After their victory at Brandywine, the British forces under Gen. Howe maneuvered in the vicinity of Philadelphia for 2 weeks, virtually annihilating a rear guard force under Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne at Paoli on September 21st, before moving unopposed into the city on September 26th. Howe established his main encampment in nearby Germantown, stationing some 9,000 men there.
Washington promptly attempted a coordinated attack against this garrison on the night of October 3rd. Columns were to move into Germantown from 4 different directions and begin the assault at dawn Two of the columns, both made up of militia, never appeared to take part in the attack, but in the early phases of the fighting the columns under Greene and Divan achieved considerable success. However, a dense early morning fog which resulted in some American troops firing on each other while it permitted the better disciplined British to re-form for a counterattack and a shortage of, ammunition contributed to the still not fully explained retreat of the Americans, beginning about 9:00 A.M.
Howe pursued the Colonials a few miles as they fell back in disorder, but he did not exploit his victory. American losses were 673 killed and wounded and about 400 taken prisoner. British losses were approximately 533 killed and wounded.