I have found two more accounts about Brandywine. The first is from Nathanael Greene in a letter he wrote in 1782 to Henry Lee. The letter deals with complaints about not being recognized for his services earlier in the war. The following few lines deal with Brandywine:
“I covered the retreat at Brandawine, and was upward of an hour and a quarter in a hot action, and confessedly saved the park of Artillery and indeed the actions I never had the honor to have my name mentioned to the public either as being with the Army or having done the least thing notwithstanding I was a General Officer.”
The other account I found is by Ensign Wilhelm Johann Ernst Freyenhagen of the Hessian von Donop Regiment. The regiment was part of Stirn’s Hessian brigade and was part of Knyphausen’s column that attacked Chads’s Ford. Here is his account from his journal:
“At daybreak we marched off to the right. The 1st column under Lord Cornwallis, the 2nd under Lt-Gen. v. Knyphausen, the last of which was Stirn’s Brigade.
At about 10:20 AM, after continually forcing the enemy back, we came to Brandywine Hills, where the enemy had very strong batteries. They fired immediately upon our arrival [and we answered] as much as our cannons allowed. We always stopped a certain distance from them.
During this time Gen. Knyphausen reconnoitered. We soon received news that the enemy had established a line on Brandywine Hills and awaited us. At 3 PM we heard a strong cannonade on our left flank. It was the column of Lord Cornwallis which just arrived before the Brandywine Hills. He had made a much longer and fatiguing march than we did. This was the reason we had to wait so long before being allowed to attack.
Lord Cornwallis during this time had forced the enemy’s right wing to retreat. His battle order was:
1st Line, right wing
1st Batl. Engl. Grenadiers and the Guards brigade.
1st Line, left wing
2nd Batl. Light Infantry
2nd Batl. Engl. Grenadiers
2nd Line, right wing
2nd Line, left wing
Engl. Maj-Gen. Agnew’s Brigade
Maj-Gen. Grey’s Brigade
The enemy as already mentioned marched up in line and fought bravely, held the line until forced to retreat when the right flank started fleeing because of the bravery of the English bayonet charge. The Hessian Jagers on the left flank had to withstand grape shot for over and hour and had six dead and 24 wounded. Also Capt. [Johann Friedrich Jakob] Trautvetter and Lt [Karl] v. Forstner, the latter of the Ansbach Jager Company, were severely wounded and their survival is in doubt. The approaching night prevented following the enemy; they left 15 metal cannons on the field of which two were Hessian, one of which was bored out to a six-pounder. We also took 300 prisoners.
General Washington was supposed to have 18,000 men against us, on our side about 8,000 came under fire. Losses to both sides were about equal. The English had 50 officers and 300 privates killed and wounded. In the Hessian Grenadier Brigade Lieutenants v. Dupuy and Baumbach were wounded, plus one NCO and four privates of the Linsing Batl.
The commanding General en chef seemed completely satisfied with the good dispositions of Gen. v. Knyphausen and with the bravery of his soldiers as he mentioned it in his next orders.
The Stirn Brigade lost two men dead and four wounded by artillery fire. The Mirbach Regt had one private wounded.”