Battle at Chadds Ford ~ Historic Chadds Ford Days

Saturday, September 14th, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Sunday, September 15th, 10:00am - 4:00pm

 

The CFHS is excited to announce that we will be hosting a battle reenactment on September 14th and 15th. 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 CLICK HERE

 

REENACTORS and DEMONSTRATORS interested in taking part at the event, please CLICK HERE

Hours:

September 14th: 10am - 5pm

September 15th: 10am - 4pm

 

Location:         

The Chadds Ford Historical Society

Barn Visitors Center

1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, PA 19317

 

Admission:

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

 

Note: We accept Cash & Credit Cards at Admissions, 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:

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.

Press Release & Lecture Series Schedule 2023

*2024 Schedule TBT

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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 am to 5 pm, Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm Sunday, Sept. 14 -15, 2024, on the grounds of the Historical Society at 1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, PA 19317.

 

     Ever wondered what it would be like to be in 1777, along the Brandywine River, with the roar of cannons and echoes 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 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 regiments from the 1st Delaware, 1st Maryland, 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 9th Pennsylvania, as well as those from the Kings army and loyalists to the crown of the 43rd Regiment of Foot, Von Wreden’s feldJagar, and 1st Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers, will take part in skirmishes and firing demonstrations. Experience the sights and sounds of a booming cannon and musket fire as these foes engage on the battlefield.

 

     Additional reenactors will play the part of “camp followers” for either the Continental or Crown Forces. 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 brewing, candle making, gun smithing, chair caning, and woodcarving, to name a few.  Enjoy the sounds of an 18th century dulcimer, join in with colonial dancers, converse with sutlers and reenactors such as “Ned Hector,” one of a handful of Black soldiers who fought with Washington’s Army at Chads’ Ford.

           

     Enjoy traditional festival food and treats from local vendors, such as The Meat House, Fletcher’s Kitchen, and Sabatino’s Pizza, as well as local wine and beer from the Chadds Ford Winery, Sly Fox Brewery all while listening to live music from “Kenny Thompson and Friends” and “Max and Denise” in the outdoor seating area.

 

     Shop from local artisans selling their unique items such as wood products, pottery, candles, jewelry, artwork and more.

 

     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.  Youth will have an opportunity to participate in “School of the Soldier”, drilling with soldiers of the 1st Delaware on the main field at 1:00 pm each day.

 

     Skirmishes take place at 11:30 a.m. and at 3:30 p.m. on the main field behind the historical society’s headquarters.

 

     The firing demo will take place at 1:30 p.m. utilizing muskets and cannon; observe reenactors prime, load, and fire their firearm and artillery. Learn about the drilling, training and military techniques used at that time and speak with the reenactors following their drills.

 

 

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 14th

 

11:00 AM

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.

 

12:00 PM

Tim Platek, "1st Amendment of the Constitution; Freedom of Religion” 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise…”

 

1:00 PM

Adrian Martinez, a nationally recognized artist will discuss “The National Importance of the Brandywine School 1850 – 1950”. More than 100 years ago New York introduced America to Picasso, Cezanne and the “Modern Art” movement.  At the same time, Howard Pyle and his atelier were organizing what eventually became the “Brandywine Tradition”. As a professional artist for over 50 years Adrian Martinez has been an active participant on both sides of this struggle for art in America. Martinez will bring two Major paintings from his “Battle of Brandywine” cycle to help illustrate his brief comments on this exciting cultural issue and its consequences.

 

2:00 PM

Michael Carver, "Brewing for the Army”, will discuss the necessity, practice, and effect of brewing for the Army during the American Revolution.  When Jacques Cartier overwintered in Quebec in 1535 almost all his men fell ill with scurvy through lack of fresh food.  Huron Indian women showed them how to make tea from a local tree, which quickly returned the men to health.  This is the genesis of what we know as “Spruce Beer.” During campaigns against the French during the Seven Years War, the British Army learned of this beverage from the inhabitants of Port-Toulouse (now St. Peter’s) who “brewed an excellent sort of antiscorbutic from the tops of the spruce-fir.” It was not long before Spruce Beer became a staple in the daily rations of the British Army in North America as it was a “liquor being thought necessary for the preservation of the health of our men.”  {John Knox, and officer in the 43rd Regiment of Foot at Louisbourg in 17454}.  Following Suit, when George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, he quickly adopted the use of spruce beer in order to keep his troops fit for service.  “The following is the Ration of Provisions allowed by the Continental Congress unto each soldier. …One quart of Spruce Beer per man, pr diem…”

 

3:00 PM

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 two decades 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 Buttercups & Gratitude about Andrew Wyeth, Painters Folly and those 20 exciting years that Andy shared with Helen and her late husband George. Signed copies will be available.

 

 

SUNDAY, SEPTMEBER 15th

 

11:00 AM

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.

 

12:00 PM

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, James Monroe, Light Horse Harry Lee, Casimir Pulaski, John Andre and Anthony Wayne. Signed copies of ‘Bye George will be available.

 

1:00 PM

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.

 

2:00 PM

Kris Barone, of the Chester County Chapter NSDAR will present an interesting perspective on the life of Captain Joseph McClellan (1747-1834), a Pennsylvania Patriot.

 

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.

 

Time: Saturday 10am – 5pm

          Sunday 10am -4pm

 

Cost $10 for adults18 and older; $5 for children 7-17; free for members and children 6 and under.  Parking is free.

 

www.chaddsfordhistory.org