Fighting of the American
1775, 19th April: Lexington and Concord
- Thomas Gage (in Boston) orders troops to capture
munitions. Met at Lexington and Concord by militamen, disperse them but
find no weapons, then return
and are badly mauled by sharpshoorters
1775, 10th May - Ticonderoga captured by Benedict Arnold
and Ethan Allen. Cannon hauled to seige of
1775, 17th June: Battle of Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill.
British push Americans from Charlestown neck,
overlooking Boston, but at enormous cost.1775, August - December:
Richard Montgomery leads ill fated
expedition to Canada, captures Montreal,
but turned back at Quebec City; Benedict Arnold leads
second force through Maine to Quebec City as
well; turned back, and continues unsuccessful "siege" during winter.
American forces retreat in pitiful
shape that spring.
1775, December 11th - Virginia's governor, Lord Dunmore,
raises an African-American regiment by
promising slaves who fight for British freedom, and then is decisively
defeated by patriots.1776, February-June, General
unsuccessfully tried to harass the Carolina coast, and is
rebuffed June 4th in an attempted attack on Charleston,
South Carolina, by forces under American General
1776, 27th August,
after landing at Gravesend on Long Island half a week earlier, William
British troops against American positions on Brooklyn Heights, and
dislodges American defenses in
bloody, one-sided battle.
1776, 15th September, British launch amphibious assault
of Manhattan from Brooklyn at Kips' Bay, take
New York City, but fail to stop Washington's retreat to fortifications
north of city.
1776, 16th October, Howe takes Fort Washington (near
current GW Bridge); two days later General Lord
Cornwallis takes Fort Lee.
1776, 28th October, inconclusive skirmish at White Plains.
Washington retreats across New Jersey to
Pennsylvania in three columns, with no more than 6,000 of his troops
1776, 26th December,
remnant of American army slips across Delaware and
captures Hessian troops
garrisoning at Trenton.
1777, 3rd January,
again at British at Princeton, then moves to winter quarters at
Morristown. Hugh Mercer killed in skirmish at
1777, July-September - Howe, supported by British fleet under Admirral
Sir Richard Howe move up
Chesapeake Bay and overland to occupy Philadelphia. Tey defeat
Washington at Brandywine Creek
(Chad's Ford), September 11th and repulse an American attack
at Germantown, October 4th.
1777, June-October, General John Burgoyne launches
attack down Lake Champlain, toward Albany. He recaptures Ticonderoga.
1777, 6th August, Nickolas Herkimer's
forces coming to relieve Fort Stanwix, attacked by Iroquois,
Canadian, loyalist and British troops under Col. Barry St.
Leger are ambushed in Mohawk Valley and
forced to retreat. Herkimer dies of wounds. This leg of Burgoyne's
invasion initially goes quite well.
1777, 11th August, strong British force sent by Burgoyne
to raid Bennington, Vermont, defeated with
1777, 19th September, Burgoyne crosses to west side of
Hudson and engages General Horatio Gates
forces at Freeman's Farm, near Saratoga, New York Forces under Daniel
Morgan and Benedict Arnold
help stop Burgoyne's regiments.
1777, 7th October, second engagement near Saratoga at
Bemis Heights, and Morgan and Arnold again
inflict heavy casualties on the British.
1777, 16th October, General Clinton moving up from new
York City to connect with Burgoyne, attacks
and burns Kingston, but then stops rather than push on to Albany.
1777, 17th October, Burgoyne surrenders British army of
5,000 men to Gates at Saratoga.
1777, 17th December, France recognizes American
1777-1778 - winter at Valley Forge for American army.
1778, 6th February, France-American
1778, 8th May, Clinton replaces William Howe, and British
evacuate Philadelphia June 18th for New
1778, 28th June, Washington attacks Clinton at Monmouth
as Clinton crosses New Jersey from
Philadelphia to New York. Inconclusive battle that Americans might have
won results in court-martial of
General Charles Lee.
1778, 3rd July, "Wyoming Massacre" of
Seneca and Cayuga Iroquois at Forty Fort in Wyoming Valley. Blamed on Joseph
Brant; paroled patriot militia violate arrangement.
1778, 11th November, Cherry Valley
massacre of loyalists and patriots by Iroquois angered about
Wyoming Valley. Joseph Brant saves lives of many non-combatants.
1778, July-1779, February, George Rogers Clark,
acting for Virginia, defeats British in Ohio River
Valley under Colonel Henry Hamilton, known as the "Hair Buyer" for his
alleged encouragement of
Indian scalping of patriots.
1778, August, unsuccessful coordinated french-American effort to
dislodge British at Newport Rhode
Island (taken during the 1776 campaign).
1778, 29th December, Savannah occupied by British [Slave
regiment raised in Caribbean employed in the
1779, August-September, General
John Sullivan's expedition
against loyalist and Iroquois in Mohawk
Valley destroys villages and corn supplies.
1779, 21st June, Spain declares war on Great Britain but
does recognize US independence.
1779, September-October, combined American (land)-French (sea) force
fails to retake Savannah. Clinton evacuates Newport to reinforce the
May, Charleston falls to
British forces under Clinton, more than 5,000 patriot troops surrender,
and Banastre Tarleton begins bloody cavalry assaults
on remaining patriot units.
1780, 25th May, Connecticut regiments enduring worst
winter of war at Morristown, New Jersey, mutiny;
brought to order by Pennsylvania troops at George Washington's command.
1780, June-August, Francis Marion ("Swamp Fox")
and Thomas Sumter ("Fighting Gamecock")
engage in "guerrilla warfare" against British occupation forces in
South Carolina. Sumter is defeated by
Tarleton in August, and Cornwallis begins invasion of South Carolina.
1780, 16th August, patriot forces, led by Horatio Gates,
attempt to counterattack against British at
Camden, South Carolina and suffer crushing defeat.
1780, 21st September, George Washington discovers Benedict
Arnold's treasonous attempt to turn West
Point over to British; Arnold escapes. Major John André,
Arnold's contact, captured, tried, and hung. Arnold becomes a British
general and leads raids on Virginia and Connecticut.
1780, 7th October, British forces screening Cornwallis
flank caught at King's Mountain and all killed or
1780, 14th October, Nathanael Greene
replaces Horatio Gates as southern commander.
1781, 17th January, Daniel
Morgan defeats Tarleton at Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina.
1781, 1st March, Articles of Confederation
1781, 15th March, Cornwallis pursuse Greene to Don River
in N.C., and forces him from field at Battle of
Guilford Court House, but at tremendous cost; retreats to Charleston.
Greene fails to dislodge Cornwallis
from Ninety Six and Eutaw Springs, but takes back much of the Carolinas.
1781, May-October, Cornwallis launches Virginia campaign; trapped at
Yorktown by French fleet and
American forces, surrenders on 18th of October.
1782, March, North ministry
falls in Great Britain; new ministry
under Lord Rockingham opens peace
1782, 30th November, preliminary peace treaty signed with
British by Adams, Jay, Henry Laurens, and
Franklin for the United States [France kept out of negotiations].
April, 7,000 loyalists sail to Great Britain
1783, 15th April, preliminary peace treaty ratified by
Congress; 3rd September final treaty signed in Paris,
14 January 1784, final treaty ratified in Congress and exchanged with
British 12 May 1784.