REVOLUTIONARY WAR TIMELINE

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REVOLUTIONARY WAR TIMELINE

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981. Of special interest to a teacher is Chapter XX, “Why the British Lost the War in the South.” Also: Dan L. Morrell. Southern Campaigns of the Revolution. Baltimore, Maryland: The Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America.

1775

Lexington, MA 19 April 1775 First shots fired in the Revolution. “The shot heard ’round the world.” On April 14, 1959, Congress recognized the importance of Lexington and Concord by creating Minute Man National Historical Park.
Concord, MA 19 April 1775 American militia defeated British regulars.
Fort Ticonderoga, NY 10 May 1775 Americans captured fort and its artillery.
Bunker Hill, MA 17 June 1775 British drove Americans from Bunker Hill. On October 1, 1974, Congress recognized the importance of Bunker Hill by creating Boston National Historical Park.
  3 July 1775 George Washington assumes command of Continental Army.
Ninety-Six, SC 10-21 Nov. 1775 Patriots sieged by Tories. Ended in truce. On August 19, 1976 Congress recognized the importance of Ninety Six by creating Ninety Six National Historic Site.
Great Bridge, VA 11 Dec. 1775 Virginia and North Carolina patriots routed Loyalist troops and burned Norfolk
Great Canebrake, SC 22 Dec. 1775 Col. Thomson with 1500 rangers and militia captured a force of Loyalists.
Snow Campaign, SC 23-30 Dec. 1775 During campaign against Loyalists in the Upcountry Patriot militia impeded by 15" of snow.

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981.

1776

Quebec, PQ 1 Jan. 1776 Daniel Morgan involved in an attempt to take Quebec City. Morgan taken prisoner.
Moore’s Creek, NC 27 Feb. 1776 North Carolina militia defeated Loyalist Scots inflicting heavy casualties. On June 2, 1926, Congress recognized the importance of Moore's Creek by creating Moore's Creek National Battlefield.
Boston Evacuated, MA 17 Mar. 1776 British Navy moved to Halifax, NS, Canada and Washington’s Army occupied Boston.
Three Rivers, PQ 8 June 1776 Patriot attempt to take British position failed.
Sullivan’s Island, SC. 28 June 1776 British naval attack failed when the palmetto logs held against the bombardment. On September 7, 1960, Congress recognized the importance of the battle on Sullivan's Island by creating Fort Moultrie National Monument as part of Fort Sumpter National Monument.
Cherokee Attack 1 July 1776 Incited by British royal agents, the Cherokee attacked along the entire southern frontier.
Lyndley’s Fort, SC 15 July 1776

Patriots defended against attack by Indians and Tories dressed as Indians.

Seneca, SC 1 Aug. 1776 Ambushed by Cherokees, Patriot forces saved by a mounted charge.
Tugaloo River, SC 10 Aug. 1776 Cherokees defeated by Andrew Pickens.
Ring Fight, SC ? Aug. 1776 200 Cherokees attacked Andrew Pickens and 25 militia. From a circle, firing in turn, the patriots held off attackers until a rescue force arrived
Tamassy, SC 12 Aug. 1776 Col. Williamson and Andrew Pickens defeated large Cherokee war party and burned the Indian town, Tamassy.
Long Island, NY 27 Aug. 1776 George Washington’s army defeated but escaped by night in the fog.
Harlem Heights, NY 16 Sept. 1776 Nathanael Greene involved in engagement against British and Hessians. British driven back to their lines.
Coweecho River, NC 19 Sept. 1776

Col. Williamson’s patriots were attacked by Cherokees south of (now) Franklin, NC in a gorge known as the Black Hole. Americans eventually cleared the pass.

Valcour Island, NY 11 Oct. 1776 With makeshift boats on Lake Champlain, Benedict Arnold engaged a British squadron. Arnold was defeated but delayed the British until it was too close to winter to continue their campaign.

White Plains, NY

28 Oct. 1776 British and Hessians (4,000) attacked Americans (1,600) and defeated them but British casualties (300) exceeded the Americans (200).
Fort Washington, NY 16 Nov. 1776 American commander surrendered Fort Washington to the Hessians.
Fort Lee, NJ 20 Nov. 1776 Lord Cornwallis captured Fort Lee. Nathanael Greene abandoned the position.
Battle of Trenton, NJ 26 Dec. 1776 George Washington crossed the Delaware River and surprised Hessian brigade and defeated it.

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981.

1777

Princeton, NJ 3 Jan. 1777 Washington defeated British brigade.
Treaty of DeWitt’s Corner, SC 20 May 1777 Cherokees sued for peace and lost most of their land east of the mountains.
Oriskany, NY 6 Aug. 1777 British column with Iroquois warriors attack from Oswego. Rescue troops ambushed.
Battle of Bennington, VT 16 Aug. 1777

British General John Burgoyne detached Hessians, British regulars, Loyalists and Iroquois against Bennington. American militia attacked and defeated the British.

Fort Stanwix, NY 23 Aug. 1777 Benedict Arnold intended to siege the fort but the Indians and Loyalists deserted and the British retired. On August 25, 1935, Congress recognized the importance of Fort Stanwix by creating Fort Stevens National Monument.
Brandywine, PA 11 Sept. 1777 Americans under George Washington were defeated but retreated in good order.
Saratoga, NY 19 Sept. –17 Oct. 1777 General John Burgoyne surrendered his British Army to American Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates. On June 1, 1938, Congress recognized the importance of Saratoga by creating Saratoga National Historical Park.
Paoli, PA. 21 Sept. 1777 British troops attack with bayonets and surprised Americans. Americans called it the “Paoli Massacre.”
Germantown, PA. 4 Oct. 1777 4 Oct. 1777 American attack on British positions failed.
Valley Forge, PA Winter 1777-78 Winter camp at Valley Forge under terrible conditions. On July 4, 1976, Congress recognized the importance of Valley Forge by creating Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Morristown, NJ Winter 1777 Sheltered the main encampments of the American Continental Army and served as the winter quarters of its commander-in-chief, General George Washington. On March 2, 1933, Congress recognized the importance of Morristown by creating Morristown National Historical Park.

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981.

1778

  6 February 1778 France signed a treaty with the Continental Congress which would provide troops, ships and supplies to America.
Philadelphia, PA 18 June 1778 British abandoned Philadelphia and moved to New York.
Monmouth Court House, NJ 28 June 1778 American troops held the field but it was not a clear-cut victory. Dr. Lumpkin writes that this “was the last major set battle between American and British regular forces in the northern theatre of the war.”
Kaskaskia, IL 4 July 1778 Town captured by Col. George Rogers Clark.
Savannah, GA. 29 Dec. 1778 The first event of the Southern Campaign.

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981.

1779

Port Royal Island, SC 3 Feb. 1779 Maj. Gen. Moultrie defeated British detachment.
Kettle Creek, GA 14 Feb. 1779 Andrew Pickens and Elijah Clarke and their Georgia and Carolina militia defeated North Carolina Loyalist militia who were travelling to Augusta to joint the British forces.
Vincennes, IN 24 Feb. 1779 Loyalists and Indians recaptured Vincennes, but George Rogers Clark forced them to retreat. On July 23, 1966, Congress recognized the importance of Vincennes by creating George Rogers Clark National Park.
Brier Creek, GA 3 Mar. 1779 British Lt. Col. Prevost defeated Americans under Gen. John Ashe.
Siege of Charleston, SC 11-13 May 1779 Maj. Gen. A. Prevost had to break his siege when American forces under Maj.Gen. Lincoln approached.
Stono River, SC 20 June 1779 Maj. Gen. Lincoln engaged a British rear guard. Battle indecisive but many casualties.
Stony Point, NY 16 July 1779 16 July 1779 American attacked with bayonets only. Extensive British casualties.
Newtown, NY 29 Aug. 1779 29 Aug. 1779 After 2 terrible massacres, American forces moved into Indian territory and burned villages. Iroquois and Seneca power was diminished although they remained hostile.
Castine, ME July-Aug. 1779 American attempt to dislodge British along the Penobscot River failed.
Paulus Hook, NJ 19 Aug. 1779 Successful American surprise attack on British outpost.
Savannah,GA 16 Sept.-19 Oct 1779 American Army under Maj. Gen. Lincoln failed to dislodge British from Savannah.
Morristown, NJ Winter 1779- 1780 Sheltered the main encampments of the American Continental Army and served as the winter quarters of its commander-in-chief, General George Washington. On March 2, 1933, Congress recognized the importance of Morristown by creating Morristown National Historical Park.

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981.

1780

Siege of Charleston, SC 29 Mar –12 May 1780 Maj. Gen. Lincoln surrendered the town and his entire army.
Monck’s Corner, SC 14 April 1780 Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton scattered American militia.
Lenud’s Ferry, SC 6 May 1780 Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton dispersed American cavalry.
Waxhaws, SC 29 May 1780 Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and his Loyalist Legion bayoneted 113 Continental soldiers of Col. Buford’s Virginia unit. Known as Buford’s Massacre.
  5 June 1780 Lord Cornwallis assumes command of the British Army in the South.
Ramsour’s Mill, NC 20 June 1780 Patriot forces defeated Loyalist forces, ultimately resulting in loss of Loyalist support in North Carolina.
Williamson’s Plantation, SC 12 July 1780 Patriot forces of Thomas Sumter’s command defeated Loyalist Christian Huck and his forces. Huck was killed.
Cedar Springs, SC 12 July 1780 Spartan regiment of South Carolina Patriots ambushed Loyalist attacking party.
Gowen’s Old Fort, SC 13 July 1780 Georgia Patriots attacked Loyalist camp and defeated them.
  25 July 1780

General Horatio Gates assumes command of Southern Continental Army.

Rocky Mount, SC 30 July 1780 Thomas Sumter’s troops attacked British post but were forced to withdraw.
Hanging Rock I, SC 30 July 1780 North Carolina Royalists were attacked by North Carolina Patriots who succeeded in capturing weapons and horses.
Hanging Rock II, SC

6 Aug. 1780

Thomas Sumter attacked British post and inflicted heavy casualties but was forced to retreat.
Kershaw County, SC 15 Aug 1780 Patriot militia attacked and captured Carey’s Fort and took a supply convoy from Ninety-Six.
Battle of Camden, SC 16 Aug 1780 Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates and the Continental Army were badly defeated by Lord Cornwallis and the British forces.
Fishing Creek, SC 18 Aug.1780 Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton surprised Thomas Sumter’s command and defeated it.
Musgrove’s Mill, SC 18 Aug. 1780 Frontier riflemen and militiamen lured the British into an ambush and defeated them.
Nelson’s Ferry, SC 25 Aug. 1780 Francis Marion attacked British convoy and released 150 Americans who had been taken prisoner at the Battle of Camden.
Blue Savannah, SC 4 Sept. 1780 Francis Marion led British Loyalists into an ambush and defeated them.
McKay’s Trading Post, GA. 14-18 Sept. 1780 Elijah Clarke attacked the post but was driven off when British relief column arrived. American prisoners taken were hanged or turned over to the Cherokees to be tortured and killed.
Wahab’s Plantation, NC 21 Sept. 1780

Lt. Col. Davie attacked Banastre Tarleton and captured horses and equipment.

Charlotte, NC 26 Sept. 1780 Lt. Col. Davie and 150 American soldiers ambushed Tarleton’s Legion at Charlotte but were driven off by reinforcements.
Black Mingo, SC 28-29 Sept. 1780 Francis Marion attacked a Loyalist encampment and drove them into the swamp.
Kings Mountain, SC 7 Oct. 1780 Frontier militia from North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina surrounded Patrick Ferguson’s force at Kings Mountain and defeated them. This was a decisive victory for the Patriots and a turning point in the Revolutionary War. On March 3, 1931, Congress recognized the importance of Kings Mountain by creating Kings Mountain National Park.
Tearcoat Swamp, SC 25 Oct. 1780

Francis Marion routed a Loyalist force under Tynes.

Fish Dam Ford, SC 9 Nov. 1780 A search and destroy mission by the British was intended to murder Thomas Sumter. A night attack failed and the British retreated leaving their wounded.
Blackstocks, SC 20 Nov. 1780 Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton pushed his cavalry in pursuit of Thomas Sumter and attacked. The British were beaten back with heavy casualties.
  2 Dec. 1780 General Nathanael Greene assumes command of the Southern Army.

Long Cane, SC

12 Dec. 1780 Attack by Americans against a British force four times their number resulted in Georgia militia leader, Elijah Clarke, sustaining serious wounds.

Halfway Swamp& Singleton’s Mill SC

12 Dec. 1780 Francis Marion engaged large Loyalist group which retreated. An attempt to trap the Loyalists at Singleton’s Mill failed when it was discovered that the Singleton family had smallpox.
Hammond’s Store, SC 30 Dec. 1780 Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan sent Col. William Washington with Continental Dragons and mounted militia to attack Georgia Loyalists. The Loyalists suffered 150 casualties.

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981.

1781

THE BATTLE OF COWPENS 17 JANUARY, 1781 Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan defeated Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and his army of British regulars. This is the turning point of the Revolution, as British troops never recovered from this defeat. On March 4, 1929, Congress recognized the importance of the Battle of Cowpens by creating Cowpens National Battlefield.
Georgetown, SC 24-25 Jan. 1781 Francis Marion and Light Horse Harry Lee captured Georgetown.
Cowan’s Ford, NC 1 Feb. 1781 North Carolina militia were defeated as they attempted to prevent Lord Cornwallis from crossing the Catawba River.
Tarrant’s Tavern, NC 1 Feb. 1781 Tarleton’s Legion charged a force of North Carolina militia with sabers inflicting heavy casualties.
Haw River, NC 25 Feb. 1781 North Carolina Loyalists were tricked into believing that they were being reviewed by Tarleton when they actually had encountered Lt. Col. Lee whose Continental Legion wore green jackets as did Tarleton’s men. Lee ordered a saber attack and butchered the Loyalists. This tended to intimidate the Loyalists in that area.
Wiboo Swamp, SC 6 Mar. 1781 Francis Marion began a retreating action which thwarted the British column led by Col. Watson.
Mount Hope Swamp, SC March 1781 Col. Hugh Horry’s troop held the area while Marion withdrew.
Lower Bridge of the Black River, SC Mar 1781 McCottrey’s Rifles, a unit of Marion’s Brigade, inflicted heavy casualties on Tynes with deadly accurate fire from long rifles.
Snows Island, SC March 1781 While Marion was fighting Tynes, another British unit attacked his camp at Snows Island. Defenders destroyed all the supplies before they fled the position.
Battle of Guilford Court House, NC 15 March 1781 Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene opposed Lord Cornwallis. Greene retreated in good order leaving the field to Cornwallis. Although the British technically won that battle, Cornwallis had lost 28% of his army in the encounter. On March 2, 1917, Congress recognized the importance of Guilford Court House by creating Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.
Sampit Bridge, SC 28 Mar. 1781 Marion’s Brigade, still pursued by Tynes, now forced Tynes to retreat. Marion followed and destroyed the rear guard as they attempted to cross the river.
Fort Watson, SC 15-23 April 1781 Lee and his Legion joined Marion in a siege of Fort Watson which was built on an Indian mound. A tall log tower was erected with a platform on top shielding riflemen who overlooked the fort. British surrendered.
Hobkirk Hill, SC 25 April 1781 Nathanael Greene and the Continental Army engaged the British forces under Lord Rawdon who won the field. Greene retreated
Fort Motte, SC 8-12 May 1781 Lee and Marion forced the British out of the post by setting it on fire.
Camden, SC 10 May 1781 Lord Rawdon evacuated Camden. It was leave or starve.
Orangeburg, SC 11 May 1781 Thomas Sumter took Orangeburg.
Fort Granby, SC 15 May 1781 Lee captured Fort Granby without resistance
Fort Galphin, SC 19 May 1781 Lee’s Legion captured the fort with all the Indian goods confiscated.
Siege of Ninety-Six 22 May-19 June 1781 Maj. Gen. Greene’s siege was terminated by the arrival of British reinforcements. On August 19, 1976 Congress recognized the importance of the siege of Ninety Six by creating Ninety Six National Historic Site.
Charlottesville, VA 4 June 1781

A surprise raid by Tarleton captured seven members of the Virginia legislature. Governor Thomas Jefferson barely escaped

Augusta, GA 5 June 1781 Lt. Col. Lee, Patriot leaders Elijah Clarke and Andrew Pickens forced the British to surrender the fort.
Williamsburg, VA 26 June 1781 Engagement indecisive but American troops were commanded by French Marquis Lafayette. Green Springs Plantation, VA 6 July 1781 Marquis Lafayette attacked a superior British force and was defeated.
Biggin Church, SC 16 July 1781 British forces attacked Thomas Sumter but the attack was broken and the British retreated.
Quinby Bridge, SC 17 July 1781 Sumter, Marion and Lee engaged British but were unable to force a retreat.
Georgetown, SC 2 Aug. 1781 A British raiding party landed and burned several houses.
Execution of Isaac Hayne 4 Aug. 1781 The British hanged Col. Isaac Hayne in Charleston as a warning to patriots. It had the opposite effect.
Washington Marches South 19 Aug. 1781 Washington moves to combine American and French forces. French Naval Fleet engages British Fleet on the Chesapeake Bay. This leaves Cornwallis stranded at Yorktown.
New London, CT 6 Sept. 1781 British burn New London.
Eutaw Springs, SC 8 Sept. 1781 Greene’s Continental Army with the addition of militia fight a bloody battle. Although not victorious, the Americans inflicted and sustained heavy losses.
Hillsboro, NC 12 Sept. 1781 North Carolina Loyalists captured 200 American prisoners including NC Governor Thomas Burke. Loyalist leader, MacNeil, was killed in the raid.
Yorktown , VA

28 Sept. –17 Oct. 1781

Washington conducts a siege at Yorktown. On July 3, 1930, Congress recognized the importance of Yorktown by creating Colonial National Historical Park.
Gloucester, VA 3 Oct.1781

Tarleton's last action was protecting a British foraging party.

  19 October 1781 Cornwallis surrenders his army.
Clouds Creek, SC 17 Nov. 1781 Bloody Bill Cunningham slaughters Patriot force of 30.
Wilmington, NC 18 Nov. 1781 British evacuate Wilmington.
Hayes’s Station, SC 19 Nov. 1781 Cunningham kills a patriot force of 15.

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981.

1782

Wambaw Creek, SC 14 Feb. 1782 Marion’s Brigade defeated by Thomson.
Tydiman’s Plantation, SC 25 Feb. 1782 Marion’s Brigade again defeated by Thomson.
Savannah, GA 11 July 1782 British evacuate Savannah.
Fair Lawn Plantation, SC 29 Aug. 1782 Marion’s last engagement against South Carolina Royal Dragoons. Marion retreated.
Combahee River, SC 27 Aug. 1782 John Laurens was killed by an Ambush.
Last Cherokee Campaign 16 Sept. – 17 Oct. 1782 Andrew Pickens and Elijah Clarke with 414 men marched against raiding Cherokees. Chiefs made a temporary peace agreement which was ratified by Georgia.
Charleston, SC 14 Dec. 1782 Charleston evacuated by British. Leaving with them were 3,800 Loyalists and 5,000 slaves.

Dr. Christine Swager researched this timeline and based it on Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South. New York, NY: Paragon House. 1981.

1783

Provisional Peace Treaty ratified 15 April, 1783

The Second Treaty of Paris

New York, NY 25 Nov. 1783 The British forces evacuate New York and Brooklyn, the last British troops to leave the colonies.

Recommended Viewing: The History Channel Presents The Revolution (A&E) (600 minutes). Review: They came of age in a new world amid intoxicating and innovative ideas about human and civil rights diverse economic systems and self-government. In a few short years these men and women would transform themselves into architects of the future through the building of a new nation – “a nation unlike any before.” From the roots of the rebellion and the signing of the Declaration of Independence to victory on the battlefield at Yorktown and the adoption of The United States Constitution, THE REVOLUTION tells the remarkable story of this pivotal era in history. Continued below...
Venturing beyond the conventional list of generals and politicians, THE HISTORY CHANNEL® introduces the full range of individuals who helped shape this great conflict including some of the war’s most influential unsung heroes. Through sweeping cinematic recreations intimate biographical investigations and provocative political military and economic analysis the historic ideas and themes that transformed treasonous acts against the British into noble acts of courage both on and off the battlefield come to life in this dramatic and captivating program. This TEN HOUR DVD Features: History in the Making: The Revolution Behind-the-Scenes Featurette; Interactive Menus; Scene Selections.

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Recommended Reading: A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution (Hardcover). Description: A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution is the first comprehensive account of every engagement of the Revolution, a war that began with a brief skirmish at Lexington Green on April 19, 1775, and concluded on the battlefield at the Siege of Yorktown in October 1781. Continued below…

In between were six long years of bitter fighting on land and at sea. The wide variety of combats blanketed the North American continent from Canada to the Southern colonies, from the winding coastal lowlands to the Appalachian Mountains, and from the North Atlantic to the Caribbean. Unlike existing accounts, A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution presents each engagement in a unique way. Each battle entry offers a wide and rich—but consistent—template of information to make it easy for readers to find exactly what they are seeking. Every entry begins with introductory details including the date of the battle, its location, commanders, opposing forces, terrain, weather, and time of day. The detailed body of each entry offers both a Colonial and British perspective of the unfolding military situation, a detailed and unbiased account of what actually transpired, a discussion of numbers and losses, an assessment of the consequences of the battle, and suggestions for further reading. Many of the entries are supported and enriched by original maps and photos. Fresh, scholarly, informative, and entertaining, A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution will be welcomed by historians and general enthusiasts everywhere.

 

Recommended Reading: The War for American Independence: From 1760 to the Surrender at Yorktown in 1781 (Paperback) (776 pages). Description: "Including both attention to strategic policies in Britain and France and personal accounts of colonial soldiers, "The War for American Independence" provides an unprecedented view of America's struggle for independence in its world context. With wit, clarity, and dramatic effect, Samuel B. Griffith II vivifies the characters and incidents of the period on both sides of the Atlantic, drawing from personal diaries and letters, newspaper accounts, and detailed battle maps to create a unique alternative to standard histories of the period. Continued below…

This enduring and exceptionally readable resource, first published in 1976 under the title "In Defense of the Public Liberty: Britain, America, and the Struggle for Independence from 1760 to the Surrender at Yorktown in 1781", was honored with the Sons of Liberty Award for the best book on the American Revolution." Review: "A book on the American Revolution so fresh and continually surprising is a miracle at this time. It is sharp, fast, and beautifully written... General Griffith has made it, for once, a two-sided war." -- Barbara Tuchman "It is the insights which the author derives from his own military experience and his willingness to share these so frankly with the reader that gives the book its distinctive character... It is, in the best sense, a soldier's view of the war." -- Economist "An exhaustive and well-written political and military account of our War for Independence from primary sources." -- National Review "Well-written, interesting, balanced in judgment, and historically sound." -- Library Journal

 

Recommended Reading: 1776, by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster). Description: Esteemed historian David McCullough covers the military side of the momentous year of 1776 with characteristic insight and a gripping narrative, adding new scholarship and a fresh perspective to the beginning of the American Revolution. It was a turbulent and confusing time. As British and American politicians struggled to reach a compromise, events on the ground escalated until war was inevitable. McCullough writes vividly about the dismal conditions that troops on both sides had to endure, including an unusually harsh winter, and the role that luck and the whims of the weather played in helping the colonial forces hold off the world's greatest army. Continued below...

He also effectively explores the importance of motivation and troop morale--a tie was as good as a win to the Americans, while anything short of overwhelming victory was disheartening to the British, who expected a swift end to the war. The redcoat retreat from Boston, for example, was particularly humiliating for the British, while the minor American victory at Trenton was magnified despite its limited strategic importance. Some of the strongest passages in 1776 are the revealing and well-rounded portraits of the Georges on both sides of the Atlantic. King George III, so often portrayed as a bumbling, arrogant fool, is given a more thoughtful treatment by McCullough, who shows that the king considered the colonists to be petulant subjects without legitimate grievances--an attitude that led him to underestimate the will and capabilities of the Americans. At times he seems shocked that war was even necessary. The great Washington lives up to his considerable reputation in these pages, and McCullough relies on private correspondence to balance the man and the myth, revealing how deeply concerned Washington was about the Americans' chances for victory, despite his public optimism. Perhaps more than any other man, he realized how fortunate they were to merely survive the year, and he willingly lays the responsibility for their good fortune in the hands of God rather than his own. Enthralling and superbly written, 1776 is the work of a master historian.

 
Recommended Viewing: The History Channel Presents The Presidents (A&E) (360 minutes). Review: THE PRESIDENTS is an unprecedented eight-part survey of the personal lives and legacies of the remarkable men who have presided over the Oval Office. From George Washington to George W. Bush, THE PRESIDENTS gathers together vivid snapshots of all 43 Commanders-in-Chief who have guided America throughout its history--their powerful personalities, weaknesses, and major achievements or historical insignificance. Based on the book To the Best of My Ability, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner James McPherson, THE PRESIDENTS features rare and unseen photographs and footage, unexpected insight and trivia from journalists, scholars, and politicians such as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Wesley Clark, Bob Dole, and former President Jimmy Carter. Continued below...
Viewed within the changing contexts of each administration, the Presidency has never seemed more compelling and human. Narrated by Edward Herrmann (The Aviator), this three-DVD (6 HOURS) set is a proud addition to the award-winning documentary tradition of THE HISTORY CHANNEL®. DVD Features: Feature-length Bonus Program "All The Presidents' Wives"; Timeline of U.S. Presidents; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection. (6 HOURS); Highly Recommended! Great for the home, family, and classroom…
 

Recommended Reading: Battles Of The Revolutionary War: 1775-1781 (Major Battles and Campaigns Series). Description: The Americans did not simply outlast the British in the Revolutionary War, contends this author in a groundbreaking study, but won their independence by employing superior strategies, tactics, and leadership. Designed for the "armchair strategist" with dozens of detailed maps and illustrations, here is a blow-by-blow analysis of the men, commanders, and weaponry used in the famous battles of Bunker Hill, Quebec, Trenton, Princeton, Saratoga, and Cowpens.

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