Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

The Battle of White Marsh December 5-8, 1777

After successfully bringing the Philadelphia region back under their control, the English were hard pressed to bring supplies to the Philadelphia region but the Anishinabek were still yet in the region making travel very hazardous. Nearly three weeks after the siege at Fort Mifflin ended, another major battle occurred in the Philadelphia region between the Anishinabek and the whites. A force of 23,500 white soldiers were stationed in the Philadelphia region and were quite busy building defensive works around the city, to defend the city from the Anishinabe military force still in the region. After learning that the Anishinabe military force was preparing to move to a new camp, William Howe made the decision to order his soldiers to prepare to march to the Anishinabe military force near Philadelphia, to battle them once again before winter set in for good. At midnight on December 4, a force of 10,000 white soldiers under William Howe’s command, marched out of Philadelphia into the dark night. Early on December 5, the white military force launched their first attack on the brave Anishinabe soldiers using their cannons. It was a small group of brave Anishinabe soldiers who first battled the much larger force of white soldiers. The whites easily drove them off using their superior weapons.

Soon after the first skirmish ended, the large white military force observed the location of the Anishinabe military force then commenced to shoot off their cannons but they had little effect. On the second day of battle the two forces repeatedly assaulted each others positions but nothing major developed. On the third day of fighting the Anishinabek started to dominate the larger white military force when, after the white soldiers attempted to advance upon them, they stubbornly withstood the advance of the large white military force, which resulted in a draw. Early on the next day the brave Anishinabe soldiers prepared to intensify their battle against the much larger white military force, but the whites were already in a retreat away from the battle, back to Philadelphia. The cold weather was getting the better of them. White casualties in the long battle were 450 killed and wounded. Any whites or Indians captured were likely killed later on. Though the cold had started to settle in there would be one more battle a few days later in the Philadelphia region. The English had successfully brought Philadelphia back under their control, which did irritate the already greatly angered Anishinabek.

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