Brandywine Battlefield Task Force seeks representatives from Kennett Square Borough
● By Steven Hoffman
The Brandywine Battlefield Task Force has been working to promote the preservation of the Brandywine Battlefield since 1993. The task force is a volunteer group comprised of local, state, and federal representatives, as well as non-profit organizations. Jeannine Speirs, a senior community planner for Chester County and the chairperson of the Brandywine Battlefield Task Force, made a presentation at the Kennett Square Borough Council meeting on Feb. 16, and asked that two representatives from the borough be assigned to serve on the task force.
The Battle of the Brandywine took place on September 11, 1777, when George Washington, then the general of the Continental troops, decided to form a line of defense along the eastern bank of the Brandywine in an effort to stop the British advance toward Philadelphia.
Gen. William Howe divided the British forces in an effort to outflank the Continental troops. After a day of fierce fighting, the Continental troops were forced to retreat to Chester, and the British troops camped on the battlefield for five more days, ransacking nearby homes.
The Brandywine Battlefield National Historic Landmark was dedicated in 1961, and the historic site of 46 acres near Chadds Ford stands as an enduring reminder of one of the largest and most important land battles ever fought on American soil.
Speirs explained to Kennett Square Borough Council that the actual battle area stretches out over 35,000 acres. This area includes the Borough of Kennett Square.
Speirs explained that Kennett Square previously had two members of the borough's historical commission serve on the Brandywine Battlefield Task Force, but that committee has since disbanded. Kennett Square does not currently have representation on the task force.
According to Speirs, the Brandywine Battlefield Task Force is seeking a grant through the National Park Service to continue its efforts to study the battlefield. A study of the northern part of the battlefield has already been completed and new information about the battle has been uncovered.
One example, Speirs explained, is that they were able to pinpoint the location of Trimbles Ford. The site of Trimbles Ford is currently open land, and could be a potential site for preservation.
“We would love to have the support of the borough for the pursuit of these studies,” Speirs said.
Kennett Square Borough Council president Dan Maffei said that they would be looking for two volunteers to serve on the Brandywine Battlefield Task Force
In other business, borough council appointed Carlos Navarro to serve as a regular member of the Civil Service Commission. He previously served as an alternate member to the commission.
Council also authorized borough officials to move forward with plans to establish a “Twinning Agreement” with Moroleon, Guanajuato, Mexico. Officials from that city are planning a visit here to learn more about Kennett Square in the spring, most likely toward the end of April.
Mayor Matthew Fetick said that borough officials will consider formalizing the relationship with Moroleon, Guanajuato, Mexico in the future. Many residents of Kennett Square, Fetick noted, have connections with Moroleon, Guanajuato, Mexico.
During public comment, several residents expressed concerns about issues that arise during large winter storms. Two people commented that it's difficult for senior citizens or people with medical conditions to keep their driveways and sidewalks clear for emergency vehicles. Another resident said that he knows of an elderly woman who received a fine for not having her sidewalk cleaned, but it was an impossibility for her to clean the sidewalks herself. He suggested a borough-wide effort to make sure that anyone who needs help with snow shoveling gets that help.