The Paoli Battle

The Paoli Battle

Among the notable events of the American Revolution war was the Paoli battle. It happened just after the British army outsmarted the American soldiers at the Battle of Brandywine, and later a depressing defeat at the Battle of the Clouds. The losses led to the occupation and control of the American capital at Philadelphia in the hands of the British forces. The American troops General George Washington didn’t take the defeat lightly, and in a calculated move he tactfully left behind an army under brigadier general Anthony Wayne. And positioning the force between Philadelphia and Reading, approximately fifty miles to the Northwest, and wisely dividing the army into two units so as they could occupy both sides of the Schuylkill River just north of Philadelphia. The force was under instruction to closely monitor British forces activities within the Philadelphia capital. American forces were neighboring Philadelphia as well as those that were in areas of importance to the British troops, especially the neighboring states from where the British troops replenished their supplies, were instructed to keep the pressure on the British by harassing them and even stealing or destroying their supplies whenever possible. The strategy, the strategic location, and determination of the American force would have acted in their favor but the miscalculations by their general Anthony Wayne who assumed that the British forces did not know their occupancy.

Contrary to general’s believe, the British intelligence was aware of Wayne’s forces and had resolved that the American troops were encamped near the General Paoli Tavern. On the night of 20th September 1777, British troops under Major General Charles Grey ambushed the unsuspecting Americans forces from the woods that surrounded the American forces camp. This action made most of the American soldiers to free in panic while leaving more soldiers at the mercy of the Britain soldiers who brutally executed them, although the number of the killed Americans forces remains unknown most records place the number above 50. The British army was under the instructions of Major General Charles Grey who instructed the Infantrymen and bayonets to unload their muskets and remove their flits to ensure total surprise during the ambush. Many of those who fled were pursued, and it remains unclear as to whether they were taken as prisoners or were killed in the battlefield. The American brigadier general Anthony Wayne was however apprehended. An official inquiry was later conducted which concluded that brigadier general Anthony Wayne was not guilty. Incensed by the inquiry General Anthony requested for a full court-martial. His request was granted, and after the board reviewed his case, they resolved that General Anthony Wayne had acted with honor.

The battle cry to revenge

The two immediate battles that followed after the Paoli battle, i.e., Battle of Germantown and the Battle of Stony Point could be described as the battle cry to revenge. Since the troops comprised of Wayne’s remaining soldiers who were determined to retaliation for those massacred during Paoli battle or Paoli massacre. Phrases like “Remember Paoli!” were recited by them as a battle cry during the Battle of Germantown and the Battle of Stony Point

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