SSUSH4 B,C & D The American Revolution The American Revolution Divided Colonists • The growing tension between the American Colonies and Great Britain divided the colonists into two key factions. • Americans who backed the British were known as Loyalists or Tories. • Those colonists who opposed British rule were known as Patriots or Whigs. • Although both sides of the struggle were well represented in the American Colonies, historians have estimated that about 40 to 45 percent of all colonists supported the rebellion, while only 15 to 20 percent remained loyal to the British Crown. The American Revolution American Forces • When the American Revolution began, the American Colonies lacked a professional Army or Navy. • Each of the 13 Colonies had their own local Militia, but were reluctant to send them outside the borders of their own colony. • Colonial Militiamen were lightly armed, had very little training, and usually did not have uniforms. The American Revolution American Forces • Seeking to improve their military efforts, the Continental Congress established a regular army on June 14, 1775 and appointed George Washington as Commander-in-Chief. • At the beginning of 1776, the Colonial Military consisted of about 20,000 men, with 2/3 enlisted in the Continental Army and the other 1/3 in the various State Militias. • About 250,000 men actually served in the colonial forces during the eight years of the revolution, but there were never more than 90,000 serving at any one time.. The American Revolution British Forces • Early in 1775, the British Army consisted of about 36,000 worldwide. • Although the Redcoats were the most recognizable forces during the war, about 25,000 Loyalists served with the British forces during the war. • Most Loyalists troops fought alongside the British in the same units, while others fought in Partisan Units similar to the Patriot Militia. • However, the British dependency on local Loyalist forces was often influenced by the availability of supplies and regular British troops to support them. The American Revolution British Forces • Over the course of the revolution, Great Britain signed treaties with various German States, which supplied the British Army with about 30,000 soldiers. • These German troops, known as Hessians, eventually made up about 1/3 of the total British forces in North America. • By 1779, the number of British and German troops stationed in North America was over 60,000 men. The American Revolution Native Americans • During the American Revolution, most Native Americans fought on the side of the British in an effort to prevent Colonial expansion into their tribal lands. • The largest groups of Native Americans included the Iroquois tribes in the Northern Colonies and the Creeks and Seminoles in the South. African Americans • In addition, both the British and Americans recruited African slaves and freedmen into their colonial forces. • Many slaves were eventually promised freedom by both sides if they successfully completed at least one year of service during the war. The American Revolution in the North Battle of Lexington and Concord (19 April 1775) • At the beginning of the war, the British Commanderin-Chief in North America was Lieutenant General Thomas Gates. • Determined to seize the colonial munitions in Massachusetts, he sent 700 British troops to the town of Concord. • Riders like Paul Revere alerted the countryside, which allowed 77 minutemen to greet the British as the arrived in the town of Lexington. • Shots were exchanged between the British troops and colonists, killing several militiamen. The American Revolution in the North Battle of Lexington and Concord • The British moved on to the town of Concord, where a force of 500 colonial minutemen waited for them. • At North Bridge, three companies of British troops were engaged and routed by the militia. • As the British retreated back toward Boston, thousands of minutemen attacked them from behind rocks and trees, inflicting great damage on the Redcoats. The American Revolution in the North Battle of Bunker Hill (17 Jun 1775) • As the Colonial Militia converged on Boston, 4,500 more British soldiers arrived by sea. • Eventually, the British forces under Major General William Howe attacked the Americans at Breed’s and Bunker Hill . • Although the Americans fell back, they managed to repel three British attacks, causing heavy British losses. The American Revolution in the North Battle for Long Island (27 Aug 1776) • Having withdrawn his army from Boston, British General William Howe focused on capturing New York City. • To defend the city, General George Washington concentrated 20,000 colonial troops on Long Island and Manhattan. • After landing about 20,000 troops on Long Island, the British drove back the Americans to Brooklyn Heights and laid siege to the city. The American Revolution in the North Washington’s River Crossings (Aug & Dec 1776) • Washington personally directed the withdrawal of his entire army and their supplies across the East River in one night without being discovered by the British. • By November 1776, the Continental Army had dwindled to fewer than 5,000 men fit for duty. • Thomas Paine, who was with the retreating army wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” • Realizing the situation was bleak, Washington decided to take the offensive by secretly crossing the Delaware River on Christmas night. The American Revolution in the North Battle of Trenton (26 Dec 1776) • After successfully crossing the Delaware, Washington’s troops marched on the town of Trenton. • Arriving at 8 am, the Americans caught the defending Hessian troops by surprise. • Although the Hessians put up a strong defense, the Americans managed to captured almost 900 enemy troops with only 7 American casualties, boosting American morale. The American Revolution in the North Britsh Plans to Divide the Continental Forces (1777) • When the British began planning operations for 1777, they had two main armies in North America: Maj. Gen. Guy Carleton’s army in Quebec. Maj. Gen. William Howe’s army in New York • The British Government in London approved two primary campaigns: Carleton’s Saratoga Campaign. Howe’s Philadelphia Campaign. The American Revolution in the North Battle of Saratoga (19 Sep & 7 Oct 1777) • The British sent a force of about 7,000 soldiers from Quebec toward New York under Brigadier General John Burgoyne. • American General Horatio Gates had a force of about 8,000 men entrenched just south of Saratoga. • Unfortunately, Burgoyne’s attempt to outflank the American’s failed. • In addition, Burgoyne expected to be re-enforced by General Howe from New York, which never occurred. • The defeat of Burgoyne’s British forces proved to the French that the American’s were worthy allies and was the turning point of the war. The American Revolution in the North Battle of Brandywine (11 Sept 1777) • Having secured New York City, General Howe landed 15,000 troops near Chesapeake Bay and marched toward the city of Philadelphia. • General Washington positioned his 11,000 men between the advancing British and Philadelphia. • Unfortunately, the colonial forces were outflanked by British and Hessian troops and forced to retreat. • As a result of Washington’s failure to stop the British advance, the Continental Congress abandoned Philadelphia by September 26th. The American Revolution in the North Valley Forge (Dec 1777 – Apr 1778) • Washington’s army established a winter encampment at Valley Forge in Dec 1777. • For six months, the undernourished and poorly clothed soldiers lived in crowded, damp, quarters, ravished by sickness and disease. • However, while in Valley Forge, the Continental Army received extensive military training supervised by Baron Friedrich von Steuben of Prussia. The American Revolution The American Allies • Since 1776, France had been informally involved in the American Revolution by providing supplies, ammunition, and guns. • However, after learning of the American victory at Saratoga, France signed a treaty of alliance with the United States on 6 Feb 1778, formalizing the Franco-American alliance negotiated by Benjamin Franklin. • In addition, Spain had also secretly supplied patriot forces in the mid-west and eventually allowed American Ships the use of the port of Havana, Cuba. • Likewise, many weapons and barrels of gunpowder were secretly shipped from the Dutch Republic to American ports during the length of the war. The American Revolution in the South Savannah and Charleston (Dec 1778 – May 1780) • On 29 Dec 1778, a British expeditionary force from New York landed in Georgia and captured the port city of Savannah. • On 9 Oct 1779, a combined force of American and French troops were defeated trying to retake Savannah. • Finally, on 12 May 1780, British forces besieged Charleston, South Carolina, capturing the city and most of the southern Continental Army in the process. The American Revolution in the South Battle of Camden (16 Aug 1780) • By May 1780, Lord Cornwallis was the British commander of operations in the south, while General Horatio Gates arrived to command the American forces. • Unfortunately, General Gates attempted to meet the British forces face to face on the open battlefield. • As a result, the American Militia broke ranks and fled from the battlefield, followed closely by General Gates. The American Revolution Battle of King’s Mountain (7 Oct 1780) • In Sept 1780, British Major Patrick Ferguson arrived in America to organize the Loyalist militia in the Carolinas . • A challenge issued by Ferguson against the patriot militia in the Carolinas caused backcountry frontiersmen to rally against the British. • These militiamen from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia were organized into a force known as the “Overmountain Men.” The American Revolution Battle of King’s Mountain (7 Oct 1780) • Receiving intelligence that a force of militia was approaching, Ferguson tried to reach the safety of the British camp of Lord Cornwallis . • Instead, Ferguson’s loyalists were surprised and surrounded by the “Overmountain Men” along the border between North and South Carolina. • As a result, Ferguson was killed and most of his soldiers were either killed or captured. The American Revolution Battle of Cowpens (17 Jan 1781) • Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan took command of the American forces in South Carolina in December 1780. • Using his knowledge of British tactics and the American Militia’s lack of discipline, he was able to draw the British forces into battle. • This result of the battle was a decisive American Victory. The American Revolution Battle of Guilford Courthouse (15 Mar 1781) • Gen. Nathaniel Greene, who had replaced Gen. Gates, was ready to meet the British forces under Lord Cornwallis by Mar 1781. • Although the battle lasted only ninety minutes and the British technically defeated the American forces, the British lost over a quarter of their own men. • Greene had chosen to withdraw from the battlefield to prevent a repeat of the American loss at Camden, while Cornwallis declined to chase the Americans into the Carolina backcountry. The American Revolution Battle of Yorktown (28 Sep – 19 Oct 1781) • The Northern and Southern campaigns converged at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. • Cornwallis had been ordered to occupy a fortified position that could be easily resupplied from the sea. • Expecting the arrival of the French fleet from the West Indies, Washington moved a combined Franco-American force of about 19,000 men toward Yorktown . • After several days of siege, Cornwallis decided it was time to surrender, bringing an end to the war.