The Revolution's Early Stages and Battles

The Revolution's Early Stages and Battles

The Revolution's Early Stages and Battles, 1776-1778 Sasso US I Bunker Hill- June, 1775 Charlestown, MA English soldiers want to move the Minutemen off the hills surrounding Boston William Howe takes command of British forces William Prescott led the Minutemen Howe ordered 2,200 British soldiers to advance on Breeds Hill (battle was misnamed!) After three attempts, the British were able to take the hill

Major casualties (England- 1,000; America- 300) Early Stages and Battles, 17761778 Washington will take command of the Continental Army shortly after Bunker Hill Immediately gets to work training his inexperienced army There will be some minor conflicts with the British during this time The British begin to realize that Boston probably isn't the best base of operations By March of 1776, the British

will pack up shop and head to NYC Early Stages and Battles, 17761778 Even though England had to vacate Boston, they are still in a great position to end the war quickly Still dealing with sizable advantages over the Americans Both the British and the Americans will head down to NYC

Early Stages and Battles, 17761778 The British will now be lead by two brothers: General William Howe and Admiral Richard Howe William will lead the ground troops, while Richard is responsible for naval affairs Two different personalities: William was somewhat overconfident, while Richard was a bit more attentive to detail Knowing that Washington and his troops had headed to NYC, the Howes decided to launch a

massive invasion of NYC The Battle for New York (Summer 1776) NYC was not the best environment for Washingtons soldiers Too many distractions They are also seriously outnumbered 32,000 British soldiers 19,000 American soldiers General Howe simply wants to shock and awe the American soldiers Howe actually offers GW terms of surrender before the battle begins

GW rejects the offer The Battle for New York (Summer 1776) A few weeks after the reading of the Dec. of Independence, the Howes will begin their attack After meeting up on Staten Island, the British begin their advance up the Hudson and East Rivers The British will send large forces through Long Island and Brooklyn They hammer the American forces, forcing them to retreat back through Manhattan Ultimately, GWs forces have to retreat

across the Hudson in to NJ, all the way across NJ, before finally settling down in PA The British will give chase before settling in Central NJ for the fall and winter months The Battle for New York (Summer 1776) Not exactly the start that GW was hoping for Total number of soldiers dwindles to about 5,000 (result of desertions and casualties) Even bigger complication:

most enlistment terms are up on 12/31/76 In order to keep the soldiers he already has, GW badly needs a victory Trenton (December 2526,1776) GW decides to roll the dice on a risky move On Christmas Night , GW crosses the Delaware River through a fierce storm Marched his troops (2,400) 9 miles through sleet and snow to ambush a British controlled fort at Trenton Hessian soldiers occupied the fort, but

had a little too much fun on Christmas GW and his men stormed the fort in the early morning hours Captured or killed nearly 1,000 Hessian soldiers The irony is that the Hessians had been warned that GW was coming and they ignored it HUGE VICTORYsort of. Important victory for GW First of all, its a victory (cant underestimate that) The victory can be used as a propaganda piece; spread the word like the Boston Massacre Hopefully this will be enough to encourage soldiers to reenlist or

motivate new recruits 8 days later, GW will replicate the attack, only this time he will attack British soldiers at Princeton GW cant secure either fort, but the brief victories will be monumentally important for the Americans GW managed to keep his main army intact, and the British were no closer to total victory than at the start of the year After Princeton, GW will march his troops to Morristown for the rest of the winter Philadelphia (Spring 1777) Once the fields began to dry out in the spring, General Howe went back on the offensive Decided to attack the American

Capital of Philadelphia Moved his troops from NYC to Philadelphia by boat Slapped GW around at Brandywine Creek and Germantown Took Philadelphia with almost no resistance Continental Congress had to escape to York, PA Saratoga (Fall 1777) Gentleman John BurgoyneBritish General Devises a complex strategy to isolate New England from the

rest of the colonies Calls for a multiple-front assault throughout northern and central NY Burgoyne from Canada, Barry St. Ledger from Western NY, Howe from NYC All three units would meet up in Albany Plan looks fantastic on paper Saratoga (Fall 1777) Saratoga (Fall 1777) Problems

#1- Howe isnt coming from NYC; he is in Philadelphia He actually isnt coming at all #2- Interesting mix of soldiers: 4,000 British; 3,000 mercenaries; 1,000 Mohawk #3- Burgoyne really didnt know the territory he would be marching through going to Albany Thought it would take three weeks; took him nearly three months #4- Burgoyne never expected to face constant American harassment Continually falls victim to guerilla attacks (Ethan Allen and the Green

Mountain Boys) Saratoga (Fall 1777) Burgoynes army gets worn down: tired, weakened, cut off from supply lines Eventually head to Saratoga Burgoynes army will be surrounded by American forces under the command of Horatio Gates After several weeks of fighting, Burgoyne will be forced to surrender his army to Gates

Saratoga (Fall 1777) Saratoga is the turning point Greatly alters the course of the war First time the Americans will defeat a major British regiment They won without GW having to be there The loss will drastically alter British war strategy Most importantly, the victory at Saratoga will secure us a big time ally: France The French had been secretly helping us since 1776, but now

they will completely support our efforts Valley Forge (Winter 17771778) The British will settle down comfortably for the winter in Philadelphia The Americans will have to brave it in the extreme conditions of Valley Forge Many American soldiers lack provisions; very tough to get resources in the given economic climate Harsh conditions and climate; Americans will lose 20% of their soldiers as a result of exposure to the elements Two important additions to the military: Marquis de Lafayette and Friedrich von Steuben

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