Germantown order of battle

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Black and white print of soldiers firing at a two-story house. Clouds of smoke are coming from the windows of the building.
Battle of Germantown

The Battle of Germantown on 4 October 1777 pitted a 9,000-man British army under General William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe against an 11,000-strong American army commanded by Major General George Washington. After an initial advance, the American reserve allowed itself to be diverted by 120 English soldiers holding out in the Benjamin Chew House. A heavy morning fog disoriented the American assault columns and led to a friendly fire incident between elements of Major General John Sullivan's right column and Major General Nathanael Greene's left column. At about this time, the American attack lost impetus and both columns retreated. Meanwhile, two wide flanking columns numbering 3,000 American militia had little effect on the outcome. American losses was numbered at 673 soldiers killed and wounded plus 400 captured, while the British suffered 520 casualties.[1]

British Army order of battle[edit]

Black and white print of Sir William Howe in military uniform and three-cornered hat
Sir William Howe

General Sir William Howe (9,000)[2]

Picket[edit]

Brigadier General Sir William Erskine

Right Wing[edit]

General Sir William Howe

Left Wing[edit]

Black and white print of a bewigged Wilhelm von Knyphausen wearing a metal cuirass
Wilhelm von Knyphausen

Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen

British and Hessian officers[edit]

Charles Grey
Robert Abercromby
Ludwig von Wurmb
Sir William Erskine
James Grant Charles Grey Robert Abercromby Ludwig von Wurmb Sir William Erskine


American Army order of battle[edit]

Color painting of a white-haired George Washington in a dark blue military uniform with gold epaulettes and white collar
George Washington

Major General George Washington (8,000 regulars, 3,000 militia, 200 cavalry)[13][14]

Right Wing Militia[edit]

Brigadier General John Armstrong, Sr. (1,500)[15]

Left Wing Militia[edit]

Brigadier General William Smallwood (1,500)

  • Maryland Militia Brigade: Brigadier General Smallwood
  • New Jersey Militia Brigade: Brigadier General David Forman

Right Wing Continentals[edit]

Black and white print of a dark-haired John Sullivan in a dark military uniform and lighter colored turnbacks
John Sullivan

Major General John Sullivan

Print of Anthony Wayne in tricorne hat with a large cockade
Anthony Wayne

Left Wing Continentals[edit]

Color painting of gray-haired Nathanael Greene in 1783 by Charles Willson Peale. Greene wears his general's uniform with a dark blue coat, a buff vest and turnbacks, and brass buttons.
Nathanael Greene

Major General Nathanael Greene

Painting of a balding Charles Scott in blue uniform with yellow lapels and epaulettes
Charles Scott

Reserve[edit]

Black and white print of Lord Stirling in a military uniform
Lord Stirling

Major General William Alexander, Lord Stirling (1,200)

American officers[edit]

William Smallwood
Thomas Conway
Henry Knox
John Hoskins Stone
Peter Muhlenberg
William Smallwood Thomas Conway Henry Knox John Hoskins Stone Peter Muhlenberg


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Eggenberger, 166-167
  2. ^ Johnson, 70
  3. ^ McGuire (2007), 102
  4. ^ McGuire (2007), 61. McGuire listed the light companies by regiment. Erskine took the 2nd Light Infantry on patrol very early, but found nothing.
  5. ^ McGuire (2007), 58
  6. ^ McGuire (2006), 397. This brigade, with a nominal strength of 1,000 men, was drawn by lottery from the three foot guard regiments.
  7. ^ McGuire (2006), 379. The author gave the Guards Brigade company organization and strength for September 12, 1777.
  8. ^ McGuire (2006), 6. The author named the company commander Osborn.
  9. ^ McGuire (2007), 234. Captain Thomas Twistleton led the light company but missed most of the campaign.
  10. ^ McGuire (2007), 57. Osborn led both flank companies at Germantown.
  11. ^ McGuire (2007), 75, 120. Monckton was in command of the British grenadiers, while Cornwallis led them from their quarters in Philadelphia to the battle. They arrived late and joined the pursuit.
  12. ^ McGuire (2007), 14. Donop led the Hessian grenadiers.
  13. ^ Johnson, 70. Johnson listed the American brigades and cavalry units, but not the foot regiments.
  14. ^ McGuire (2007), 50. McGuire estimated the strengths of the divisions and brigades.
  15. ^ McGuire (2007), 49
  16. ^ McGuire (2007), 69. McGuire gave the brigade commanders and the regiments of Sullivan's division.
  17. ^ McGuire (2007), 111
  18. ^ McGuire (2007), 71. McGuire gave the brigade commanders and the regiments of Wayne's division.
  19. ^ McGuire (2007), 65. McGuire listed the regiments in Conway's brigade.
  20. ^ McGuire (2007), 55. McGuire listed the regiments in McDougall's brigade.
  21. ^ McGuire (2007), 116
  22. ^ McGuire (2007), 56. McGuire listed the brigades and regiments in Greene's division.
  23. ^ Wright, 283-292. The author listed the composition of all four Virginia brigades.
  24. ^ McGuire (2007), 94. McGuire noted that Woodford was absent and that the acting commander is not known.
  25. ^ Wright, 112. Wright gave the composition of the 3rd Virginia Brigade. He also listed the numbers of the four Virginia brigades and their commanders.
  26. ^ McGuire (2007), 93. This officer is named.
  27. ^ Wright, 108. All nine North Carolina regiments reached Philadelphia in July 1777. However, their aggregate strength was only 131 officers and 963 enlisted men. Only two of the regiments numbered over 200 men.
  28. ^ Wright, 255-257. All four regiments were assigned to the New Jersey Brigade on 22 May 1777.
  29. ^ a b McGuire (2007), 89. This colonel is misnamed Aaron Ogden.
  30. ^ McGuire (2007), 87

References[edit]