Significant Past Events - Crooked Billet 2003

     In early 1778 Brigadier General John Lacey, Jr. had been charged with patrolling the area north of Philadelphia, between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, with responsibility for warning Valley Forge of attacks, checking British foraging raids, and preventing local trade with the enemy. Most of the enlistments of the few troops he had were due to expire shortly. Promised, and desperately needed, reinforcements were slow arriving or simply not coming. Bands of Loyalists and British horsemen grew increasingly bold, and their raids into Lacey's sector were becoming more frequent.

     On the morning of May 1, 1778, Gen. Lacey found his camp near the Crooked Billet Tavern virtually surrounded. Though outnumbered the general rallied his troops during the initial attack and was able to withdraw to a nearby wooded area and make a stand. After repulsing a charge of horse he decided to continue moving, and had his troops withdraw further. Skirmishing continued for some two miles before Lacey's troops turned to the left, broke free and made a move back towards the Billet. At this point the British broke off, withdrawing towards Philadelphia.

     What Gen. Lacey's troops found on their return to the field was a scene of carnage - bodies of their fallen comrades bayoneted and cutlassed beyond need, and others who had been covered in straw and set afire. Judging from their posture, it appeared that some of these victims were still alive when set alight. Later, depositions were taken from persons who witnessed British troopers brag of bayoneting militiamen after accepting their surrender and of throwing wounded militiamen into fires of buckwheat straw.

     The American losses at Crooked Billet were twenty-six killed and eight wounded, with some fifty-eight additional troopers missing.  (Borrowed from http://www.geocities.com/oldebucks/crooked_billet.html)

CLICK HERE to read the newspaper account of the CROOKED BILLET event

CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE

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180 degree view of the camp area

Grand Panoramic of the American Camp at Crooked Billet

Hey ... we've got new members

Members of the 35th Panzer Grenadiers

Gordon is almost 21 ... HE'S AVAILABLE, LADIES !!!

Bill enjoys some of the snacks Donah brought

Son and father ... all the way from OHIO !!!

Welcome new members Matthew and Joe

Because WASHINGTON wanted to establish air superiority

Why was the reenactment held on a runway?

This is a motley group

Bill trains new recruits to protect the airfield

... guiding them through a wheel turn

These guys need a LOT of work!

FIRE !!!

Firing on those hard-to-kill British soldiers

The smoke clears ... these guys just don't die

Hessians & Loyalists in the bushes

Our own littering the field

The vast disarray before the retreat

When all else fails after losing a battle ... drink

Gene hold the keg as Mitch can only find a plate

This week John's coat is RED

John and Matt wait their turn

Ed joins our group for a photo

We still grieve John's passing

The gang with new father & son recruits

We didn't get any pictures of Jeannie !!!

Additional information about CROOKED BILLET can be found at http://www.hatboro-pa.com/hathist.htm

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