PRINTER'S NO. 1626
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No.
291
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY MURT, HILL-EVANS, HENNESSEY, COX, LONGIETTI,
KORTZ, BURNS, DiGIROLAMO, SONNEY, CALTAGIRONE, FREEMAN,
MILLARD, SAINATO AND NEILSON, APRIL 30, 2019
INTRODUCED AS NONCONTROVERSIAL RESOLUTION UNDER RULE 35,
APRIL 30, 2019
A RESOLUTION
Designating May 1, 2019, as "The Battle of the Crooked Billet
Day" in Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS, During the American War of Independence at the time
of the Valley Forge encampment in 1777 and 1778, President
Thomas Wharton of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council
commissioned Brigadier General John Lacey, the youngest general
in American history and a native of Bucks County, to lead the
Pennsylvania Militia in patrolling the countryside outside
Philadelphia; and
WHEREAS, General George Washington, commander in chief of the
Continental Army, charged Brigadier General John Lacey with the
mission of keeping the local inhabitants from selling supplies
to the British Army occupying Philadelphia and rerouting those
supplies to the Continental Army at Valley Forge; and
WHEREAS, Due to the success of the Pennsylvania Militia, the
British Army developed a plan to annihilate the Pennsylvania
Militia by ambush; and
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WHEREAS, The British Army also planned to capture Brigadier
General John Lacey; and
WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania Militia was comprised of
approximately 400 men from Bucks County and historic Cumberland
County as well as from other places throughout this
Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, The British Army attacked the Pennsylvania Militia
with a force of approximately 850 men in the early morning hours
of May 1, 1778, in present-day Hatboro Borough, Montgomery
County, and present-day Warminster Township, Bucks County; and
WHEREAS, The Queen's Rangers attempted to push the
Pennsylvania Militia south toward the point of ambush along
present-day Horsham Road; and
WHEREAS, Brigadier General John Lacey was not fooled by the
trap and led the Pennsylvania Militia north, fighting its way
through a blockade held by British Dragoons, escaping deeper
into Bucks County; and
WHEREAS, The British committed war atrocities on the wounded
and surrendering militiamen by throwing them into burning piles
of buckwheat straw and stabbing them with their bayonets and
cutlasses; and
WHEREAS, Twenty-six Pennsylvania militiamen were killed in
action that day; and
WHEREAS, Fifty-eight Pennsylvania militiamen were captured;
and
WHEREAS, Brigadier General John Lacey's heroic leadership and
quick thinking on that fateful day prevented further casualties,
saving the lives of hundreds of Pennsylvania militiamen; and
WHEREAS, Brigadier General John Lacey, 48 hours after the
battle, continued with his orders of keeping supplies from
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occupied Philadelphia and redirecting supplies to Valley Forge;
and
WHEREAS, Brigadier General John Lacey continued to serve the
people of Pennsylvania when, in November 1778, he was elected to
the Pennsylvania General Assembly and, in November 1779, he was
elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council; and
WHEREAS, It is fitting to honor the men of the Pennsylvania
Militia under the command and leadership of Brigadier General
John Lacey for their heroism and for those men who paid the
ultimate sacrifice on May 1, 1778; and
WHEREAS, It is fitting to recognize the competent and heroic
leadership of Brigadier General John Lacey in preserving the
Pennsylvania Militia from annihilation and leading it to safety
as we remember the Pennsylvania Militia's sacred participation
in the fight and struggle for freedom in the early years of the
young republic that would become the United States of America;
therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives designate May 1,
2019, as "The Battle of the Crooked Billet Day" in Pennsylvania.
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