For preservationists, a victory at Brandywine

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Amid the kind of steaminess that plagued soldiers on Sept. 11, 1777, federal, state, and local officials reversed history Tuesday, turning the Battle of the Brandywine into an American victory - for preservationists.

On a scenic hillside in Chester County, the Brandywine Conservancy announced the purchase of the 100-acre Skirmish Hill Farm from the Odell family for $8 million last month. The sale completes a two-decade struggle to save this site and others nearby, where some of the bloodiest hand-to-hand combat of the American Revolution occurred.

"We may have lost the Battle of the Brandywine, but we sure as hell won this one," George A. "Frolic" Weymouth, chairman of the conservancy's board of trustees, said enthusiastically.

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