Part of the Philadelphia Campaign, the Battle of Whitemarsh (or Edge Hill) took place December 5 - 7, 1777. General Howe commanded the British and General Washington commanded the American forces. There were several skirmishes from the 5th through the 7th. The weather was cold, in the 40's during the day and in the 20's during the night. Washington's men were low on provisions and morale. Washington wanted to do battle with Howe and felt his position on the hills in the area was strong. He drew the British into the field by sending out harassing patrols. The British moved forward in the early hours of Dec. 5th. The action took place near Chestnut Hill and continued, off and on, for a few days. Washington's army suffered most of the casualties. Many men were taken prisoner, including Brig. General James Irvine. Basically, the action had little impact in a military sense. However, the British troops gave the local residents quite a hard time and helped themselves to livestock, food and other supplies. Many civilians who had been loyal to England prior to the battles found themselves having good reason to change their loyalties. That was, perhaps, the greatest impact of the event. In any case, the action at Whitemarsh was the last of 1777. Howe took up winter quarters in Philadelphia. Washington moved away from Philadelphia and wintered at Valley Forge, arriving there on Dec. 19th. Washington's troops were not afforded the luxuries of Howe's that winter and several thousand men were lost to illness.