American Revolutionary Battles

1775-1781

Battle of Long Island

The generals, Major General Lord Howe and General G. Washington going head and head in the battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776. The army sizes were 20,000 British and Hessian troops and about 10,000 Americans. The British wore red coats and head gear of bear skin caps or tri-cone hats depending on the weather. The Americans were still dressing the best they could. Both armies were armed with muskets and other guns. The Pennsylvania regiments carried rifled guns. After the removal of the British army from Boston on March 17th, 1776, Washington marched much of his army south towards the city in the thought that Howe would attack New York. In fact, the British had sailed north to Halifax in Nova Scotia. It was not until 1776 that Howe launched his attack on New York. The British navy reached Hudson River on June 29, 1776 and Howe fell on Staten Island on July 3rd. The Congress declared independence the next day. Washington had built batteries on Manhattan and Long Island to prevent the British navy getting past New York. Out of 18,000 men, Washington had positioned around 10,000 in defense on Brooklyn Heights. The British drove the Americans from Brookland and forced them out and evacuate New York.


Battle of King's Mountian

On October 7, 1780 Major Patrick Ferguson commanded the loyalists. The American force had a number of officers of similar rank, Colonels Shelby, Campbell, McDowell, Sevier, Williams, Lacey, Cleveland, Hambright and Winston. The soldiers in these opposing forces were “irregulars” and dressed as they felt. The many Revolutionaries from the border areas would have dressed as for hunting. The Tory militias were given muskets and bayonets and wore civilian garb. The Revolutionaries brought with them their hunting weapons, small bore rifled muskets, which they used with deadly effect on the Tories.

A large military force gathered against Ferguson from Watauga, west of the mountains, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. One group, armed with rifled guns were the “Over the mountain men”. Ferguson retreated before this focused on him. The military force caught up with Ferguson where he was based on the steep and wooded King’s Mountain, on October 7, 1780. The troops surrounded the Tories on the top of the mountain and a classic battle between the bayonet and the rifle began. The troops attacked with the battle cry of “Tarleton quarter” (“No prisoners”). The Tory militiamen, attempting to drive back the troops at the point of the bayonet. They were shot down until they were huddled in a tight group on the summit. Ferguson blocked all attempts to surrender until he was shot from his horse and killed. The Tories threw down their weapons but the troops continued to shoot. Finally all the Tories were killed, wounded or captured. Only a party that had been out foraging escaped to warn Cornwallis of the disaster. The Americans had won.

I, George Washington

I, George Washington have lost my very first major battle. I know next time I will defeat my opponents. I have been watching their tactics and might use them. Also expose some up my sleeve. Espionage. I was a great of spying, gathering intelligence and figuring out my decisions based on information that I gathered. I used this tactic during my attack on Quebec; my decision was to take Boston by surprise at night. Also, I decided to retreat in the Battle of Long Island. I paid my spies well; one in Boston was given $333.33, a hefty amount at the time.

Exploiting Night. I used the tactic of exploiting the night on during several battles. At the Siege of Boston, I had chosen to draw out the British using the element of surprise. I ordered troops to assemble fortification during the daylight and move it into place in the dark of night. The British, who were foolishly unprepared for the sudden appearance of an army ready for attack, they were forced to retreat. At the Battle of Long Island, I withdrew my troops in darkness.

Deception. I would send fake orders to his troops at Long Island, and ordering them to attack after nightfall, while actually getting all of my troops out instead. Many of my officers and most of the troops didn’t know my true purpose until they were actually leaving. The few that were informed stayed back during the retreat to keep campfires going to make the British believe that our army was still there. During all of this, no man out of 9,000 was lost. At Boston, I ordered barrels filled with soil and rocks to be added to camps to make them appear stronger than they actually were. When fighting started, these barrels were pushed down the hill to knock down approaching enemy troops.

Silence. When messages were sent orally or on paper, I used this tactic of silence to quit all communication with Boston before the siege to prevent all of my plans from reaching enemy ears.

Fortification and use of Terrain. To prevent the British from moving up the East River in the Battle of Long Island, I sank ships to create a blockade. This was most pleasurable to me. Here, I would focus on protecting the area from a water attack, which ultimately led to my defeat at Long Island after the British attacked on land. At Boston, where the ground was too frozen to dig, Washington built his fortifications somewhere else. Then, move them into place, applying the tactic of surprise. When the time came to attack, I moved in from the high ground, which prevented the British cannons from reaching the height of my troops. I am ready to take on my next battle using these tactics and winning.

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