Local non-profits will be present, along with many authors. Take this opportunity to purchase a signed copy of their latest book.
Numerous youth activities including, colonial dress-up, candle, marble, pin cushion, and sampler making, along with tin punching will be available. Each child will make their own treasure to take home and enjoy for the future. They will also have an opportunity to experiment with papermaking with staff from the Brandywine Battlefield Park and paper marbling with Master bookbinder and marbler Robin Ashby.
Skirmishes take place at 11:30 a.m. and at 3:30 p.m. in the open fields behind the historical society’s headquarters.
The firing demo will take place at a 1:30 p.m. utilizing muskets and cannon; observe reenactors prime, load, and fire these firearms. Learn about the drilling, training and military techniques used at that time and speak with the reenactors following their drills.
A September 11th, 1777, observance will take place at 4:30 pm on Sunday.
LECTURE SERIES (each lecture will run roughly 20 minutes)
A series of lectures by noted historians will take place on the hour in our main building Meeting Room and last approximately 20 minutes. Many will have signed copies of their latest books available. The lecturers include the following:
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th
Bruce Mowday, an award-winning newspaper reporter and author, will speak on his latest book Lafayette at Brandywine: The Making of an American Hero. Signed copies of his book will be available for purchase.
Helen M. Sipala, former owner and now tour guide for painter’s Folly, will share the history and stories of this beautiful home now owned by the Chadds Ford Township. Andrew Wyeth spent 20 years of his life with the Sipala’s producing eighteen of his amazing paintings from Widow’s Walk to Marriage. Also available is Helen’s book Beyond the Marriage Bed which reveals those 20 exciting years that Andy shared with Helen and her late husband George. Signed copies will be available.
Bert Dunkerly is an historian who has worked at various Revolutionary and Civil War sites. His book, Decision at Brandywine, goes into detail about the fighting on Birmingham Hill. His lecture will discuss how the battle unfolded there, as well as its importance in the transformation of the Continental Army. Signed copies of the book will be available.
Adrian Martinez nationally recognized artist speaks to the dilemma of Quakers in Southern Pennsylvania during the Battle of Brandywine, “War in the Peaceable Kingdom”. Presenting several of his large-scale Battle of Brandywine oil paintings, including the recently completed major work “Trimble’s Ford 10 am September 11, 1777. Martinez vividly brings to life the chaos for civilians caught in the middle of the largest battle of the revolutionary war. Prints, signed by the artist, will be available including the new addition of “Lafayette at the Battle of the Brandywine”.
Millicent Hughes, author of 1777 – Danbury on Fire! Will unveil the secrets and accidents of searching her relatives, their friends and neighbors caught in the grassroots movement toward the revolutionary war. Signed copies will be available.
4:00 PM Catherine Quillman, author and Chadds Ford Historical Society board member will give an illustrated program based on her recent book titled The Brandywine Battlefield: The Untold Story of Its History and Preservation. Her program will highlight the generational effort to save the vanishing battlefield of September 11th, 1777, now spanning Chester and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania. Signed copies of her book will be available.
SUNDAY, SEPTMEBER 11th
Gene Pisasale, historian, and author has written ten books on the history of the Chester County and mid-Atlantic region and gives historical lectures on a wide variety of topics. This lecture on his latest book, Forgotten Founding Fathers: Pennsylvania and Delaware in the American Revolution, delves into the lives and accomplishments of ten men who all signed the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution or both – but have been largely forgotten. They all helped create the nation we know today… Signed copies will be available.
Noah Lewis, portrayer of Edward “Ned” Hector, will share thoughts on the topics of “The Battle of Brandywine” and “Black People in Washington’s Army”. Ned Hector was a bombardier and teamster for Proctor’s 3rd PA Artillery that fought in the Battle of Brandywine and Germantown.
Chuck Feld, Renowned horticulturalist, teaching at both Longwood Gardens and Williamson College will present “American Roots Horticulture in 18th Century America”. Discussing early plant explorers such as Marshall, Prince, and Bartram and the crucial role they played as the Founding Fathers of American horticulture. Learn how plants were shipped to England, the trading of these plants between the two continents and the binomial system of plant nomenclature. Also, how early American nurseries began with grafting, seed, or division. Observe a demonstration on grafting that was done in the 18th century and is still in use today.
Jim Christ, board member of numerous historic sights and President of the Paoli battlefield Preservation Fund, Inc, will present a lecture about this historic battle that has been largely overlooked in American history. “Remember Paoli”, is the nation’s first battle cry and was born of this battle that was fought in Malvern, PA on the night of September 20th, 1777.
John Ebenreiter, author of ‘Bye George: Blazing a New Nation – US War of Independence and Brandywine Battlefield tour guide, will discuss Five Interesting Fellas Who Fought at Brandywine. Signed copies of ‘Bye George will be available.
Barksdale Maynard, lecturer, and author will present an illustrated lecture on his latest book “Artists of Wyeth Country”. This first-ever guidebook includes in-depth tours for walking or driving that allow the reader to see the places that inspired the artists Howard Pyle, N. C. and Andrew Wyeth.
Enjoy this annual tradition as you travel back and immerse yourself in the 18th century. This family-friendly festival, features battlefield reenactments, colonial demonstrators, reenactors, artisans, authors, non-profits, live music, food, and libations. Dogs are welcome, but owners should check the schedule for skirmishes and firing demos when noise levels will be high. Current CDC guidelines will be followed.
Time: 10am – 5pm
Cost $10 for adults18 and older; $5 for children 7-17; free for members and children 6 and under. Parking is free.