Important Battles

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  • Lexington and Concord
  • "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" -Colonel William Prescott
  • Bunker Hill
  • Trenton
  • "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the summer patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of men and women." -Thomas Paine
  • Lexington and Concord was the first battle that started the American Revolution on April 19, 1775 with Captain John Parker and 70 of his men. "It seemed as if men came down from the clouds," one soldier said. Many battles followed, and in 1783, the colonists won their independence.
  • Valley Forge
  • On June 17, 1775, early in the Revolutionary War, General William Howe crossed the bay with 2,200 British soldiers. They marched up Breed Hill, and according to the legend, Colonel William Prescott ordered, " Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" When the British got close, they fired. The British fell back, and they were forced off the hill. The redcoats won.
  • The Swamp Fox and Guerrilla Fighting
  • Late on December 25, 1776, Washington’s troops rowed across the icy Delaware River to New Jersey. They surprised the Hessians, who most were sleeping after their Christmas celebration. They captured and killed about 900 Hessians. The Americans won.
  • Battle of Yorktown
  • In late 1777, Britain’s General William Howe forced Washington to retreat from Philadelphia. In the winter of 1777-1778, Washington and his army camped at Valley Forge in southeast Pennsylvania. The soldiers condition was terrible. Because of this, the name Valley Forge came to stand for the great hardships that Americans countered in the Revolutionary War. Most soldiers only stayed because of "Love of our Country" and George Washington.
  • "The unfortunate soldiers were in want of everything; they had neither coats, nor hats, nor shoes; their feet and their legs froze till they grew black and it was often necessary to amputate them... The Army frequently passed whole days without food." -Marquis de Lafayette
  • General Horatio Gates formed a new Southern army. On the way to Camden, South Carolina, Patriots from South Carolina approached Gates. Their leader was Francis Marion, called the “Swamp Fox.” He provided Gates with knowledge of the coastal swamplands. After Camden, a small British army set out for Charles Town with a bunch of American prisoners. Marion used the methods of a guerrilla. Guerrillas are fighters who weaken the enemy with surprise raids and hit-and-run attacks.
  • Their number did not exceed 20 men and boys, some, white, some black, and all mounted, but most of them miserably equipped. -Unknown Officer
  • In July of 1781, British general Cornwallis set up his base at Yorktown, located on a peninsula in Chesapeake Bay. Washington took this as an opportunity. In August 1781, French fleets blocked Chesapeake Bay. This allowed Washington to come from the North and trap Cornwallis. French General Jean Rochambeau had joined Washington's army. The American and French troops shot cannons at Yorktown, destroying building. On October 19, 1781, he surrendered his force of about 8,000.
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