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Malvern in Chester County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Site of the Paoli Massacre

20 September 1777

 
 
Site of the Paoli Massacre Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 6, 2008
1. Site of the Paoli Massacre Marker
Inscription. These Memorial Grounds commemorate the engagement in the Revolutionary War known as the Paoli Massacre, an attack by the British Army on American troops, that took place near this spot toward midnight of September 20, 1777. About 150 American soldiers were killed or wounded in this action in which the British used only bayonets. 53 of the Americans were buried here in a common grave, now surrounded by stone walls and capped with a monument erected in 1817.

In a move to capture Philadelphia, Lt. General Sir William Howe sailed from New York in July 1777 and landed his British Army at the mouth of the Elk River on the Chesapeake Bay, August 25, 1777. General George Washington attempted to stop the British at the Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777, but was defeated. Following the September 15th skirmish known locally as the “Battle of the Clouds,” washed out by a heavy rainstorm, the British camped several days in Tredyffrin, a few miles north of here. Brig. General Anthony Wayne, whose home was nearby, was ordered to place his Pennsylvania Line behind the enemy in order to harass Howe’s troops when they should attempt to cross the ford of the Schuylkill River. Wayne hid out here, 2 miles southwest of the “Paoli Tavern” and 1 mile south of the “Admiral Warren,” both on the Philadelphia to
Site of the Paoli Massacre Marker with Map image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 6, 2008
2. Site of the Paoli Massacre Marker with Map
Lancaster road.

On the night of September 20, Howe dispatched Maj. General Charles Grey to dispose of Wayne’s forces so that he might proceed to cross the river without danger of rearguard action.

The well planned and skillfully executed attack upon the encampment thoroughly routed and dispersed Wayne’s command. Because of vicious lies and rumors that soon circulated, Wayne demanded and received a courtmartial to determine his guilt. A general order dated Nov. 1, 1777 unanimously acquitted him of all charges and further stated that Wayne acted as a brave and vigilant officer.

The so-called Paoli Massacre was a low point in the history of our war for independence, but “Remember Paoli” became a rallying slogan during the remainder of the war.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Battlefield Trails - Revolutionary War marker series.
 
Location. 40° 1.894′ N, 75° 31.229′ W. Marker is in Malvern, Pennsylvania, in Chester County. Marker is on Monument Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Malvern PA 19355, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Paoli Memorial Association (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Massacre Farm / 19th Century House
Marker on Monument Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 6, 2008
3. Marker on Monument Avenue
(about 600 feet away); Malvern Area World War I Memorial (about 700 feet away); Malvern Memorial Parade (about 700 feet away); “Remember Paoli!” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Paoli Veterans Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Malvern World War II Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Paoli (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Malvern.
 
More about this marker. The right of the marker contains a map of the site of the Paoli Massacre. Indicated on the map are the troop locations of the American and British Armies and contemporary landmarks. Also marked on the map are the locations of the winter encampment at Valley Forge and the September 15, 1777 Battle of the Clouds.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This series of markers follow the walking trail of the Paoli Battlefield.
 
Also see . . .
1. Background to the Battle of Paoli. Paoli Battlefield website. (Submitted on November 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Site of the Paoli Massacre image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 6, 2008
4. Site of the Paoli Massacre
British dragoons, followed by the 44th Regiment of Foot and the Scottish Highlanders advanced across this field on the night of September 20, 1777 to surprise the Americans camped at this location. Using just bayonets and sabers, the British killed 53 and wounded 113 men under Gen. Anthony Wayne’s command.
 

2. The Battle of Paoli (Massacre) September 21, 1777 at Malvern, Pennsylvania. The American Revolutionary War website. (Submitted on November 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. The Battle of Paoli also known as the Paoli Massacre. A British perspective of the battle from BritishBattles.com (Submitted on November 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesNotable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Revolutionary
 
Site of the Paoli Massacre Map From Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 6, 2008
5. Site of the Paoli Massacre Map From Marker
Grave Site & Monument image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 6, 2008
6. Grave Site & Monument
Fifty three Americans killed at the "Paoli Massacre" were buried here in a common grave. The monument, erected in 1817 is the second oldest war memorial in the United States.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,520 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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