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The Paoli Battlefield Historical Park is home to the Battle of Paoli Monument. The Battle of Paoli took place in September of 1777 after the Battles of the Clouds and Brandywine. The battle happened as the Colonial troops tried to get behind the British supply lines but were severely counterattacked. In one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War, the Paoli Massacre killed at least 53 Colonial Soldiers. The Historical Park is in remembrance of the battle.


  • An illustration of the Battle of Paoli. Many Americans were killed in the midnight battle.
  • The original 1817 monument is pictured here. The monument is one of two, the other built in 1877.

The Battle of Paoli took place on September 20-21, 1777 in the dead of the night. General Wayne was the commanding officer for the colonial troops as General Howe led the British. Wayne, fresh off two battles near Philadelphia was withdrawn from the major squad under orders from General Washington to cut off supplies behind enemy lines. Wayne made it to the well known landmark of the Paoli Tavern, just miles from the British camp. Wayne believed that he was unknown to the British army as he sent letters to Washington awaiting orders to advance on the British. However, the British had been intercepting the messages and planned a counter attack of their own. 

Allowing the Colonials to rest and believe they were safe, the British tried to advance. The Colonials were warned and escaped but only later when they tried to move did a rainstorm hit and forced them to seek shelter. Under this shelter the British would attack in the night, marauding the temporary village and setting fire to many of the huts. The colonials would escape but many were injured or captured. The fight was very bloody because of the use of mostly bayonets. Some sources believe that Wayne knew of the incoming British attack but did little to prevent it. 

The historical park remembers those that were lost in one of the Revolutionary War's ugliest of battles. The park is also home to second oldest war monument in the United States. The monument was established in 1817. As many as 53 lives were lost and the namesake of the battle is due to the atrocities that the British committed, taking no mercy. 


1. "Battle of Paoli", last accessed November 2, 2014, http://pbpfinc.org/battle-of-paoli/ 2. "The Gravesite and the 1817 Monument", last accessed November 2, 2014, http://www.ushistory.org/paoli/history/gravesite.htm 3. "American Revolution: Paoli Massacre", last accessed November 2, 2014, http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/AmRev1777/p/American-Revolution-Paoli-Massacre.htm