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 16th and 17th. 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
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.
Press Release & Lecture Series Schedule
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
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. 16-17, 2023, on the grounds of the Historical Society at 1736 Creek Road, Chadds
Ford, PA 19317. 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
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 1 st Delaware, 1 st Maryland, 2 nd , 5 th , 6 th and 9 th Pennsylvania, as well as those from the Kings army and loyalists to the crown of the 43rd Regiment of Foot, Von
Wreden’s feldJagar, 1 st 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 as these foes engage on the battlefield.
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 18 th century featuring reenactors and colonial craftsmen
demonstrating trades such as flax production, candle making, gun smithing, chair caning, fabric
dyeing, woodcarving, and lace making, 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 Fletcher’s Kitchen,
Sabatino’s Pizza, Vintage Kitchen and Scooped Ice Cream 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 “The Campton Shakers” 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. They will also have an opportunity to
experiment with papermaking with staff from the Brandywine Battlefield Park and drill with the
soldiers of the 1 st Delaware.
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 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 16th
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.
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.
Gene Pisasale, historian, and author has written eleven books on the history of the Chester County and mid-Atlantic region and gives historical lectures on a wide variety of topics. His laterst book, Heritage of the Brandywine Valley tells a captivating narrative of the area’s 300-year history where statesmen, inventors, soldiers, and artists helped to create the America we know today. Through stories of the Lenape Indians, early settlements, conflicts, grist and powder mills the Underground Railroad and world-changing events, you’ll meet E. I. du Pont, William Darlington, Bayard Taylor, Gilbert Cope and others – ‘going behind the scenes’ exploring their fascinating lives and achievement...Signed copies will be available.
Adrian Martinez a nationally recognized artist will bring four of his major historic paintings depicting the interaction of Native Americans and Quakers in Pennsylvania. Despite being a time of religious, political, and cultural turmoil William Penn founded a new type of colony that eventually became the richest and most politically influential state among the 13 colonies. During his tenure as a Colonial Land Lord William Penn respected the Lenni Lenape and described their culture as “extraordinary”. This relationship between Penn and the local Native American inhabitants proved to be both inspiring and tragic. Martinez, in his unique combination of art and scholarship will bring this remarkable and complex time alive.
Chuck Ulman, curator of the Sanderson Museum since 2006, will present a fascinating look at the artifacts of the Sanderson collection contained in their exhibit “Battle of Brandywine”.
SUNDAY, SEPTMEBER 17th
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.
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.
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.
Bruce Mowday, an award-winning newspaper reporter and author, will speak on his latest book Lafayette Returns to Brandywine, 1825. Signed copies of his book will be available for purchase.
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.