Washington understood both American and British strengths and weaknesses. As Commander-in-Chief, Washington faced the unenviable task of reconciling a small professional army with a large, untrained citizen militia.

He accepted the militia for the part time, ill disciplined citizen soldiers they were and employed them according to accordingly to harass British columns, provide internal security against local loyalists, garrison strong points along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. None of these tasks required the militia to withstand the Redcoats out in the open.