It’s What’s For Dinner

First US cattle drive crossed the Delaware on the way to Valley Forge


from Harry K’s Philadelphia Encyclopedia

During the harsh winter of 1777-1778, General Washington sent a group of soldiers into Southern New Jersey to round up livestock for the starving troops at Valley Forge. This was the first cattle drive in America. Led by General “Mad” Anthony Wayne and Captain John Barry (the “Father of the American Navy”), the operation began in mid-February of 1778 and concluded on March 4th. The soldier-“cowboys” commandeered and herded about a hundred and fifty cows along the old “King’s” Highway through Salem, Gloucester, Camden and Burlington Counties, crossing the Delaware River near Trenton, and proceeding into Pennsylvania to Valley Forge. British forces were following all the while, as they too needed to secure a large supply of food. The pioneering cattle drive was successful and enabled the fledgling Continental Army to survive the winter.

About the author

Harry Kyriakodis, author of Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront (2011), Northern Liberties: The Story of a Philadelphia River Ward (2012), and The Benjamin Franklin Parkway (2014), regularly gives walking tours and presentations on unique yet unappreciated parts of the city. A founding/certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides, he is a graduate of La Salle University and Temple University School of Law, and was once an officer in the U.S. Army Field Artillery. He has collected what is likely the largest private collection of books about the City of Brotherly Love: over 2700 titles new and old.

Send a message!



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Unlisted Philadelphia: Banca Bozzelli

Unlisted Philadelphia: Banca Bozzelli

March 20, 2019  |  Unlisted Philadelphia

Ben Leech spotlights unique and significant buildings not listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places with his architectural illustration series, Unlisted Philadelphia. In this installment, a priceless Italian-American landmark in the heart of Bella Vista. > more

Real Estate Brochure For Vacant School Sounds Alarms in Germantown

Real Estate Brochure For Vacant School Sounds Alarms in Germantown

March 19, 2019  |  News

Neighbors rally around Germantown High School after a real estate listing revealed potential redevelopment plans. Emily Birdy Busch has the news > more

Piecing Together The Lost History Of Wirt & Knox

Piecing Together The Lost History Of Wirt & Knox

March 14, 2019  |  Vantage

Rob Masciantonio tracks down the elusive origins of an abandoned factory in Strawberry Mansion > more

Interior Of 30th Street Station To Be Considered For Historic Designation

Interior Of 30th Street Station To Be Considered For Historic Designation

March 11, 2019  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo has this roundup of local register nominations on the agenda at the March meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission's Designation Committee > more

Op-Ed: Streamlining The City's Preservation Procedures Would Benefit All

Op-Ed: Streamlining The City’s Preservation Procedures Would Benefit All

March 8, 2019  |  Soapbox

In this opinion piece Kenny Grono shares his perspective as a general contractor and remodeling specialist with a few ideas on how the City can untangle the red tape that undermines historic preservation > more

Industrial Design Firm Has A Knack For The Clickety-Clack

Industrial Design Firm Has A Knack For The Clickety-Clack

March 5, 2019  |  Vantage

Theresa Stigale takes us inside the headquarters of Oat Foundry at Frankford Arsenal where its split flap signs are winning the hearts of customers around the globe > more