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Dinner & Lecture – “Left Newport … Before Daylight and March’d to Chads Ford”: The Landscape of Conflict and the Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777
May 13, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Prior to the Battle of Brandywine, the American and British armies maneuvered across a suburban landscape familiar to many residents of Delaware and Pennsylvania. Throughout the days before the battle, however, New Castle County, Delaware, and neighboring Chester County, Pennsylvania, were militarized landscapes. During this period, General George Washington seized the strategic initiative and marched his army from a defensive position along Red Clay Creek in Delaware to the Brandywine River in Pennsylvania. In response to this American shift, General William Howe maneuvered his forces out of Delaware and into Pennsylvania to a position centered on the village of Kennett Square to prepare for battle. Funded by the American Battlefield Protection Program and administered through the Chester County Planning Commission, this study, led by historical archaeologist, Wade P. Catts, MA, RPA, offers new and revised interpretations for the battle and the Philadelphia campaign. Important among these is a better understanding of the routes used by the American forces on September 9 to reach the Brandywine River, the various fords they used to cross the Brandywine into Pennsylvania, the critical point Washington determined to make a stand, and Howe’s response to that decision.
This dinner and lecture is part of a larger two-day program exploring the Brandywine battlefield.
About the Speaker
Wade P. Catts, MA, RPA, is the President and Principal for South River Heritage Consulting, LLC. He is an historical archaeologist specializing in history, archaeology, and historic preservation. He holds a graduate degree in American history from the University of Delaware (1988).
His Revolutionary War experience includes multiple projects in the eastern U.S., including work in New Jersey (Raritan Landing, Beverwyck, Short Hills, Princeton, Fort Mercer), Pennsylvania (Brandywine, Paoli, Valley Forge National Park, Camp Security, French Creek Powder Works), Delaware (Cooch’s Bridge), New York (Schuylerville, Bennington, Stone Arabia/Klock’s Field), Vermont (Hubbardton), Virginia (Battle of the Hook), and Massachusetts (Minuteman National Park). Many of these projects were successful American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) grant projects and include National Register nominations and revisions, battlefield overviews, interpretive recommendations, and GIS studies. He has extensive experience with Brandywine and Princeton battlefields, having co-authored several ABPP-funded studies of these engagements, and has worked with the American Battlefield Trust in its preservation efforts at Princeton and Brandywine battlefields.
A Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA), he is a member of the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology, the Company of Military Historians, and the Society of Military History. He has more than thirty-five years of experience in the field of cultural resource management. His research interests include the history of farmsteads and agricultural landscapes, military history and archaeology, environmental history, African-American studies, and Middle Atlantic regional history and historic preservation. Mr. Catts is a past president and vice president for membership of the American Cultural Resources Association, the national trade association representing the cultural resources management industry. He is a past president of the Delaware Academy of Science and currently serves on the boards of the Old Swedes Foundation in Wilmington, the Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust in Pennsylvania, the Advisory Board for Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Masters in Applied Archaeology Program, and The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation, and as a Trustee for Preservation Delaware. In 2016 Mr. Catts was the recipient of the Archibald Crozier Award for Distinguished Achievement in and Contributions to Archaeology from the Archaeological Society of Delaware.
He has authored or co-authored articles in national and regional archaeological and historical journals. With the assistance of a McKinstry Award from the Delaware Heritage Commission, he is completing a book on the history and archaeology of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware’s only Revolutionary War engagement. Recently he completed a chapter about the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge for a volume on the archaeology of asymmetrical warfare published by The University of Alabama Press (2019) and co-authored a chapter detailing the archaeology of a target range discovered at the Valley Forge Encampment (2019), published by the University of Florida Press.