Castle Cliveden

The Continental Army’s artillery, shown in this painting of the Battle of Germantown, failed to draw out the British troops defending Cliveden. The mansion’s castle-like stone walls withstood a cannon barrage by Colonel Thomas Proctor’s artillery, depicted in the foreground. The British 40th Regiment fired back with their muskets out of the mansion’s second story windows and turned the home into a temporary fortress. The two-hour defense of Cliveden helped to turn the tide of the battle in favor of the British.

The Battle of Germantown
ca. 1790
Oil on Canvas 
Courtesy of Cliveden, a Historic Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation 

The Intensity of Battle

American illustrator Howard Pyle painted this imagined scene of the Continental Army’s desperate assault on Cliveden (the Chew family house) at Germantown. It shows the Americans using an improvised battering ram to break through the front door which the British barricaded with furniture. Multiple attempts to charge through the front door or set Cliveden on fire only resulted in heavy casualties for Washington’s troops.

The Attack upon the Chew House 
Painted by Howard Pyle
Oil on Canvas
Courtesy of the Delaware Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 1912