Date: September 20, 1777
Paoli Battlefield Historic Site was the site of the Battle of Paoli, also known as the Paoli Massacre. British forces attacked General Wayne's troops in the middle of the night, September 20-21. More than 50 Americans were killed in the attack.
September, 1777 was a time of struggle for the Continental Army. On September 11, the Americans suffered heavy casualties - 1,000 men, twice as many as the British - during the Battle of Brandywine.
Just nine days later, the two sides would again engage, near Paoli Tavern, in what would become known as the Battle of Paoli.
General Anthony Wayne arrived on September 19 and waited for a chance to engage the enemy, but the opportunity never arose and he made camp instead. The next night, the British struck first, tearing through the American camp with bayonets and swords, killing 53 soldiers and wounding more than 100. The gruesome nature of the attack is what earned the battle the nickname "Paoli Massacre."
Today, the land where the attack occurred remains largely untouched. Forty-four acres of land were dedicated in 2002, on the 225th anniversary of the battle, and are now preserved as a public park.
PAOLI BATTLEFIELD HERITAGE DAY
Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund
The Battle of Paoli is remembered each September. This year, the event takes on a new title: Paoli Battlefield Heritage Day. The event includes a Military Timeline: re-enactors portraying soldiers from the French and Indian War through the Vietnam War. There will be demonstrations throughout the day, as well as crafters, vendors, and interactive activities.