Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tabletop Germantown: Postscript

My Military History class concluded its unit on the Philadelphia Campaign of 1777 with a battlefield walk of Germantown.  Students got to see in person the terrain features which they had fought around in miniature the week before.  While much of Germantown has been urbanized, some of the buildings that saw witness to the battle in the 18th century are still there.
Here is the class on the steps of the Chew House.  One of the walls still bears the scars of Continental musketry.  Students liked the interactive display which showed the troop movements on Oct. 4.
Our original schoolhouse stood about a hundred yards behind the main British lines in Germantown, just behind the high water mark of Washington's offensive.  The school was the largest building in Germantown at the time, and it served as a hospital for the British.  School tradition states that the Brits used our weathervane for target practice, but I'll be darned if I can see evidence of that.

We then followed Washington's retreat to Whitemarsh, which happens to be less than a mile from our school's current campus in Fort Washington.  Howe's advanced troops skirmished with the Continental Army in the churchyard of St. Thomas' church.  The graveyard holds several Revolutionary War veterans.

We ended the day at Washington's winter quarters at Valley Forge (Whitemarsh being to close to British-held Philadelphia).  Quite a theatrical crew.

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