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Revolutionary War Interactive Battles Map

Boston events | Bennington | Fort Ticonderoga | Saratoga | White Plains | Oriskany | New York City events | Philadelphia events | Monmouth | Guilford Courthouse | Moore’s Creek Bridge | Charleston | Savannah | Cowpens | Kings Mountain | Yorktown

Events in and around Boston, Massachusetts such as the Boston Massacre, The Boston Tea Party and the ensuing Intolerable Acts were prime causes of the American Revolution.

1775 – Paul Revere – As the British marched to Lexington hoping to disarm the people and capture the instigators, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, Paul Revere learned of the plan and rode to Lexington shouting “The Regulars are coming, the Regulars are coming”.

1775 – Lexington – The first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired at Lexington on April 19th by American militia on British Redcoats on their way to Concord.

1775 – Concord – From Lexington, the British marched to Concord which they easily occupied. Nevertheless, the Redcoats were decimated by militia fire and snipers in Concord and as they marched back toward Lexington.

1775 – Bunker Hill – On June 16, the first major battle of the war occurred. British Generals William Howe and Thomas Gage took Bunker Hill despite suffering casualties of over 1,000 men.

Bennington

August 16, 1777 – British General Friedrich Baum (a Hessian) detached from Burgoyne’s forces with 800 Loyalists and Indians. They set out to capture the arsenals at Bennington and to send a message to the rebellious New Englanders.

On August 16th, the army of 800 was ambushed by about 1,600 militia men under the command of Patriot General John Stark. The Patriots massacred Baum’s forces and captured over 700. 200 were killed.

The victory had a great affect on American morale in the war.

Just weeks after Lexington and Concord, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with General Benedict Arnold, crossed Lake Champlain and stormed Fort Ticonderoga, surprising the British garrison that was sleeping there and ultimately capturing it. Fort Ticonderoga was geographically important because of it was located on major waterways that connected trade and communication routes between America and Canada. American forces under Henry Knox captured a British cannon at the fort and dragged it all the way to Boston!

As the war continued, however, American forces allowed the fort to become vulnerable. On July 5, 1776, British General John Burgoyne and troops surprised Patriot General Arthur St. Clair at the lightly guarded fort. St. Clair ordered an immediate retreat. In 1780, after the Battle of Saratoga, the British abandoned Fort Ticonderoga.

In one of the most significant battles of the Revolution, Patriot forces under Generals Benedict Arnold and Horatio Gates ultimately defeated British forces under Generals John Burgoyne and Henry Clinton.

Two battles took place at Saratoga – one at Freeman’s Farm on September 9, and the other at Bemis Heights on October 9, 1777. Gates was defeated at Freeman’s Farm but at Bemis Heights, Arnold launched a relentless counterattack on Burgoyne’s battered army that resulted in such horrible casualties that the British were forced to surrender.

Saratoga marked the turning point in the war and proved to the world that this new nation could exist independently. France promptly recognized America’s independence from England.

White Plains

As the British were completing their occupation of New York, the Continental Army under General George Washington was forced to retreat to higher ground near White Plains.

On October 28, British and Patriot forces battled near Chatterton’s Hill. The Patriots were forced to retreat, but General Howe and his army failed to pursue the fleeing Patriots and instead waited for reinforcements.

Washington was able to move his army farther north to the village of White Castle after a violent storm prevented the British from attacking on November 1. Although Washington believed a major battle would occur in the coming days, to his surprise, the British turned around and marched

back to Manhattan.

Oriskany

On August 6, 1777, Patriot General Nicholas Herkimer led a 800 man relief effort to the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York. His objective was to confront British forces led by Barry St. Leger at Fort Schuyler, a heavily fortified Patriot stronghold.

When the confrontation failed to materialize, Herkimer led his army to Oriskany Creek, where 1,200 loyalists and Indians were waiting for them. American forces were promptly routed, and Herkimer himself suffered a mortal gunshot wound to the leg. British forces suffered significant casualties as well.

The British victory, however, was short-lived as St. Leger failed to meet General Burgoyne at Albany. For the British, the failure ultimately led to a crushing defeat at Saratoga.

Events in New York Learn about these in detail

Battle of Long Island – On August 27, 1776, Patriot forces were routed by British forces under General Howe. Patriots retreated under the cover of darkness to Manhattan and were not pursued. Patriot casualties numbered 1,400.

Battle of Harlem Heights – American forces under George Washington drove back British forces on September 16, 1776. Patriot casualties numbered 60.

Battle of Fort Washington – On November 16, 1776, British forces launched a massive attack on Fort Washington. Despite initial resistance, British forces were able to take the fort, as well as 2,800 prisoners and 43 cannons. Many prisoners were jailed on British ships where they died of malnutrition and disease. The British occupation of New York City was complete and the state government was forced to relocate to Kingston.

Events in and around Philadelphia

12/25 1776 – General Washington and Continental Army cross the icy Delaware River and capture 800 Hessian (German) soldiers near Johnson’s Ferry, NJ. Learn about this battle in detail

1/2-3 1777 – General George Washington and army defeat the British at Trenton and Princeton, NJ and drive them back to New Brunswick.

9/9-11 1777 – General George Washington and Continental Army are defeated by British General Howe at Brandywine Creek and are driven back toward Lancaster, PA. Both sides suffer heavy casualties.

9/26 1777 – British forces occupy Philadelphia. Congress is forced to relocate at York, PA

12/17-1777 Continental Army makes winter encampment at Valley Forge, PA. Learn more about this

6/18/1778 British troops leave Philadelphia fearing a French blockade. Americans reoccupy Philadelphia.

Monmouth

June 28, 1778 – American forces under General George Washington engaged in battle with British forces under Henry Clinton on an oppressively hot day.

Washington never intended for an all-out engagement, but British forces drew them into battle. In the confusion, Patriot General Charles Lee ordered his troops to retreat – an order which angered Washington. Washington promptly took complete command of the Continental Army and organized them into a defensive position.

In the the longest battle of the Revolution, the two armies battled until they were exhausted. Washington planned to resume the battle in the morning, but the British slipped away in the middle of the night.

In 1780, America’s battered army received much needed reinforcements from France. While Great Britain was fighting in America, it had also declared war on France. Hence, France sent 5,500 troops to America to aid in the revolution.

While the Patriots were holding their own in the north, the British had gained control of much of the south. Patriot General George Washington and French General Comte de Rochambeau made plans to trick the Redcoats and General Henry Clinton into thinking they were preparing for battle in New York. Secretly, they planned to trap Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown, which the British had fortified and planned to use as a harbor.

By the end of September 1781, Patriot and French forces had established an overwhelming army at Williamsburg, VA. When Cornwallis learned of the forces looming against him, he sent for reinforcements – which never made it on time. After his defenses were decimated by gunfire and raids, and after failed attempts at evacuation, Cornwallis was forced to surrender his army of over 8,000. Yorktown marked the end of the war, as the British lost the resolve to fight and focused on other engagements in Europe and Asia. in 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, recognizing American independence.

Guilford Courthouse

March 15, 1781 – Guilford Courthouse, in the backwoods of rural North Carolina was the site of the most important battles in the southern campaign of the Revolutionary War.

General Nathaniel Greene, and 4,400 Continentals and crude militia men battled the Redcoats under the command of General Charles Cornwallis. Although Greene’s men inflicted heavy casualties on the Redcoats, General Cornwallis authorized the firing of two cannon shots into the mass of fighting soldiers. Despite killing several of his own men, Cornwallis was successful, and Greene’s army was forced to retreat. Nevertheless, the British army was battered and too weak to occupy posts in North Carolina or to pursue Greene’s army.

Moore’s Creek Bridge

As part of a plan to invade the southern colonies, an army of 1,600 Tories (Loyalists) planned to meet up with General Henry Cinton at Cape Fear, NC.

On the way, they learned the position of a 1,000 man Patriot force. Under the command of lieutenant colonel Donald McLeod, they decided to attack.

Patriot forces were waiting for them at Moore’s Creek Bridge. Once the Tories crossed the bridge, Patriot forces routed them with gunfire and cannon shots. 850 Tories were captured and 30were dead. The rest of the Tories retreated.

The battle ended organized Tory activity in the area for several years.

Charleston

On March 10, 1779, British General Henry Clinton and his army of Redcoats reached the critical American port of Charleston, South Carolina.

Clinton’s objective was to capture the city in order to cut off supplies, reinforcements and

communications in America’s southern portion. On April 2, the Redcoats began the siege and won several localized skirmishes. General Charles Cornwallis succeeded in cutting off reinforcement routes to Charleston. On May 9,the British bombardment of Charleston began. On May 12, Patriot General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered the city and several thousand soldiers.

The defeat at Charleston was the single largest loss of manpower and supplies for the Patriots in the war. The capture of Charleston gave the Redcoats total control of the south.

Savannah

Although the revolution was in full swing by 1775, Georgia remained somewhat isolated from the revolution until 1778. Nevertheless, the British regarded the Patriot south as crucial for subduing the revolution. In 1778, British warships off the coast of New York headed south for the purposes of capturing several crucial ports. Savannah, Georgia offered little resistance and was easily captured. The British soon spread out throughout the state and virtually controlled all of Georgia.

In the summer of 1779, General Benjamin Lincoln put together a small force in an attempt to take Savannah back. Lincoln had procured the services of French Admiral Valerie D’Estaing and his naval force to block British reinforcements from the sea. Before long, the city of Savannah was completely surrounded. During the time it took to build the blockade, British forces at Savannah had time to fortify the city. On October 9th, Lincoln and D’Estaing bombarded the city. British General Augustine Provost and forces, however, repelled the attack and forced the Patriots to retreat. 800 French and Patriot soldiers were killed.

Cowpens

Despite that fact that the British had captured the entire state of Georgia, all was not lost for the Patriots in defending against England’s Southern Campaign. In an attempt to subdue what was left of the Patriot resistance in the southern colonies, British General Banestre Tarelton and 1,100 troops recklessly attacked Daniel Morgan and his force of 1,000 militia near some cow pens and grazing areas in northern South Carolina

In one of the great tactical plans in the history of warfare in America, Morgan strategically placed his men in three battle lines at the bottom of a hill in between two rivers for the purposes of weakening and confusing the British troops. The plan worked perfectly. The arrogant and reckless British troops, eager to get the battle over with, were thoroughly confused by the formation of Patriot soldiers. In the end 525 British soldiers were captured, and 339 were killed or injured. The surprising Patriot victory did much to improve the spirit of the army, and severely weakened the British forces in the south.

Kings Mountain

The Battle of Kings Mountain was an important victory for Patriot forces during the Revolutionary War.

As British forces under General Patrick Ferguson descended upon South Carolina to protect loyalists who were the targets of frequent, deadly raids by Carolina Patriots, an army of 1,600 Patriots engaged him at Kings Mountain. The Patriots devastated the British with guerilla style warfare, firing upon the Redcoats from behind rocks and trees, and retreating to the bottom of the mountain when the British regrouped.

Toward the end of the battle, the Patriots killed General Ferguson. When the Redcoats saw their dead General, they gave up hope and surrendered. The British suffered over 900 total casualties.The Patriot victory at Kings Mountain, along with a later victory at Cowpens, turned the momentum of the war, particularly in the southern colonies, back toward the Patriot cause.