Today, September 17, 1777, is the day Yellow Springs entered the Revolutionary War. The Philadelphia Campaign was raging in Chester County with the Battle of Brandywine, the Battle of the Clouds and eventually the Paoli Massacre.
It was early in the morning of September 17, after the Battle of the Clouds in Malvern, that this rag-tag army marched a grueling six miles overnight across the Great Valley through torrential rain, cold temperatures, and mud filled fields and trails. They were cold, wet, hungry and tired.
Local West Pikeland residents offered food and some lodging. Most of the army camped minus tents throughout the area. Meanwhile, General Washington set up temporary headquarters in the tavern that existed at that time right in our village. Sending correspondence written by his senior aide de camp Lt. Col. Alexander Hamilton, he told them he would head west to the furnace area to replenish ammunition and give his men rest.
Also with him were James Monroe and Anthony Wayne. The General then decided to send Wayne with a small contingent to watch over the British at Malvern. Thus, the Paoli Massacre.
To follow, we know of the Valley Forge Encampment, the building of the Revolutionary War Hospital at Yellow Springs, the knowledge of the medical department here, the support of the doctors and the West Pikeland community, and the steady march to freedom at Yorktown. The freedom we love today.
Join me in the commemoration of this momentous event in the history of Yellow Springs. Join me in standing tall and proud of what happened here on this sacred ground that we walk upon each day.