Battles Fought and Brief Description of Each During the Revolutionary War

    "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" Date: April 19, 1775 Location: Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts and the roads in between Victor: The Cause for American Independence Defeated: British Army in America
    On April 19, 1775, British General Thomas Gage dispatched 700 British troops commanded by Lt. Col. Francis Smith to Concord, Massachusetts, 16 miles northwest of Boston, to seize munitions that the Patriots had been stockpiling. Word of the British departure from Boston was quickly spread by Paul Revere in his famous ride, and by the time the British reached the village green at Lexington, through which they had to pass, they found 70 Minutemen waiting for them under the command of Capt. John Parker . When ordered by the British to disperse, The Shot Heard Round the World was fired and the American Revolution was begun. The British then fired upon the Minutemen, killing 8 and wounding 10. The British suffered 1 wounded. The British continued the 6 miles to Concord and the Americans retreated to the North Bridge just outside the town. While the main body of soldiers accomplished their mission of seizing the gunpowder, a small contingent of British troops skirmished again with the colonists, now numbering several hundred. 3 British soldiers and 2 Americans were killed in this battle. As they returned to Boston, the British were under constant assault from Massachusetts militiamen, who inflicted 273 casualties. The opening engagements of the American Revolution, April 19, 1775. After the passage (1774) of the Intolerable Acts by the British Parliament, unrest in the colonies increased. The British commander at Boston, Gen. Thomas Gage, sought to avoid armed rebellion by sending a column of royal infantry from Boston to capture colonial military stores at Concord. News of his plan was dispatched to the countryside by Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott. As the advance column under Major John Pitcairn reached Lexington, they came upon a group of militia (the minutemen). After a brief exchange of shots in which several Americans were killed, the colonials withdrew, and the British continued to Concord. Here they destroyed some military supplies, fought another engagement, and began a harried withdrawal to Boston, which cost them over 200 casualties.
    The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga May 11, 1775
    Fort Ticonderoga lay on the shores of Lake Champlain. Called Fort Carillon by the French, it was renamed Ticonderoga by the British after it was captured in 1759. The fort was positioned to cut the colonies in half, and two Americans, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, were determined to capture the fort. Allen was approached by Connecticut citizens to lead his men known as the Green Mountain men to take the fort. Meanwhile Benedict Arnold had himself been appointed to the same task by the Massachusetts committee of safety. The two men argued over command, but this did not deter them from attacking the fort. On May 11th, all the men who could fit were loaded in boats and set off for the fort. The men defending the garrison of Ticonderoga were surprised in their beds. Allen called out to Lieutenant Joceyln Feltham, "Come out of there you dammed old rat!" When Feltham asked on whose authority, Allen stated," in the name of Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." The fort, with its heavy artillery, fell without a shot being fired.
    Bunker Hill Also Known As: Battle of Breed's Hill Date: June 17, 1775 Location: Boston, Massachusetts Victor: Maj. General William Howe Defeated: General Israel Putnam
    After retreating from Lexington in April, 1775, the British Army occupied Boston for several months. Realizing the need to strengthen their position in the face of increasing anti-British sentiment in and around Boston, plans were developed to seize and fortify nearby Dorchester Heights and Charlestown peninsulas. The peninsulas offered a commanding view of the seaport and harbor, and were important to preserving the security of Boston. The Americans caught word of the British plan, and decided to get to the Charlestown peninsula first, fortify it, and present sufficient threat to cause the British to leave Boston. On 16 June, 1775, under the leadership of Colonels Putnam, and Prescott, the Patriots stole out onto the Charlestown Peninsula with instructions to establish defensive positions on Bunker's Hill. For reasons that are unclear, they constructed a redoubt on nearby Breed's Hill. The next morning, the British were astonished to see the rebel fortifications upon the hill and set out to reclaim the peninsula. General Howe served as the commander of the British main assault force and led two costly and ineffective charges against the Patriot's fortifications without inflicting significant casualties on his opponents. After obtaining 400 reinforcements which included sorely needed ammunition for his artillery, Howe ordered a bayonet charge to seize Breed's Hill. In this third attempt, the British were finally able to breach the breastworks of the American redoubt and the Patriots were forced to retreat back to the mainland. This battle, though victorious, proved costly for the British. Of the 2400 British soldiers in Howe's command, the 1054 casualties accounted for nearly forty percent of their ranks. The American casualties were 441, including 30 captured, with most being inflicted during the retreat. The battle served to proved to the American people that the British Army was not invinsible. It became a symbol of national pride and a rally point of resistance against British rule.
    The Battle of Bunker Hill June 17, 1775
    After the Battles of Lexington and Concord, two armies faced one another in Boston, the Army of New England, and the British Army. The New England Militia had surrounded Boston and the British army occupied it. Neither side had occupied Dorshester Heights or Bunker Hill which had clear strategic importance. In early June General Gage ordered the occupation of the Heights beginning June 16th. Word of Gages plans reached the Colonist and they decided to act first. On the evening of June 16th Colonel William Prescott on orders of General Artemas Ward led two Massachusetts regiments and his own artillery company plus a large work detail headed out of Cambridge and occupied Bunker Hill. There they decided to dig in and fortify Breed Hill. Through the night the American troops worked to created a fortified position. With first light the British ships at anchor in the harbor noticed the American forces on the hills and began firing. General Gage ordered an attack on the American forces. The attack was led by General Howe with a force of 2200 men. They embarked on twenty eight large barges, a formidable force of redcoats. They landed unopposed on Moultons point. Howe had a complicated plan for a two pronged attack. The plan complexity and disregard for the capabilities of the Americans were its undoing. The 23rd Regiment, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, headed for the redoubt. The Americans who had limited gunpowder held their fire until the British were within fifty feet, then they opened fire on the thick column of British soldiers before them. A British officer described it: "Our Light Infantry were served up in companies, and were devoured by musket fire." The British attack broke. Meanwhile the attack above on the railed fence by the Grenadiers ran into similar trouble. Once again the Americans held their fire until the British were close by. Two attacks of the Grenadiers were successfully turned back. However, the Americans were soon running out of ammunition. On the third attack the British succeeded in overrunning the redoubt. Most of the Americans succeeded in withdrawing. Thirty were caught in the redoubt and killed by the British. The hero of Bunker Hill was Salem Poor, an African American. The Americans were forced to withdraw, Bunker Hill was in British hands, but 226 British soldiers died taking the Hill and 828 were wounded. The Americans lost 140 killed and 271 wounded. The Battle of Bunker Hill began with a British assault on a collection of unproven continental regiments on June 17, 1775. About 2500 redcoats crossed the Charles River by ferry to march on the hills of Charleston, where resistance was to have been weakened by gunfire from the many ships at the mouth of the river. The battle plan seemed sound, but it resulted in disaster for the British side. At first the well-ordered redcoat columns "advanced with confidence," one officer recalled. The patriots, low on ammunition, waited with grim resolve from their position on Breed's Hill, just below Bunker Hill. "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes," a patriot officer was said to have instructed his men. The British troops did ultimately take the hill, but not without a staggering loss of life. On the third assault, the redcoats took the hill as the militiamen ran out of gunpowder and retreated. With more than 1000 British killed or wounded, General Henry Clinton called the battle: "A dear bought victory. Another such would have ruined us."
    The Battle of Fort Moultrie and Long Island June 28, 1776
    The first day of the memorable year 1776 was marked by two events that are still remembered in Revolutionary annals -- the burning of Norfolk by the fleet of Governor Dunmore, who had been driven to the sea by the infuriated people of Virginia; and the unfurling of the flag over the Continental army at Cambridge. Before the close of this same month, January, General Clinton was sent from Boston to hold the colonies of the South. In May he was joined in southern waters by Sir Peter Parker with an English fleet of ten warships, bearing a body of troops under the command of Lord Cornwallis, who was destined later to be a leading figure in the war. Meantime, in February, a fierce battle had occurred in North Carolina at the mouth of Moore's Creek between a thousand patriots, led by Colonel Richard Caswell, and sixteen hundred Tories, mostly Scots, under the leadership of Donald Macdonald, who had fought for the young Stuart Pretender at the battle of Culloden thirty years before. The patriots were completely successfu1, routing the enemy and taking nine hundred prisoners, including the commander.1 The fight at Moore's Creek worked like magic on the people of North Carolina, and in a few days ten thousand men were armed and ready to expel the invaders of their soil. Clinton now decided not to land his troops, as he had intended. After the arrival of Parker and Cornwallis they moved southward for the purpose of capturing Charleston. But in front of the city on Sullivan's Island the Americans had made a strong breastwork of palmetto logs and sandbags, and this was defended by several hundred men commanded by one of the leading heroes of the war, William Moultrie.2 The English fleet attacked the rude fort on the 28th of June; but the elastic palmetto logs proved an admirable defense, and a terrific bombardment of ten hours did little damage. On the other hand, the American fire was well aimed, and nearly every shot took effect. The flagship received more than twenty shots and was almost wrecked, while every other ship but one was seriously crippled. The heroism displayed in the defense of the fort, afterward called Fort Moultrie, was equal to that of Bunker Hill or of any other engagement in the war. It was on this day that Sergeant William Jasper, an illiterate youth who could not even read, made a name for himself in the history of his country by an act of momentary reckless heroism. The flagstaff was broken by a cannon ball, and the flag fell outside the fort. Jasper leaped down the embrasure in the face of the enemy's fire, gathered up the fallen banner, and planted it in the sand on the bastion. And the story is still related at the American fireside as an example of the heroic valor of the men of the Revolution. After spending three weeks in repairing his ships, Clinton sailed for New York, and the South was free from invasion for nearly three years, when it became the scene of the final conflict of the war. The success of Washington at Boston and of Moultrie at Charleston sent a wave of exultation over the land; but this was followed by a feeling of depression caused by half a year of unbroken disasters. The British had decided to sever the colonies in twain -- to cut off New England from the South -- by occupying New York City and conquering the Hudson Valley. General William Howe came down from Halifax, and was joined by his brother, Admiral Howe, with a powerful fleet from England; and these were joined in the New York harbor by Clinton and Cornwallis from the South. At the same time Sir Guy Carleton was ordered to descend with an army from Canada, to capture Ticonderoga, and to hold possession of the upper Hudson. In August the British had thirty two thousand veterans on Staten Island. To oppose this force Washington, who, divining the intention of the enemy to strike New York, had moved his army thither in the early spring, could muster but eighteen thousand men, and many of these were new recruits and in no sense to be compared with veteran soldiers. Before opening hostilities Admiral Howe offered the olive branch, which he had fresh from Lord North, a gracious offer from the king to pardon all rebels who would lay down their arms and assist in restoring order. It was sent by special messenger to "George Washington, Esq." But as "George" Washington, the citizen and planter, had no authority to deal with national questions, and as "General" Washington had not been addressed, he declined to receive the communication. The next act in the drama was the opening of hostilities. Washington occupied Manhattan Island, and Brooklyn Heights, which commanded the city. He had sent Greene to fortify the latter, and now he manned it with half his army under the command of Putnam. Howe determined to assault Brooklyn Heights. With twenty thousand men the English advanced on the American position by different roads, and in the early morning of August 27, they encountered the Americans whom Putnam had sent out under Sullivan, who had taken the place of Greene, owing to the illness of the latter. Sullivan was first attacked by a large body of Hessians under Von Heister, and scarcely had the fight begun when he was assailed in the rear by the main force. Between two galling fires, it was not possible for the Americans to hold their ground, and nearly the whole force, including the commander, were made prisoners of war. Another division of fifteen hundred American troops, under Lord Stirling,3 was now assaulted by General Grant and a little later by Cornwallis. After four hours of desperate resistance, Stirling succeeded in getting his men across a marshy stream to a place of safety, while he himself was taken prisoner, and the struggle known as the battle of Long Island was over. About four hundred had been killed and wounded on each side, and the British taken some eleven hundred prisoners. Washington had witnessed the disaster from a distance with deep emotion. "My God," he cried, "what brave fellows I must lose this day." Howe closed in around the American fortress, and Washington, expecting an immediate storming of the works, brought troops from Manhattan and raised the defense to ten thousand men. But Howe decided to settle down to a siege. The American commander seeing that he could not stand a siege, determined to elude his enemy by night, and this he did with remarkable skill. The night was favorable, as a dense fog enveloped the moving army. Every manner of craft on the East River, from the yacht to the scow and rowboat, was pressed into the service; and on the morning of the 30th, the entire army with its stores and artillery was safe in New York, and Howe had lost the rarest opportunity of his life of crushing the rebellion and ending the war. Had he been quick to surround Washington he could have captured him and his ten thousand; but the delay was fatal.4 Lord Howe again made overtures for peace. He sent the captured Sullivan to Philadelphia to make proposals to members of Congress and to request a committee of conference. Franklin, Rutledge, and John Adams were appointed; they met Howe on Staten Island, but as they refused to treat with hhn, except on the ground of independent America, the conference came to nothing. After losing Brooklyn Heights, Washington could no longer hold New York, and his next move was to fall back with the army to the heights along the Harlem River. But before Putnam, with the rearguard of four thousand men, could leave New York, Howe had crossed the East River, and occupied the city. Putnam was in imminent danger of capture, and was saved by the clever strategy of a woman. As Howe reached Murray Hill, the fine country seat of Mrs. Murray, -- now a fashionable portion of New York City, -- that lady sent him a pressing invitation to stop for luncheon. Howe accepted the kind offer, and while he and his officers spent two hours with their hostess, whom they no doubt supposed to be a loyalist, Putnam made his escape up the Hudson to the main army; but in his haste he left behind his heavy guns and many of his army equipments. The great object of the British was now to get in the rear of Washington and to cut off his retreat northward. But the Hudson was guarded by two strong forts -- Fort Washington on the upper end of Manhattan Island and Fort Lee across the river on the Palisades -- and for nearly a mouth the two armies lay glaring at each other. After a skirmish on Harlem Plains in September, Washington moved his main army to White Plains. Howe followed him, and, despairing of gaining his rear, made an attack in front. This skirmish, known as the battle of White Plains, took place on Chatterton's Hill near the American camp, and resulted in an American loss of nearly one hundred and fifty men, and a British loss of over two hundred. Howe refused to make a second attack, and retired down the Hudson after Washington had taken a strong position at North Castle, near the scene of the battle.
    The Battle of Great Bridge Virginia
    The complete defeat of the British in the Virginia Colony at the Battle of Great Bridge on December 9, 1775, seven months before the Declaration of Independence, was at the time called the Second Battle of Bunker's Hill. It resulted in the capture of Norfolk by the "rebels" (Americans) and the bombardment and complete destruction of Norfolk three weeks later on January 1, 1776. It ended the rule of the British Crown in Virginia. Lord Dunmore, colonial governor of Virginia, has, in growing disfavor, retreated from Williamsburg but in Norfolk was considered a "nest of Tories", and Dunmore thought he was making headway against the rebellion by pillaging the plantations of patriots, winning slaves over to his side and seizing printing presses. With just one more regiment and a few more battalions, he wrote on the last of November, 1775, "I really believe we should reduce this colony to a proper sense of their duty." On the other side General George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, urged that Dunmore "should be instantly crushed" lest his forces grow. He wrote the president of the Continental Congress from New England: "I do not mean to dictate, I am sure they will pardon me from freely giving them my opinion, which is, that the fate of America a good deal depends on his being obligated to evacuate Norfolk this winter or not." According to contemporary accounts in the Virginia Gazette, Lord Dunmore, after defeating the opposition at Kemp's Landing (now Kempsville) moved ten miles south to Great Bridge on the South Branch of the Carolinas. Great Bridge was the shipping point to nearby Norfolk of shingles, tar potash and turpentine from the Carolinas. Finding resistance increasing, he built a stockade on the North (Norfolk) side, removed the bridge planking, destroyed five or six houses on the opposite shore and fortified the narrow causeway bridge approaches with two twelve pound cannons. Col. William Woodford, in charge of the second Virginia Regiment, was gathering forces at Great Bridge of minute men from Fauquier, Augusta and Culpepper Counties, in the western part of the Colony as well as volunteers from Princess Anne and Norfolk Counties. Woodford reported two hundred fifty Carolina men arriving under Colonel Vail "composed of regulars, minute men, militia and volunteers..." The Virginia Gazette reported "150 gentlemen volunteers had marched to Virginia from North Carolina on hearing of Lord Dunmore's insolences and outrages." Dunmore, misinformed of the strength of the opposition, sent sailors from the Otter at Norfolk, "plus some sixty townsmen" on a surprise attack on Great Bridge. In the early morning hours the column within fifteen steps of the American forces before falling mortally wounded. Lieutenant Travis, in command of the American advanced breastworks, had ordered his handful of twenty five men to reserve their fire until the enemy came within fifty yards. The staggered British were rallied under Lt. Samuel Leslie, who was later captured. Col. Woodard's main group, moving through Great Bridge, received a heavy cannon barrage. It was all over, however, in half an hour's time. Royal authority in the Virginia Colony was at an end. It was a complete rout. The loss of men to the British was reported as one hundred two killed or wounded, and only eleven of Fordyce's grenadiers survived. Only one American was injured. The British retreated to Norfolk. By the time George Washington had written the Continental Congress from New England, Colonel Woodford was able to report to Edmund Pendleton, president of the Convention at Williamsburg, that he and Col. Robert Howe were in complete command in Norfolk with 1275 men, and that the Tories and their families had removed themselves to Dunmore's ship, Otter , in the harbor. Americans Commanded by Gen. William Woodford Forces Killed Wounded 1.000 - 1 British Commanded by Lord Dunsmore Forces Killed Wounded 600 102* -
    Date: December 31, 1775 Location: Quebec, Canada Victor: Maj. General Guy Carleton Defeated: Maj. General Richard Montgomery Other Notables: Captain Daniel Morgan
    In late June, Congress directed that action be taken against the British in Canada. Washington detailed the task to Benedict Arnold to attack Quebec. Arnold collected supplies and troops and, on September 11, set off. Arnold believed that he would be able to travel by river to Quebec in twenty days. Unfortunately, he underestimated the time and difficulty of getting to Quebec, and it took Arnold 45 days of arduous traveling to reach Quebec. Many of his men died or turned back along the way. By the end of October they had neared Quebec, but a storm kept them away until November 13th. Arnold's army was in no condition to attack, so they pulled away to recoup. They were joined by 300 men led by Richard Montgomery, General Schuyler's second in command who had just captured Montreal. On December 31, the American forces assaulted Quebec, with 600 men led by Arnold from the North and 300 men led by Montgomery from the South. The British were waiting between successive barriers. The Americans broke through the first line, but were stopped by the second. Arnold was wounded in the leg and carried from the battle field. Montgomery was killed by a bullet to the head, and the American assault failed. Six hundred men were captured and 60 died in the attempt to take Quebec.
    The Siege of Boston July 1775 March 1776
    On June 15th, 1775, the Continental Congress appointed George Washington to be the commander of the Continental Army. In the course of a few meetings in June, the Congress passed a series of resolutions that not only created the army-delineated ranks but included a 50 article code of military conduct. Washington arrived in Cambridge on July 2, two weeks after the Battle of Bunker Hill. Washington's task was to convert the rag tag militia surrounding Boston into an army, while at the same time tightening the noose around the British troops occupying Boston. The siege had continued for many months when finally, in February 1776, with much of Boston Harbor frozen, Washington proposed a direct attack on the British forces in Boston. The Massachusetts committee on safety rejected Washington's plans, and instead proposed that the still unoccupied Dorchester Heights be seized. On the night of March 4th, after an extensive exchange of artillery, much of it coming from Fort Ticonderoga, American troops under the command of General Thomas seized the Heights. The Americans brought with them prefabricated fortifications. Thus the British awoke the morning of the March 5th to find American troops with artillery fortified in the Heights overlooking Boston. The British commander General Howe was then informed by his naval commander, Rear Admiral Molyneaux, that he would not be able to keep his ships in the harbor with American artillery on Dorchester Heights. Howe had two choices - attack the Americans or withdraw from Boston. After giving serious consideration to attacking, he decided to withdraw. By March 17th, the last of the British troops were loaded and, on the 27th, they sailed out of the harbor. Boston was now in American hands.
    Date: February 27, 1776 Location: Moore's Creek Bridge, North Carolina Victor: Colonel James Moore Defeated: Lt. Colonel Donald McLeod
    "King George and Broadswords!" shouted loyalists as they charged across partially dismantled Moores Creek bridge on February 27, 1776. Just beyond the bridge nearly a thousand North Carolina patriots waited quietly with cannons and muskets poised to fire. The loyalists, mostly Scottish Highlanders wielding broadswords, expected to find only a small patriot force. As the loyalists advanced across the bridge, patriot shots rang out and dozens of loyalists fell, including their commanders. Stunned, outgunned and leaderless, the loyalists surrendered, retreating in confusion. Wagons, weapons and British sterling worth more than $1 million by today's value were seized by the patriots in the days following the battle. This dramatic victory ended British authority in the colony and greatly influenced North Carolina to be the first colony to vote for independence. The Battle of Moores Creek Bridge, coupled with the Battle of Sullivans Island near Charleston, SC a few months later, ultimately led the 13 colonies to declare independence on July 4, 1776. In early 1776, Maj. General William Howe ordered Maj. General Henry Clinton to sail south to rendezvous with Commodore Sir Peter Parker. Parker had sailed from Cork, Ireland with Lt. General Charles Cornwallis and seven regiments of the British Army. Clinton and Parker would meet off of Cape Fear River in North Carolina. Generals Clinton and Cornwallis would then invade the Southern colonies, capturing the important port city of Charleston, South Carolina. British expectations were that there were large numbers of Tories clamoring to the British cause against the few upstart Rebels. Some of these Tory forces were also expected to rendezvous with General Clinton at Cape Fear. On February 20, 1776, 1,600 Scottish Highlanders set out from the Cross Creek area about 100 miles from the coast under the command of Brigadier General Donald MacDonald. On February 26, they learned that 1,000 Rebels were waiting with two cannon at Moore's Creek Bridge, which was six miles ahead. General MacDonald was now too ill to actively command. A council of war was held where MacDonald recommended caution, but the younger officers wanted to attack. The Tory council of war decided to attack at dawn on February 27, 1776. Lt. Colonel Donald McLeod took active command. At 1:00 A.M., they set out. Although they numbered 1,600, they had only 500 firearms. When they reached the bridge, they found empty entrenchments. The Rebels had withdrawn to the other side of the bridge. An advance party found half of the bridge planks had been removed and the two stringers had been greased. But Lt. Colonel McLeod would not be denied. An eighty man assault force armed with broadswords was assembled under the command of Captain John Campbell. The assault force followed McLeod down one stringer and Campbell down the other to the beat of drums and the Scottish war pipes. The Rebels held their fire until Campbell and McLeod crossed the creek and then they let loose with their two cannon and musket fire. No one was left standing on the bridge. Campbell and McLeod were killed immediately. Some Tories fell into the creek and drown. Their companions who had watched their quick defeat immediately retreated. Thirty Tories were counted dead, while the Rebels had only two casualties, one of whom later died of his wounds. 850 Tories were captured, including Brig. General MacDonald. This quick defeat ended organized Tory activity in the area for several years. Less than two months later in April, North Carolina became to first state to vote for independence. Maj. General Henry Clinton arrived at Cape Fear on March 12 to find no Tories. He remained there until May 31, while Commodore Peter Parker's fleet straggled in after having been dispersed during its crossing because of storms. Clinton and Parker now discussed what to do since their invasion of North Carolina had counted on Tories to augment their force. They settled on a direct assault on Charleston, which would also end in defeat.
    The Battle for New York July - August 1776
    On July 3, 1776, British troops landed on Staten Island. Over a period of six weeks, British troop strength was increased so that it number over 32,000 by the end of August. Meanwhile, General Washington was preparing his men as well as he could under the circumstances. Washington was hampered by the British control of the sea, which allowed them to conceivably attack either Long Island or Manhattan. Washington decided to defend both vulnerable areas. On August 22, General Howe, the British commander, began transporting troops across the bay from Staten Island to Long Island. Washington decided to defend Brooklyn Heights by digging in around Brooklyn Village. Washington fortified the Heights of Guan, a range of hills 100 to 150 feet in height and covered by heavy brush and woods. The heights were broken by four passes. The furthest away was the Jamaica pass. Only five soldiers were detailed to defend the pass. On August 26th, Howe's troops quietly made their way to the Jamaica pass and seized the five American guards there. The British advanced behind American lines undetected until they reached the settlement of Bedford, where they opened fire. At that point, British troops rushed through the Bedford pass. Two hundred fifty American troops, under General Stirling, were surrounded on three sides. They fought bravely, but were soon overwhelmed. American troops were forced back into Brooklyn Heights. Cornwallis did not follow-up with an immediate attack on Brooklyn Heights. Washington's advisors recommended a withdrawal before British frigates could block the East River and any available means of escape. On the night of August 30th, Washington successfully withdrew his troops across the East River to Manhattan. Washington turned his attention to rebuilding his army. He was given instruction by the Continental Congress that allowed him to withdraw from New York. Washington began moving his supplies and wounded soldiers north from Manhattan. Meanwhile, Howe had decided not attack the heavily fortified Manhattan, but instead to outflank Washington and trap him. On September 13, Howe began to move his army across the East River to Kips Bay, there he hoped to cut Washington off. The landing was successful, and met only limited opposition. Washington's army, however, was able to successfully move North to Harlem Heights. The next day, a brief skirmish took place at Harlem Heights that became known as the Battle of Harlem. In this brief battle, several hundred British light infantry were badly mauled by Colonel Thomas Knowlton's Connecticut regiment. The Americans and the British began digging in. On October 12, Howe once again moved his army to the north to outflank Washington, this time at Throgs Neck. He landed there successfully, but his forces were bottled up on the Neck, which, depending on the tides, was sometimes an island. Washington decided to withdraw north to White Plains. The British slowly followed. It took Howe ten days to arrive in White Plains. There, on October 28th, the British troops captured Chattertons Hill, to the right of American lines. Washington soon withdrew to New Castle, and Howe did not follow.
    The Battle of Valcour Bay October 11, 1776
    Ever since the failure of the American invasion of Canada, it had been the intention of Sir Guy Carleton, in accordance with the wishes of the ministry, to invade New York by way of Lake Champlain, and to secure the Mohawk valley and the upper waters of the Hudson. The summer of 1776 had been employed by Carleton in getting together a fleet with which to obtain control of the lake. It was an arduous task. Three large York vessels were sent over from England, and proceeded up the St. Lawrence as far as the rapids, where they were taken to pieces, carried overland to St. John's, and there put together again. Twenty gunboats and more than two hundred flat-bottomed transports were built at Montreal, and manned with 700 picked seamen and gunners; and upon this flotilla Carleton embarked his army of 12,000 men. To oppose the threatened invasion, Benedict Arnold had been working all the summer with desperate energy. In June the materials for his navy were growing in the forests of Vermont, while his carpenters with their tools, his sailmakers with their canvas, and his gunners with their guns had mostly to be brought from the coast towns of Connecticut and Massachusetts. By the end of September he had built a little fleet of three schooners, two sloops, three galleys, and eight gondolas, and fitted it out with seventy guns and such seamen and gunners as he could get together. With this flotilla he could not hope to prevent the advance of such an overwhelming force as that of the prepared enemy. The most he could do would be to worry and delay it, besides raising the spirits of the people by the example of an obstinate and furious resistance. To allow Carleton to reach Ticonderoga without opposition would be disheartening, whereas by delay and vexation he might hope to dampen the enthusiasm of the invader. With this end in view, Arnold proceeded down the lake far to the north of Crown Point, and taking up a strong position between Valcour Island and the western shore, so that both his wings were covered and he could be attacked only in front, he lay in wait for the enemy. James Wilkinson, who twenty years afterward became commander-in-chief of the American army, and survived the second war with England, was then at Ticonderoga, on Gates's staff. Though personally hostile to Arnold, he calls attention in his Memoirs to the remarkable skill exhibited in the disposition of the little fleet at Valcour Island, which was the same in principle as that by which Macdonough won his brilliant victory, not far from the same spot, in 1814. On the 11th of October, Sir Guy Carleton's squadron approached, and there ensued the first battle fought between an American and a British fleet. At sundown, after a desperate fight of seven hours' duration, the British withdrew out of range, intending to renew the struggle in the morning. Both fleets had suffered severely, but the Americans were so badly cut up that Carleton expected to force them to surrender the next day. But Arnold during the hazy night contrived to slip through the British line with all that was left of his crippled flotilla, and made away for Crown Point with all possible speed. Though he once had to stop to mend leaks, and once to take off the men and guns from two gondolas which were sinking, he nevertheless, by dint of sailing and kedging, got such a start that the enemy did not overtake him until the next day, when he was nearing Crown Point. While the rest of the fleet, by Arnold's orders, now crowded sail for their haven, he in his schooner sustained an ugly fight for four hours with the three largest British vessels, one of which mounted eighteen twelve pounders. His vessel was woefully cut up, and her deck covered with dead and dying men, when, having sufficiently delayed the enemy, he succeeded in running her aground in a small creek, where he set her on fire, and she perished gloriously, with her flag flying till the flames brought it down. Then marching through woodland paths to Crown Point, where his other vessels had now disembarked their men, he brought away his whole force in safety to Ticonderoga. When Carleton appeared before that celebrated fortress, finding it strongly defended, and doubting his ability to reduce it before the setting in of cold weather, he decided to take his army back to Canada, satisfied for the present with having gained control of Lake Champlain This sudden retreat of Carleton astonished both friend and foe. He was blamed for it by his generals, Burgoyne, Phillips, and Riedesel, as well as by the king; and when we see how easily the fortress was seized by Phillips in the following summer, we can hardly doubt that it was a grave mistake. The Philadelphia was one of a fleet of Continental gunboats that stopped the advance of British forces on Lake Champlain during the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776. Sunk during the battle, it was discovered and raised in 1935 by Lorenzo F. Hagglund, a civil engineer who for many years exhibited it as a tourist attraction. In 1939 a Smithsonian curator proposed buying the Philadelphia, citing a naval historian who called it "the most amazing thing of the sort that he has seen. " But the idea was rejected by museum officials, who balked at the price and thought the gunboat better off in its "original surroundings." Twenty years later the curator, Frank Taylor, had become the director of the new Museum of History and Technology, and he still wanted the Revolutionary War relic for the collections. In 1961 the Smithsonian acquired the gunboat and brought it to Washington, D.C., where it was displayed along with other naval artifacts salvaged from the lake bottom. In 1991 detailed drawings of the gunboat were used to make a replica, the Philadelphia II.
    Washingtons Retreat through New Jersey 1776
    The final act of the Battles of New York was the British capture of Fort Washington. The Hudson River was guarded by Fort Washington and Fort Lee, but the British managed to send ships past the forts without difficulty, thus limiting their usefulness. The commander on the scene, Colonel Nathaniel Greene, believed that he could hold the fort with the 3,000 men that he had. On November 27th, Howe struck the outer defenses of the fort. They were too far away from the fort itself, and the British broke through. After suffering heavy losses but acquitting themselves well, the fort surrendered. Two thousand seven hundred twenty-two American were captured. Howe soon took Fort Lee on the New Jersey side and pursued Washington's forces all the way down New Jersey. He did not catch up, however, and Washington was able to get away with his army more or less intact across the Delaware River.
    Date: December 26, 1776 Location: Trenton, New Jersey Victor: General George Washington Defeated: Colonel Johann Rall Other Notables: Maj. General Nathanael Greene
    On December 26th, Washington's Army crossed the Delaware and surprised the British at Trenton. The main attack was made by 2,400 troops under Washington on the Hessian Garrison. Washington's troops achieved total surprise and defeated the British forces. The American victory was the first of the war, and helped to restore American morale. Despite Washington's defeats in New York, he was not willing to sit idly by while the British occupied all of New Jersey. The front lines of the British were occupied by Hessians troops who held positions along the Delaware River opposite Washington's troops in Pennsylvania. On Christmas Night, Washington surprised the British by leading a group of 2400 troops across the Delaware. At the same time, James Ewing was to seize the ferry just south of the city. Despite the ice floating down the river, Washington succeeded in crossing the river and leading his men and their artillery ashore. At a few minutes before 8:00, Washington and Ewing's troops converged on Trenton. The Americans set up artillery that commanded the streets of the city. As the Hessians who had been up late celebrating Christmas took to the streets, they were struck down. The British commander, Colonel Rall, was soon killed. Within an hour, the battle was over, 22 Hessians were dead, 98 were wounded and almost a thousand were being held prisoner. Only four Americans, however, were wounded. Washington returned with his triumphant forces to Pennsylvania. The next day, Colonel Caldwater who had failed to cross the river the day before, crossed the Delaware with his troops and occupied the empty town of Burlington. Two days later, Washington followed with his men. As the year ended, Washington had 5000 men and 40 howitzers in Trenton.
    Date: January 3, 1777 Location: Princeton, New Jersey Victor: General George Washington Defeated: Lt. Colonel Charles Mawhood Other Notables: Maj. General Nathanael Greene
    Gen. Howe responded to the fall of Trenton by sending 5,550 troops south from New York through Princeton toward Trenton. Gen. Cornwalis' troops arrived in Trenton late on the afternoon of the 2nd of January. Cornwalis found Gen. Washington's troops along the ridge of the Assunpink Creek, and decided to wait until the next day to attack. Overnight, Washington moved his troops out of Trenton and into Princeton to the north. There, his advance force met a British blocking force commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mawhood. A desperate fight ensued in Princeton, in which the Americans almost lost. Washington's timely arrival on horseback, however, served to rally the Americans, and the Colonial army defeated Mawhood's troops, forcing them to retreat to Trenton. Both armies were spent, and Washington took his army into winter quarters in Morristown, while Cornwalis withdrew to New Brunswick.
    The Battle of Princeton January 3, 1777
    Gen. Howe responded to the fall of Trenton by sending 5,550 troops south from New York through Princeton toward Trenton. Gen. Cornwalis' troops arrived in Trenton late on the afternoon of the 2nd of January. Cornwalis found Gen. Washington's troops along the ridge of the Assunpink Creek, and decided to wait until the next day to attack. Overnight, Washington moved his troops out of Trenton and into Princeton to the north. There, his advance force met a British blocking force commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mawhood. A desperate fight ensued in Princeton, in which the Americans almost lost. Washington's timely arrival on horseback, however, served to rally the Americans, and the Colonial army defeated Mawhood's troops, forcing them to retreat to Trenton. Both armies were spent, and Washington took his army into winter quarters in Morristown, while Cornwalis withdrew to New Brunswick.
    The Battle of Brandywine September 10, 1777
    On August 25, 1777, Gen. Howe moved his troops south by sea to threaten Philadelphia. He landed his troops on the west side of the Elk River. After a week of rest, Howe marched his troops north toward Philadelphia. George Washington responded by marching his army south through Philadelphia to meet Howe. After harassing Howe's advance for a few days, Washington placed his army behind Brandywine Creek. The creek was crossable only at a number of fords. At 4:00 AM on the 10th of September, while part of his army was engaged in a diversionary attack against Chads Ford, Howe took the bulk of his army on a long march through back roads to cross at Trimble and Jeffries Fords at the end of Washington's unanchored lines. Howe successfully crossed the fords and brought his troops to Osborne Hill, outflanking Washington's troops. The American troops redeployed, trying to block the British. At 4:00 PM, the British troops set off down the hill to the music of the British Grenadier. They marched through a hole in the American lines, but the Americans quickly converged on them. The battle raged for hours. Desperate hand to hand fighting ensued. By nightfall, Washington was forced to withdraw. The British had won the day, but Washington's army was still intact.
    The Battle of Oriskany August 6, 1777
    The British Northern Campaign called for the convergence of three separate forces: Burgonyne's troops coming down via Fort Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain; Colonel St. Leger's troops attempting to envelope the Mohawk valley; and 1,000 Native American warriors. St. Leger expected to overwhelm the small dilapidated fort called Fort Stanwix easily, since it was garrisoned by only a few Americans. What he found instead was a rebuilt force with 550 Americans commanded by an energetic Colonel Peter Gansevoort. That group was reinforced as he arrived by an additional 200 Massachusetts volunteers. St. Leger demanded the immediate surrender of the fort, a demand that was summarily rejected. St. Leger started to lay siege to the fort. Meanwhile, American Brigadier General Herkimer led a force of over 800 men in a relief expedition to the fort. As the relief force noisily approached, St. Leger sent a force primarily made up of Native Americans to ambush the approaching relief column. Six miles from Fort Stanwix, near the village of Oriskany, they were attacked as the column was traversing a deep ravine. The Americans were surrounded, but they held their ground and fought bravely. Faced with no option but to fight or die, they fought the enemy until they reached a standstill. Each side lost over 150 men that day, and the American commander General Herkimer was soon to die from his wounds. All thoughts of relieving the fort were forgotten. St. Leger continued his investment of the fort with renewed vigor after the arrival of his cannons. He once again demanded the surrender of the fort, threatening that, if they did not surrender, he and the Native Americans would massacre not only the defenders but the entire patriot population of the valley. The Americans once again indignantly refused. Two men however snuck through the enemy lines to appeal for help. Help was indeed coming, in the form of Benedict Arnold leading part of Schuyler's army. Before he could arrive however, the dispirited Native Americans had learned of his pending arrival, and revolted. St. Leger had no choice but withdraw.
    The Battle of Bennington August 16, 1777
    General Burgoyne's first major defeat occurred when he sent a force of Hessians west of the Connecticut River to seize cattle and other supplies. The force, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Fredrich Baum, was ordered to head to Bennington and seize rebel supplies. Awaiting Baum near Bennington were nearly 2,000 American militia men led by John Stark of New Hampshire. At Van Schaick Mill, Baum's forces ran into the advance guard of the American forces, and both sides prepared for battle the next day, next to the Wallomsac River. The British were in makeshift fortifications on a height north of the river. On August 16, after a rain delay, Stark's men attacked. In a complicated multi-pronged attack, they captured or killed the entire British force. By late in the afternoon, a British relief expedition arrived. The relief expedition was met by Warner's Green Mountain Boys. They forced the British to pull back. With the help of Stark's forces, the withdrawal turned to a route. By the end of the battle, 207 Hessians lay dead and 700 were captured. The Americans lost 20 dead and another 40 wounded.
    The Battle of Saratoga September 19, 1777
    Historians consider the Battle of Saratoga to be the major turning point of the American Revolution. This battle proved to the world that the fledgling American army was an effective fighting force capable of defeating the highly trained British forces in a major confrontation. As a result of this successful battle, the European powers, particularly the French, took interest in the cause of the Americans and began to support them. In the British Campaign of 1777, Major General Burgoyne planned a concentric advance of three columns to meet in Albany, New York. He led the main column, which moved southward along the Hudson River. A second column under General Barry St. Leger served as a diversionary attack, moving eastward from Canada along the Mohawk River. General Howe was expected to direct the third element of the attack. According to the plan, General Henry Clinton, under the direction of Howe, would move northward along the Hudson River and link up with Burgoyne in Albany. Through this campaign, the British hoped to isolate and destroy the Continental forces of New England. Initially, the British plan appeared to be working, with British victories at Ticonderoga and Hubbardton. Burgoyne's army continually pushed back the Americans southward along the Hudson River with only minor casualties. The Battle of Bennington marked the first significant American victory, when General John Stark led the American militia to victory against a British resupply expedition. In an attempt to slow the British advance, the American General Philip Schuyler detached 1000 men under the command of Major General Benedict Arnold. This force moved west to thwart St. Leger's eastward advance along the Mohawk River. Arnold returned with his detachment after repelling St. Leger in time serve in the Battle of Saratoga. At the Battle of Freeman's Farm, the new commander of the Northern Department of the American army, General Horatio Gates, lost an indecisive battle. During this First Battle of Saratoga, fought 19 September 1777, the American forces lost ground to the British forces under General Burgoyne. Disagreements in tactics and personalities led to a heated argument between Generals Gates and Arnold. General Gates relieved Arnold of command as a result. The Battle of Bemis Heights was the second battle of Saratoga, taking place October 7th when Burgoyne desperately attacked rebel defenses with his tired, demoralized army. At Bemis Heights, Gate's defensive tactics insured a tactical victory for the Patriots. However, Arnold saw an opportunity to seize the offensive while Burgoyne was vulnerable and led a counterattack. This bold move so badly wounded the British forces that Burgoyne surrendered days later at Saratoga. On September 19, 1777 the Royal army advanced upon the American camp in three separate columns within the present day towns of Stillwater and Saratoga. Two of them headed through the heavy forests covering the region; the third, composed of German troops, marched down the river road. American scouts detected Burgoyne's army in motion and notified Gates, who ordered Col. Daniel Morgan's corps of Virginia riflemen to track the British march. About 12:30 p.m., some of Morgan's men brushed with the advance guard of Burgoyne's center column in a clearing known as the Freeman Farm, about a mile north of the American camp. The general battle that followed swayed back and forth over the farm for more than three hours. Then, as the British lines began to waver in the face of the deadly fire of the numerically superior Americans, German reinforcements arrived from the river road. Hurling them against the American right, Burgoyne steadied the wavering British line and gradually forced the Americans to withdraw. Except for this timely arrival and the near exhaustion of the Americans' ammunition, Burgoyne might have been defeated that day. Though he held the immediate field of battle, Burgoyne had been stopped about a mile north of the American line and his army roughly treated. Shaken by his "victory," the British commander ordered his troops to entrench in the vicinity of the Freeman Farm and await support from Clinton, who was supposedly preparing to move north toward Albany from New York City. For nearly three weeks he waited but Clinton did not come. By now Burgoyne's situation was critical. Faced by a growing American army without hope of help from the south, and with supplies rapidly diminishing, the British army became weaker with each passing day. Burgoyne had to choose between advancing or retreating. He decided to risk a second engagement, and on October 7 ordered a reconnaissance-in-force to test the American left flank. Ably led and supported by eight cannon, a force of 1,500 men moved out of the British camp. After marching southwesterly about three-quarters of a mile, the troops deployed in a clearing on the Barber Farm. Most of the British front faced an open field, but both flanks rested in woods, thus exposing them to surprise attack. By now the Americans knew that Burgoyne's army was again on the move and at about 3 p.m. attacked In three columns under Colonel Morgan, Gen. Ebenezer Learned, and Gen. Enoch Poor. Repeatedly the British line was broken, then rallied, and both flanks were severely punished and driven back. Gen. Simon Fraser, who commanded the British right, was mortally wounded as he rode among his men to encourage them to make a stand and cover the developing withdrawal. Before the enemy's flanks could be rallied, Gen. Benedict Arnold - who had been relieved of command after a quarrel with Gates- rode onto the field and led Learned's brigade against the German troops holding the British center. Under tremendous pressure from all sides, the Germans joined a general withdrawal into the fortifications on the Freeman Farm. Within an hour after the opening clash, Burgoyne lost eight cannon and more than 400 officers and men. Flushed with success, the Americans believed that victory was near. Arnold led one column in a series of savage attacks on the Balcarres Redoubt, a powerful British fieldwork on the Freeman Farm. After failing repeatedly to carry this position, Arnold wheeled his horse and, dashing through the crossfire of both armies, spurred northwest to the Breymann Redoubt. Arriving just as American troops began to assault the fortification, he joined in the final surge that overwhelmed the German soldiers defending the work. Upon entering the redoubt, he was wounded in the leg. Had he died there, posterity would have known few names brighter than that of Benedict Arnold. Darkness ended the day's fighting and saved Burgoyne's army from immediate disaster. That night the British commander left his campfires burning and withdrew his troops behind the Great Redoubt, which protected the high ground and river flats at the northeast corner of the battlefield. The next night, October 8, after burying General Fraser in the redoubt, the British began their retreat northward. They had suffered 1,000 casualties in the fighting of the past three weeks; American losses numbered less than 500. After a miserable march in mud and rain, Burgoyne's troops took refuge in a fortified camp on the heights of Saratoga. There an American force that had grown to nearly 20,000 men surrounded the exhausted British army. Faced with such overwhelming numbers, Burgoyne surrendered on October 17,1777. By the terms of the Convention of Saratoga, Burgoyne's depleted army, some 6,000 men, marched out of its camp "with the Honors of War" and stacked its weapons along the west bank of the Hudson River. Thus was gained one of the most decisive victories in American and world history.
    The Battle of Germantown September 22, 1777
    After the Battle of Brandywine, British Gen. Howe managed to outflank Gen. Washington and make his way into Philadelphia. Nevertheless, Washington was not willing to allow Howe to remain in Philadelphia unmolested. Early on the morning of October 4th, Washington's troops attacked the British troops in Germantown. There were 8,000 troops bivouacked there, and Washington's plans called for a simultaneous attack by four converging forces. The Americans planned to attack without firing, but shooting broke out very quickly from both sides. The air around Germantown that early October morning was laden with a fog so thick that American troops soon began firing on each other. Coordination between the various attacking forces became impossible. As American forces fired on one another, Howe counterattacked. The initiative moved to the British and the American forces were forced to withdraw.
    The Burgoyne Surrender October 16th 1777
    General John Burgoyne of the British Army. Burgoyne originally devised the plan to march on Albany from Canada, although he was thwarted by Gates and Arnold at Saratoga. Burgoyne typically traveled with 30 wagonloads of personal supplies during the war.
    Commanding the Artillery
    1. Major Lithgow, Mass. 2. Colonel Cilley, New Hampshire 3. General Stark, New Hampshire 4. Captain Seymour, Connecticut 5. Major Hull, Mass. 6. Col. Greaton, Mass. 7. Major Dearborn, New Hampshire 8. Colonel Scammell, New Hampshire 9. Colonel Lewis, New York, 10. Maj. Gen. Phillips, British 11. Lt. General Burgoyne 12. General Baron Reidesel, German 13. Colonel Wilkinson 14. General Gates 15. Colonel Prescott, Massachusetts 16. Colonel Morgan, Virginia Riflemen 17. Brigadier General Rufus Putnam 18. Lt. Colonel John Brooks 19. Rev Hitchcock 20. Major R. Troup 21. Major Haskell, Massachusetts 22. Major Armstrong 23. Maj General Philip Schuyler, New York 24. Brig. Gen. Glover 25. Brigadier General Whipple, New Hampshire 26. Maj. M. Clarkson, New York 27. Major Ebenezer Stevens,
    Valley Forge The Winter of 1777-1778
    Valley Forge, 25 miles west of Philadelphia, was the campground of 11,000 troops of George Washington's Continental Army from Dec. 19, 1777, to June 19, 1778. Because of the suffering endured there by the hungry, poorly clothed, and badly housed troops, 2,500 of whom died during the harsh winter, Valley Forge came to symbolize the heroism of the American revolutionaries. The soldiers represented every state in the new union. Some were still boys -- as young as 12 -- others in their 50s and 60s. They were described as fair, pale, freckled, brown, swarthy and black. While the majority were white, the army included both Negroes and American Indians. Each man had few possessions and these he carried with him. His musket -- by far the most popular weapon -- a cartouche or cartridge box. If he had neither, the infantryman carried a powder horn, hunting bag and bullet pouch. His knapsack or haversack held his extra clothing (if he was fortunate enough to have any), a blanket, a plate and spoon, perhaps a knife, fork and tumbler. Canteens were often shared with others and six to eight men shared cooking utensils. The first order of business was shelter. An active field officer was appointed for each brigade to superintend the business of hutting. Twelve men were to occupy each hut. The officers' hut, located to the rear, would house fewer men. Each brigade would also build a hospital, 15x25 feet. Many of the Brigadier Generals used local farmhouses as their quarters. Some, including Henry Knox, later moved into huts to be closer to their men. The huts provided greater comfort than the tents used by the men when on campaign. But after months of housing unwashed men and food waste, these cramped quarters fostered discomfort and disease. Albigence Waldo complained, "my Skin & eyes are almost spoil'd with continual smoke." Putrid fever, the itch, diarrhea, dysentery and rheumatism were some of the other afflictions suffered by the Continental troops. Little is known about the women but there were women at Valley Forge. Junior officers' wives probably remained in the homes of their husbands and socialized among themselves. The enlisted men's wives lived and labored among the troops, some working as housekeepers for the officers; others as cooks. The most common positions were nurse and laundress. A washerwoman might work for wages or charge by the piece. The army was continually plagued with shortages of food, clothing and equipment. Soldiers relied both on their home states and on the Continental Congress for these necessities. Poor organization, a shortage of wagoners, lack of forage for the horses, the devaluation of the Continental currency spoilage, and capture by the British all contributed to prevent these critical supplies from arriving at camp. An estimated 34,577 pounds of meat and 168 barrels of flour per day were needed to feed the army. Shortages were particularly acute in December and February. Foraging expeditions were sent into the surrounding countryside to round up cattle and other supplies. In February three public markets opened. Farmers were encouraged to sell their produce. Fresh Pork, Fat Turkey, Goose, Rough skinned Potatoes, Turnips, Indian Meal, Sour-Crout, Leaf Tobacco, New Milk, Cyder, and Small Beer were included in the list of articles published in the Pennsylvania Packet and circulated in hand bills. Entertainment at Valley Forge took many forms. The officers liked to play cricket (known also as wicket) and on at least one occasion were joined by His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief. Several plays were staged including Joseph Addison's "Cato" which played to a packed audience. A common recreation was drinking, when spirits were available. And the soldiers liked to sing. Throughout the winter and early spring, men were frequently "on command," leaving camp on a variety of assignments. Units were formed to forage for food, some were granted furloughs, and individuals regularly returned to their home states to recruit new troops. In January Jeremiah Greenman reported, "all ye spayr officers sent home to recruit another regiment & sum on furlow." On February 23, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron von Steuben, arrived at Valley Forge to offer his military skills to the patriot cause. Washington assigned him the duties of Acting Inspector General and gave him the task of developing and carrying out a practical training program. Despite adverse circumstances, Baron Friedrich von Steuben drilled the soldiers regularly and improved their discipline. Foreign officers were an essential part of the Continental Army. They provided military skills which the Americans lacked. Some, including Steuben, the Marquis de Lafayette and the Baron de Kalb came as volunteers. Kalb quickly proved himself to Washington and Congress commissioned him a major general. Lafayette was given the command of a division of Virginia light troops in December 1777 and later took command of additional troops. Others, such as Engineer Louis Lebque de Presle Duportail were "covert" aid given leave from the French Army to provide assistance to the Americans. It was Duportail who designed the Valley Forge Encampment. With spring the balance shifted. New recruits arrived daily. Reluctantly, Nathaniel Greene accepted the appointment as Quarter Master General and began to correct the problems with supplies. Under Steuben's direction the Continentals had become professionals, if not career soldiers. Morale improved as confidence grew. General Orders, Tuesday. May 5, 1778 announced the alliance with France and plans "to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the divine Goodness." On June 19, 1778, six months to the day following their arrival, the Commander-in-Chief General George Washington and the Continental Army departed Valley Forge and marched to Monmouth, New Jersey to engage the British in battle just nine days later. This was the army that would continue to victory at Yorktown. On the Schuylkill River, SE Pa., NW of Philadelphia. There, during the American Revolution, the main camp of the Continental Army was established (Dec., 1777-June, 1778) under the command of Gen. George Washington. The winter was severe, food and clothing was inadequate, and illness and suffering pervaded the camp. The number of ragged and half-starved troops dwindled through desertion; the remaining men, about 11,000, talked of mutiny but were held together by their loyalty to Washington and to the patriotic cause. Two distinguished foreigners, French General Lafayette and Prussian General Steuben, shared the misery of the troops; Steuben drilled and organized the men, transforming the loose-jointed army into an integrated force. The site is included in Valley Forge National Historic Park.
    The Battle of Monmouth June 28, 1778
    As British General Clinton prepared to evacuate Philadelphia there was strong sentiment in the Continental Army command that a cooperative effort between their army and the newly allied French naval fleet might result in winning the war. A French naval squadron consisting of 11 war ships along with transports carrying 4000 French troops sailed from France in May of 1778 and headed to America. The fleet, commanded by Comte d'Estaing, was far superior than any Admiral Howe (British) could immediately concentrate in American waters. This represented a stronghold on strategic initiative in favor of the Americans, which General Washington hoped to capitalize on. Clinton received orders from England to detach 8000 of his roughly 10,000 man force to the West Indies and Florida and evacuate the rest of his men from Philadelphia to New York by sea. Instead, Clinton decided to move the entire army to NY before making any detachments and to move them overland. His decision was largely based on the fact that he didn't have the transports to move his 3000 horses over sea. Clinton set out from Philadelphia with his 10,000 men, to include Tories from the region, on 18 June 1778. Washington and his growing army of 12,000 men immediately occupied Philadelphia and began pursuit of Clinton towards NY. Washington was still undecided as to whether he should risk an attack on the British column while it was on the march. He held a meeting of his command staff, the Council of War, and attempted to find some resolve in that matter. The council, however, was quite divided on the issue. The only unifying theme was that none of Washington's generals advised in favor of a general action. Brig Gen Anthony Wayne, the boldest of the staff, and Maj Gen Marquis de Lafayette, the youngest of the staff, urged for a partial attack on the British column while it was strung out on the road. Gen Lee, who had been captured and exchanged and had rejoined the army at Valley Forge, was the most cautious. He advised only guerilla action to harass the British column. On 26, June 1778, Washington sided with a more bold approach but did not go so far as issuing orders for a general action. He sent almost one-half of his army as an advance force to strike at the rear of the British when Clinton made the eminent move out of Monmouth Courthouse, which occurred on 28, June 1778. Early in the morning on 28 June, Lee advanced upon unreconnoitered ground and made contact with the British rear guard at Monmouth Courthouse. Clinton reacted quickly and maneuvered to envelop the American right flank. Lee felt that he was then faced by a superior force and fell into a retreat that seems to have been quite confused. Washington was quite irate at the retreat and spoke harshly at Lee. Washington then assumed a defensive position to repel a possible British counter-attack. The ensuing battle, involving the bulk of both armies, was fought on that hot, sultry day and continued until nightfall with both sides holding their original positions. George Rogers Clark and The Battle of Vincennes February 23, 1779 King George III's Proclamation of 1763 gave the Indians the land west Appalachian Mountains for their Hunting Grounds. The British used this to their advantage. Colonel Henry Hamilton of the British Army paid the Indians for any colonist scalps. This, of course, encouraged the Indians to attack the white colonists and at the same time protected the British because they did not want to lose the money they were receiving. Colonel Hamilton's nickname was "hair buyer." Colonel Hamilton was in command of Detroit, but Kaskaskia and Vincennes were two other towns with a lot of British power. In all three towns the British would supply the Indians with arms and ammunition that would be used against the Colonists. George Rogers Clark convinced the Virginia assembly to give him money to put a militia together to capture these three British strongholds. On June 24, 1778, Clark and 120 men left Redstone, Virginia and arrived at Kaskaskia on July 4th. Without firing a shot, Clark was able to take control of Kaskaskia and all the French Canadians living there pledged allegiance to the Colonies. Clark was able to convince Father Gibault, the French priest of Kaskaskia, to travel to Vincennes and ask the people there to also pledge allegiance to the Colonies. Father Gibault told the residents of Vincennes of the spiritual value in uniting with the Colonists. Somehow, he was able to get all the residents to pledge allegiance to the Colonies and soon an American flag was flying in every home. Soon Colonel Hamilton in Detroit heard how Kaskaskia had fallen to the Colonists and then how the Vincennes' residents had turned against Britain. He left Detroit in December 1778 with thirty soldiers, fifty French volunteers and four hundred Indians and had taken back control of the Fort. Clark was in Kaskaskia, Indiana just east of the Mississippi River. It was 240 miles almost directly eastward to reach Vincennes. The winter was cold and Clark knew that the Wabash River would probably be flooded, but in early February Clark and his men set out for Vincennes with forty-six men. On February 23, 1779 Clark and his group were within three miles of the Fort at Vincennes. They were able to take a British prisoner who told them everything they needed to know. Clark knew he was outnumbered, so he devised a plan to make it seem that there were a lot more men than forty-seven storming the Fort. Vincennes sat on the top of a mountain. He had his men march around in a circle around the fort. The British and the Indians thought there were thousands of soldiers outside. The Indians ran for their safety. That left about 150 British soldiers inside the fort. Finally, Clark sent in a flag of truce and asked Colonel Hamilton to surrender. Clark would not accept Hamilton's terms, because he thought Hamilton to be a barbarian. To convince Hamilton that surrendering would be his only choice, he took two Indian prisoners and with a tomahawk killed them in front of the Fort. Colonel Hamilton and his men surrendered. One of Clark's French volunteers from Kaskaskia, St. Croix, was put in charge of killing the prisoners sentenced to death. When St. Croix lifted the tomahawk to kill a prisoner, a boy cried out "Save me." St. Croix recognized the voice of his son, who was covered with Indian war paint. George Rogers Clark spared his life. George Rogers Clark was a young man, who was more of a frontiersman than a soldier, but he led his small Army to a victory that would prevent the British from ever having control over the Midwest.
    The Battle of Stony Point July 15, 1779
    By 1778, the war had settled into a stalemate. Washington was encamped around British-occupied New York. The British were unable to attack Washington, and New York was too strongly defended for Washington to attack. In the meantime, a war of plunder took place, with British troops taking part in various attacks on civilians that began to turn even many of the royalist supporters against them. General Conway, speaking to the House of Commons in 1779, stated: O the robe and the mitre animating us in concert t massacre, we plunged ourselves into rivers of blood, spreading terror, devastation, and death over the whole continents of America; exhausting ourselves at home became the objective of horror in the eyes of indignant Europe! It was our reverend prelates who led on this dance, which may be justly styled the dance of death!Such is the horrid war which we have maintained for five years." In May 1779, General Clinton led his troops up the Hudson River, capturing the fort at Stony Point as well as the one at Verplanck. In response, Washington personally prepared an assault to retake Stony Point. In the early morning hours of July 15th, three columns of continental soldiers, 1200 men in all, converged on the fort. The fort was swiftly overwhelmed. Fifteen American soldiers were killed and 83 were wounded . Of the redcoats troops, 63 were killed, 74 were wounded and 543 were taken prisoner.
    The Battle of Savannah
    On July 22, 1779, royal governor James Wright returned to Savannah, charged with maintaining the peace. His first act was to roll back all laws to 1775, essentially ending the established revolutionary government and the state of Georgia, at least as far as the Loyalists were concerned. With him were an entire staff of supporters including a vice-governor and justice of the courts. Major General Benjamin Lincoln, recently appointed Southern commander of the Continental Army, realized that the loss of Savannah was key and set out to regain the coastal Georgia port. His first task was to raise 5,000 men. Second, since raising a navy was out of the question, he tried to contact Admiral Valerie D'estaing, whose French fleet had been raiding British outposts in the Caribbean Sea. D'estaing's naval support, comprised of some twenty-two line ships, about half that many support ships and 4,000 men was the only way to ensure that British ships could not arrive to supply and support the town. While Lincoln was preparing his troops, Revolutionary Georgia continued its organization of a government in exile. From Heard's Fort John Wereat was selected to head the executive branch of government. This was really a safety measure so that if the council could not form a quorum decisions could be made. Meanwhile, it was as if the loss of Savannah woke the American government to the danger of losing the South. Washington dispatched General Casimir Pulaski and his "Polish Legion" to the southern front. Pulsaki had been busy rewriting the book on cavalry tactics and training American cavalry officers. The term "Polish Legion" has all but been abandoned by modern historians because it is viewed as misleading. Savannah proper lay on a low plateau, some 40 feet above the Savannah River. On both the left and right sides marshes created tough obstacles through which to advance. In front of the city a cleared plain of small rolling hills made it impossible for a large group of men to advance without being seen from the redoubts that encircled the city. These were the very reasons that James Oglethorpe chose the site in 1733. It was easily defended by a relatively small group of men against attacks by the Spanish or the Creek Indians. Defenses, in some cases dating back almost 50 years could be used by the British to protect themselves. On September 1, 1779, D'estaing arrived east of Savannah. Had he been as bold as Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell had been less than a year earlier, he probably could have captured the city by himself. Instead, he formed a line and waited for the Continental Army. General Prevost also set to work on the city's defenses, ordering boats grounded along the bank of the river, then manned defensively. He also ordered a group of 800 men under the command of Col. John Maitland in Beaufort, South Carolina to hold their position, but be ready to advance in support of the city if needed. Benjamin Lincoln left Charleston and joined General Lachlan McIntosh at Ebenezer. From here the Continental Army advanced and began to take position around the city on September 9. With the arrival of the opposing force, Governor James Wright ordered able-bodied men to assist in building Savannah's defenses. Both Lincoln and D'estaing knew that the siege would not be of long duration, for Britain would find out about the naval blockade and send enough ships to break through D'estaing's line. It was the belief of the American commanders that the British would surrender if their escape routes were cut. Finally, on September 16, 1779, General Lincoln and Commander D'estaing met at D'estaing's headquarters in Thunderbolt and work began on "completing the encirclement." Admiral D'estaing issued a surrender demand to General Augustine Prevost. As Prevost considered the demand (which he eventually rejected), his men worked feverishly on improving Savannah's defenses. The city of Savannah was fully invested on September 23, although Prevost did call for the troops from Beaufort, who apparently got through the Patriots with little difficulty. Actual siege preparations were completed on September 23. For the next 2 weeks British troops, Loyalist Tories and Negro slaves continued to work on the defenses of Savannah while Benjamin Lincoln did little to improve his position. By October 4th no progress had been made towards a British surrender, so Admiral D'estaing moved his ships into position and began a naval bombardment of the city. This did not deter the British, who continued their task of improving the city's defenses. Finally Lincoln and D'estaing agreed to attack the British positions across a broad front on October 9th. Admiral D'estaing's plan called for five groups would move forward, concentrating on a salient in the British line at Spring Hill where a group of South Carolina militia appeared to be holding the line. The day broke cool, with a morning breeze from the ocean. Some of the finest American officers were now involved including Lincoln, McIntosh, Count Casimir Pulaski, leader of the Polish Legion, and Lt. Col Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion. Pulaski had earned his Brigadier star after the Battle of Brandywine, where his combined cavalry and light infantry legion saved the Continental Army from disaster. General Pulaski and Col. Marion expressed strong disagreement with the plan proposed by Admiral D'estaing, but obeyed orders. As the five units attacked the British resistance stiffened. Still, Continental soldiers broke through the redoubt in at least two places near Spring Hill. As the Americans carried the wall of the redoubt, the colors were planted to show the soldiers the breach in the line. Suddenly, British Regulars under the command of Col. John Maitland (the reserves called up by General Prevost) advance and turn back the combined French and Continental Army. Sgt. William Jasper, trying to rally his men to hold the line against the British grabbed the colors from the wall of the Spring Hill redoubt. He was struck and mortally wounded by British fire. The American line at the redoubt began to crumble under the intense pressure of Maitland's Regulars. General Pulaski, seeing the line pull back, rode up and tried to rally the men as well when he was mortally wounded by cannister. Pulaski and Jasper are carried back by retreating Americans, but the colors remained in British hands. Pulaski was taken to The Wasp and was buried at sea on October 15, 1779. Both the American and the French remained in the area until October 16, when Lincoln began an orderly withdrawal to Charleston. D'estaing set sail for France over a two day period beginning October 19. Lt. Colonel John Maitland, who had advanced from Beaufort, South Carolina in support of General Augustine Prevost died on October 22, not the victim of the battle but because of disease.
    Bonne Homme Richard vs. Serapis September 23, 1779
    The most remarkable single ship duel of the American Revolution was between the Bonne Homme Richard commanded by John Paul Jones and the HMS Serapis. Early in 1779, the French King gave Jones an ancient East Indiaman Duc de Duras, which Jones refitted, repaired, and renamed Bon Homme Richard as a compliment to his patron Benjamin Franklin. Commanding four other ships and two French privateers, he sailed 14 August 1779 to raid English shipping. On 23 September 1779, his ship engaged the HMS Serapis in the North Sea off Famborough Head, England. Richard was blasted in the initial broadside the two ships exchanged, loosing much of her firepower and many of her gunners. Captain Richard Pearson, commanding Serapis, called out to Jones, asking if he surrendered. Jones' reply: "I have not yet begun to fight!" It was a bloody battle with the two ship literally locked in combat. Sharpshooting Marines and seamen in Richard's tops raked Serapis with gunfire, clearing the weather decks. Jones and his crew tenaciously fought on , even though their ship was sinking beneath them. Finally, Capt. Pearson tore down his colors and Serapis surrendered. Bon Homme Richard sunk the next day and Jones was forced to transfer to Serapis.
    Siege of Charleston, South Carolina Also Known As: 2nd Battle of Charleston Date: April 2-May 12, 1780 Location: Charleston, South Carolina Victor: Lt. General Sir Henry Clinton Defeated: Maj. General Benjamin Lincoln Other Notables: Lt. General Charles Cornwallis, Major Patrick Ferguson, Francis Marion, Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton The Siege of Charleston 1779-1780
    The British began a southern strategy by beginning a siege of Charleston, South Carolina. The siege lasted until May 9th when British artillery fire was close enough to set the town on fire and force a surrender. A perception continued among the British that the South was full of loyalists just awaiting the call from the British. At the end of December 1779 General Clinton succumbed to this view and headed south with a small army. His goal was to capture Charleston, South Carolina. Clinton approached steadily, arriving opposite Charleston on April 1. He then began a classic European siege. The British dug siege trenches ever closer to the wall of the city. Day by day, week by week, the British got ever closer to the wall of the city. In the meantime both sides exchanged artillery fire, the Americans trying to make the British task as difficult as possible, while the British hoped to terrify the Americans into submission. By the beginning of May, the British had advanced within a few feet of the American lines. Their artillery fire was soon becoming deadly and on May 9th many of the wooden houses in Charleston were set on fire by the artillery fire. The city elders had enough and requested that the American commander Lincoln surrender, which he did. The British victory in Charleston was pyrrhic. There was no popular uprising and instead South Carolina degenerated into a period of chaos.
    Date: August 16, 1780 Location: Camden, South Carolina Victor: Lt. General Charles Earl Cornwallis Defeated: Maj. General Horatio Gates Other Notables: Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton The Battle of Camden August 16, 1780
    Early in the dawn hours of 16 August 1780, Otho Williams, surveying the American line, noticed the British advancing up the road. He consulted Captain Singleton of the artillery and it was determined that the British could be no more than 200 yards off. Williams gave the order for an artillery barrage and the British quickly unlimbered their guns and replied. The Battle of Camden had begun in earnest. Stevens, on the left, was ordered to move the Virginians forward and the inexperienced and seldom reliable militia responded with hesitation. Williams called for volunteers, led 80 or 90 troops to within 40 yards of the deploying British, and delivered a harassing fire from behind trees. Lord Cornwallis, positioned near the action and always alert, had noticed the Virginians' hesitation and ordered Webster to advance on the right. In what was one of the worst mismatches in military history, two of the best regiments to ever serve in the British Army, the 33rd Regiment and the 23rd Regiment, with the best trained light infantry in the world, came up against untrained and unreliable troops on the American left. Seeing the perfectly formed line sweep toward them with a mighty cheer then terrible silence, save the clanking of cold steel bayonet on musket barrel, the Virginians broke and ran. A few managed to get off a few shots and several of the British troops went down. However, the pell-mell panic quickly spread to the North Carolina militia near the road and soon the militia broke through the Maryland Continentals, stationed in reserve, and threw that normally reliable troop into disarray. Seeing the wholesale panic of his entire left wing, Gates mounted a swift horse and took to the road with his militia, leaving the battle to be decided by his more brave and capable officers. Incidentally, Gates covered sixty miles in just a few short hours! Although the Congress later exonerated him for his misconduct and cowardice, Gates never held a field command again. Johann de Kalb and Mordecai Gist, on the American right wing, and the Maryland Continentals were still in the field. One regiment of North Carolina militia did not take part in the flight and fell back into the fighting alongside the Delaware Continentals. Williams and de Kalb tried to bring Smallwood's reserve to the left of the 2nd Brigade to form an "L." However, Smallwood had fled the battle and the troop was without leadership. In the meantime, Cornwallis had advanced strong troops into the gap and between the two brigades. At this point Lord Cornwallis sent Webster and his veteran troops against the First Maryland troops. Much to the credit of the Americans, they stood fast and went toe to toe with the best regiments in the world for quite some time. However, after several breaks and rallies, they were forced from the field and into the swamps. Most of the Maryland troops, because of the inability of Tarleton's horse to pursue in the terrain, escaped to fight another day. Only the Second Maryland Brigade, the Delaware Continentals and Dixon's North Carolina militia continued the battle. At this point, it was some 600 men against 2000. They had managed to check Rawdon's left and had even taken a few prisoners. It should be noted here that in one of those strange battlefield occurrences, the American's most experienced Continentals were facing the British army's most inexperienced troops, the Royal NC Regiment. Johann de Kalb personally led bayonet charge after bayonet charge for over an hour. His horse had been shot out from under him and he had suffered a saber cut to the head. In a final assault he killed a British soldier and then went down to bayonet wounds and bullet wounds. His troops closed around him and opposed yet another bayonet charge from the British. However, at this point, Tarleton returned with his horsemen from the pursuit of the fleeing militias and Cornwallis threw his horse troops on the American rear. The remaining American troops stood for a few minutes and fought the onslaught from all sides but finally broke and ran. The Battle of Camden was complete. About 60 men rallied as a rear guard and managed to protect the retreating troops through the surrounding woods and swamps. It should be noted that in the manner of warfare in the 18th Century, Lord Cornwallis took Baron de Kalb back to Camden and had him seen after by his personal physician. Unfortunately, the Baron succumbed to his wounds. He is buried in Camden and a monument has been erected to his memory on the old battlefield. Casualties for the Battle of Camden for the British were 331 out of all ranks for 2,239 engaged. This included 2 officers and 66 men killed, 18 officers and 227 enlisted wounded, and 18 missing. The American casualties have never been fully reckoned; however 3 officers died in battle and 30 were captured. Approximately 650-700 of Gates soldiers were either killed or taken prisoner out of 3,052 effectives engaged. The loss of arms and equipment was devastating to the American cause.
    The Treason of Benedict Arnold September 21, 1780
    Benedict Arnold was an embittered man, disdainful of his fellow officers and resentful toward Congress for not promoting him more quickly and to even higher rank. A widower, he threw himself into the social life of the city, holding grand parties, courting and marrying Margaret Shippen, "a talented young woman of good family, who at nineteen, was half his age" and failing deeply into debt. Arnold's extravagance drew him into shady financial schemes and into disrepute with Congress, which investigated his accounts and recommended a court-martial. "Having ... become a cripple in the service of my country, I little expected to meet [such] ungrateful returns," he complained to Washington. Faced with financial ruin, uncertain of future promotion, and disgusted with congressional politics, Arnold made a fateful decision: he would seek fortune and fame in the service of Great Britain. With cool calculation, he initiated correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander, promising to deliver West Point and its 3,000 defenders for 2O,OOO sterling (about $1 million today), a momentous act that he hoped would spark the collapse of the American cause. Persuading Washington to place the fort under his command, Arnold moved in September 1780 to execute his audacious plan. On September 21, British Major Andre came ashore in full uniform near Havestraw from the HM Vulture. There, he met Arnold to finalize the agreement. Unfortunately for them, the Vulture then came under American fire and headed away, leaving Andre stranded. Andre reluctantly donned civilian clothes and headed down the Hudson with a safe conduct pass from Arnold. Near Tarrytown, Andre was captured by three militiamen, who turned him over to the commander at North Castle. Andre was found carrying incriminating papers. When Arnold was notified at breakfast on April 23 that a British officer had been captured, he fled by boat to the Vulture. Andre was later hung as a spy. Arnold received 6,000 Sterling from the British government and an appointment as a brigadier general. Arnold served George III with the same skill and daring he had shown in the Patriot cause. In 1781 he led devastating strikes on Patriot supply depots: In Virginia he looted Richmond and destroyed munitions and grain intended for the American army opposing Lord Cornwallis; in Connecticut he burned ships, warehouses, and much of the town of New London, a major port for Patriot privateers. In the end, Benedict Arnold's "moral failure lay not in his disenchantment with the American cause" for many other officers returned to civilian life disgusted with the decline in republican virtue and angry over their failure to win a guaranteed pension from Congress. Nor did his infamy stem from his transfer of allegiance to the British side, for other Patriots chose to become Loyalists, sometimes out of principle but just as often for personal gain. Arnold's perfidy lay in the abuse of his position of authority and trust: he would betray West Point and its garrison "and if necessary the entire American war effort" to secure his own success. His treason was not that of a principled man but that of a selfish one, and he never lived that down. Hated in America as a consort of "Beelzebub ... the Devil," Arnold was treated with coldness and even contempt in Britain. He died as he lived, a man without a country.
    Date: October 7, 1780 Location: King's Mountain, South Carolina Victors: Colonel John Sevier, Colonel Isaac Shelby, Overmountain Men/Patriot militia Defeated: Major Patrick Ferguson The Battle of King's Mountain October 7, 1780
    In North Carolina, Major Ferguson was patrolling with a force of over 1,000 Tory supporters attempting to pacify the countryside. With violence and atrocities rising on both sides, 1,200 militia men, most from North Carolina but with some Virginians and South Carolinians, gathered to stop Ferguson and his troops. When Ferguson became aware of the large contingent of militia gathering, he decided it would be prudent to move back toward Cornwalis' larger forces. The militia followed rapidly and, when Ferguson realized that they were overtaking him, he organized his defenses atop King's Mountain, a wooded hill with a clear top. On October 7, 1780 the militia arrived at the base of the mountain and surrounded it. Soon they began scaling it on all sides. The patriots had the advantage that the slopes of the mountain were very wooded, while the summit was not, exposing the Tory troops to attack by the concealed Americans. The defenders' losses quickly mounted and, when Ferguson was killed, the fight went out of the remaining soldiers. Of the Tory troops, 157 were killed, 163 were severely wounded and 698 were captured. The patriot militia lost only 28 killed and 62 wounded.
    Date: January 17, 1781 Location: Cowpens, South Carolina Victor: Brig. General Daniel Morgan Defeated: Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton Other Notables: Andrew Pickens The Battle of Cowpens January 17, 1781
    After Gates had been defeated at Camden, the Continental Congress authorized General Washington to appoint a new commander of the Southern armies. Washington selected General Greene, who had recently resigned as Quartermaster General. Greene headed south. Upon his arrival, Greene split his small army, sending General Morgan to western South Carolina to menace the British troops and attempt to threaten British Post 96. Cornwalis responded by sending Colonel Tarleton, with about 1,000 soldiers, to Post 96. There, he received further orders from Cornwalis to seek out and destroy Morgan's forces. Morgan had 600 Continental soldiers and seasoned Virginia militia men, together with another 500 untrained militia men. He decided to remain and fight Tarleton. Morgan placed his soldiers on a gentle but commanding hill, deploying them in three lines. The most reliable soldiers among the Continental troops and Virginia militia were placed just forward of the crest. Below were two lines of militia, the furthest forward being the best sharpshooters. Morgan did not expect that they would be able to stand against a line of British regulars, so he gave them explicit orders that they were to fire three rounds and then run to the place were the horses were being held. Morgan placed 130 mounted men in reserve under Colonel Washington. At 4:00 AM, Tarleton's forces broke camp, and Morgan was duly notified. At 8:00 AM, Tarleton reached American lines. Morgan went up and down the line repeating the famous words: Don't fire until you see the white of their eyes! A fierce cry went out from the British forces: Morgan responded loudly, They give us the British Hallo, boys. Give them the Indian Hallo, by God! A wild cry went out from the Americans. The sharpshooters took aim and fired. They did their job, firing two or three times and running back to the second line. The British continued to advance and, as the second line began to fire, the British began to run up the hill with bayonets ready. The second line fled. British dragoons then tried to cut down the fleeing Americans. Just then, Washington's cavalry appeared and chased away the British cavalry. Morgan was awaiting the militia men where the horses were, and he managed to turn them back around toward the battle. Meanwhile, the final line of Continentals was holding off the British. The tactical situation forced them to retreat slightly. Tarleton thought the battle had been won, and he ordered a general charge. As they charged, Morgan ordered the retiring force of Continentals to turn and fire. At the same time, the militia men were coming up on the left. Once the British were halted in their tracks, the Americans began charging with bayonets. Just then, the militia attacked from the left, and Washington's cavalry attacked from the right. In what would become a classic military victory, one of the most famous of the war, the entire British force was captured. The British had lost 910 men, 110 killed and 800 taken prisoner, as well as all of their supplies. The American lost only 73 people, 12 killed and 61 wounded.
    Date: March 15, 1781 Location: Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina Victor: Lt. General Charles Cornwallis Defeated: Maj. General Nathanael Greene Other Notables: Lt. Colonel Henry Lee The Battle of Guilford Court House March 15, 1781
    After Morgan's victory in the Battle of Cowpens, both Morgan and Greene knew that Cornwallis would not allow the victory to go unavenged. At the same time, Morgan did not want to give up his prisoners or supplies. Greene thus directed his army north, while at the same time taking direct control over the troops of the badly ailing Morgan. Greene then masterly withdrew northward, skillfully delaying Cornwallis all the way. In order to catch up with the Americans, Cornwallis burned his supply train and extra supplies. Greene retreated all the way back to Virginia, pulling Cornwallis the whole way. When it became clear that Greene and the Americans had gotten away, Cornwallis realized how exposed he was, with no supplies in hostile territory. He began withdrawing southward. Greene and the Americans followed. When the British arrived at Guilford Court House, Greene felt the time was right to fight. Green had 4,300 troops, of which 1,600 were Continental regulars, facing 2,200 British regulars. The battle lasted for most of the day. The result was a British victory in the sense that the Americans were dislodged from their positions and forced to withdraw. The cost to the British, however, was too high. The British lost 93 killed and 439 wounded, while the Americans lost 78 killed and 183 wounded. Cornwallis' army was now in tatters.
    The Battle of Eutaw Springs September 8, 1781
    The last important engagement in the Carolina campaign of the American Revolution was fought in Eutaw Springs 30 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. The American forces under General Nathaniel Greene attacked at 4 AM, driving British troops under Colonel Alexander Stewart from the field. Greene believed that if he could destroy Stewart he could end the British threat to the south once and for all. The American attack floundered when the men stopped to plunder the camp. The British then rallied and repulsed the Americans. The end result however, was that the British were too weak to hold the field anymore. After sunset, Stewart retreated toward Charleston. The battle was an important victory for the Americans; it forced the British to remain within Charleston and prepared the way for the siege of Yorktown.
    Campaign Date: May-October 17, 1781 Location: Yorktown, Virginia Victor: General George Washington Defeated: Lt. General Charles Cornwallis Other Notables: Maj. General Benjamin Lincoln, Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton The Battle of Yorktown October 6-19, 1781
    The Battle of Yorktown began after the Battle of Guilford Court House. At that time, British General Cornwallis moved his battered army to the North Carolina coast, then, disobeying orders from General Clinton to protect the British position in the Carolinas, he marched north to Virginia and took command from Loyalist (Tory) General Benedict Arnold. At the same time, General Washington was planning to attack New York with the help of the French, who had been convinced by Benjamin Franklin to join the Patriots. Because the British knew of the Patriots' plan to attack New York, they did not send reinforcements to General Cornwallis in Yorktown. General Cornwallis had been ordered to bring all his men to New York, but again he did not obey orders. Instead, Cornwallis kept all of his troops, totaling about 7,500, and began fortifying Yorktown and Gloucester, across the York River. Washington sent his French aide, the Marquis de Lafayette, to Virginia in the spring of 1781 with a few Continental troops. Lafayette observed Cornwalliss troop movements up the Carolina coast and their settling in at Yorktown. Upon hearing this news, Washington abandoned his plans to attack New York and Washington and French General Rochambeau, with 2,500 Continental and 4,000 French troops, started their march to Philadelphia. General Clinton realized the Americans were not going to attack New York, and ordered the British fleet to the Chesapeake Bay. On August 30, Admiral de Grasse, with the French fleet arrived at the Chesapeake Bay and the British fleet from New York arrived on September 5. A naval battle ensued, with the French navy driving off the British fleet. 3,000 French troops from the naval fleet joined with General Washingtons army. After waiting a few days while the British admirals Graves and Hood sailed back to New York, the Americans attacked. Cornwallis was besieged by a Franco-American force of 16,000 troops. They captured two main redoubts on October 14. The British launched a counterattack but it failed. Cornwallis was outnumbered, outgunned, and was running out of food. Realizing that his situation was hopeless, Cornwallis asked for a truce on October 17. He surrendered to George Washington on October 19, 1781. Back in New York, the British admirals had been deciding on how and when to rescue Cornwallis. On October 17th a British fleet finally set sail out of New York, but it was too late. And when General Clinton, who had been marching towards Yorktown with 7,000 reinforcement troops, learned of the surrender, he turned back to New York. The surrender of Yorktown ended the fighting in the War for American Independence, except for some minor fighting that continued in the south, and other battles that still went on overseas. Losses on both sides were light: British and Hessian 156 killed and 326 wounded; French, 52 killed and 134 wounded; American, 20 killed and 56 wounded. The Battle of Yorktown, is recognized as one of the most skillful military actions in history. The British prime minister, Lord Frederick North, resigned after Cornwallis's surrender. The new leaders signed the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, which officially ended the American Revolution.
    Southern Campaign
    The British Strategy
    By 1778, British and American combatants in the north were stalemated, and a quick end to the Revolutionary War was doubtful. The British now rekindled a plan for putting down the rebellion by first controlling the southern colonies and then sweeping north to total victory. The strategy began well. Savannah was captured in late 1778, and Charleston fell in 1780. Lord Cornwallis, the British commander in the south, then planned to move his troops through the Carolina backcountry providing encouragement to loyalists there. Cornwallis' intent was to enlist a strong loyalist militia which, supported by British regulars, would control the backcountry. This proved successful as loyalist militia units formed and maneuvered throughout the area. By the summer of 1780, British control of South Carolina seemed assured, especially after Cornwallis' crushing defeat of American forces at Camden in August, 1780. Cornwallis was ready to begin his march northward. The British had secured Ninety Six as a base of operations in the backcountry in June, 1780, and Cornwallis believed Ninety Six would be crucial to control of the backcountry once the British Army moved northward out of South Carolina. Cornwallis left Lieutenant-Colonel John Harris Cruger, a loyalist from New York, in charge of Ninety Six. Cruger's instructions were to be "vigorous" in punishing rebels and maintaining order in the area.
    The Tide Turns
    A series of events beginning in autumn, 1780, put the success of the British Southern Campaign in doubt. In October, 1780, a patriot militia force defeated Patrick Ferguson and his corps of loyalists at Kings Mountain Francis Marion was campaigning against British loyalists in the low country of South Carolina, and Thomas Sumter maneuvered his patriot forces against loyalists targets in the South Carolina upcountry. In addition, Nathanael Greene, the new commander of American forces in the south, had split his army to move more widely through the Carolinas. Cornwallls, fearing for Ninety Six and overall British control of South Carolina, sent units to remove the patriot threat. The British lost many of the ensuing encounters including a significant defeat at The Cowpens In January, 1781. Cornwallis and Greene met each other in March, 1781, at Guilford Courthouse; the British won this encounter but lost nearly a third of its force including some of the best officers. Cornwallis then moved his army to Wilmington, and Greene turned his attention back to South Carolina and Ninety Six. Greene hoped to loosen the British hold on the backcountry by taking Ninety Six and forcing the enemy to Charleston. Greene set siege to Ninety Six in May, 1781, but never took the fort. He was forced to lift the siege a month later as British reinforcements advanced toward Ninety Six. The British abandoned Ninety Six in July and moved to the coast. This signaled the end of British control of the interior. The Southern Campaign was over. British forces surrendered at Yorktown four months later, effectively ending the war.
    Map of the Southern Campaign

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