From Home to Headquarters: Washington in Worcester

Photo of a George Washington reenactor at the Peter Wentz Farmstead.

Twice in October of 1777, General George Washington used the Peter Wentz Farmstead as his headquarters.  After the British captured Philadelphia on September 26th, Washington and his troops moved throughout what we now know as Montgomery County while the commander-in-chief planned his next moves.  Washington first came to Wentz on October 2nd and 3rd, spending the night in the upstairs bed chamber.  In the early morning hours of October 3rd, the army left Worcester and began their trek towards the city.  The Battle of Germantown was fought on October 4th.  Although the Continental Army seemed to have an early advantage, a combination of bad weather and miscommunication led to a disappointing defeat.  Washington retreated back to Pennypacker Mills where the army regrouped and tended to their wounded.  

After making their way down Skippack Pike, Washington and his troops returned to Worcester on October 16th.  Once again, Washington stayed at the Wentz house.  Along with Washington, his Life Guard, aides-de-camp, and household staff would all have stayed at the Wentz property.  While staying at the Wentz house, Washington learned of the Continental Army’s important victory at Saratoga and ordered a feu-de-joie—a 13 cannon salute followed by the entire army performing a running musket fire left up and down their lines.

Washington dictated 25 letters and 8 orders while on the Wentz property, some of which mention the Wentz property by name.  Other documentation of Washington’s visit includes an invoice written by Matthias Wentz for the reimbursement of food and drink Washington and his men consumed while at the Farmstead, coming to 7 pounds, 13 shillings, and 5 pence.

Click through to learn more about Washington’s stay at the Wentz household. 

This exhibit was made possible through a generous grant from the Springhouse Questers.