Revolutionary War

1775  1776  1777  1778  1779 
1780  1781  1782  1783

 1763-1775 - Heading Towards War  

1775   

  • April 18 - Paul Revere's ride.
  • April 19 - Battle of Concord and Lexington.
  • April 23 - King George III declares the colonies to be in rebellion.
  • April - Seige of Boston begins.
  • May 10 - Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia.
  • June 15 - George Washington named Comander in Chief.
  • June 16-17 - Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • September - General Benedict Arnold sets off with an American force to capture Quebec.
  • November 28 - Continental Congress authorizes creation of US Navy.
  • December 31 - Americans attack Quebec.
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1776   

  • February 27 - Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge.
  • March 26 - British evacuate Boston.
  • October 11-12 - Battle of Valcour Bay.
  • October 27-28- Battle of White Plains.
  • November 16 - British capture Fort Washington; General Washington retreats through New Jersey.
  • December 26 - Battle of Trenton.
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1777   

  • January 3 - Battle of Princeton.
  • March 12  - The Continental Congress returns to Philadelphia from Baltimore .
  • April 27 - Battle of Ridgefield, CT.   British beaten by Americans commanded by Benedict Arnold.
  • June 14 - America has a flag.  Congress gives Ranger to John Paul Jones with the mission to raid the English coast.
  • June 17 - British troops under General John Burgoyne sail down Lake Champlain from Canada, planning to cut New England off from the other colonies by linking with General Howe who was to come north from New York City.
  • July 6 - British recapture Fort Ticonderoga.
  • July 23 - General Howe sails for Chesapeake Bay to capture Philadelphia, instead of attempting to link with General Burgoyne.
  • July 27 - Congress names 19 year old French aristocrat Marquis de Lafayette a Major General in the Continental Army after he volunteers to serve without pay.
  • August 1 - General Burgoyne reaches the Hudson River.
  • August 16 - Battle of Bennington.
  • August 25 - Gen. Howe disembarks his troops at Chesapeake Bay.
  • August 27 - Battle of Long Island.
  • September 9-11 - Battle of Brandywine.  Continental Congress leaves Philadelphia for Lancaster, PA.
  • September 19 - first Battle of Saratoga.
  • September 26 - General Howe occupies Philadelphia.  Continental Congress moves to York, PA.
  • October 4 - Battle of Germantown.
  • October 7 - Second Battle of Saratoga.
  • October 13 - British surrender at Saratoga.
  • Winter 1777-1778 - Valley Forge.
1775  1776  1777  1778  1779 
1780  1781  1782  1783

1778   

  • January 7 - Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France.
  • February 6 - Treaty of Alliance with France.
  • February 23 - Prussian Baron von Steuben  joins Americans at Valley Forge and begins drilling and training the troops.
  • March 16 - British Parliment creates a Peace Commission to negotiate with the Colonies.  The Commission sails to Philadelphia and offers to meet all of the American demands other than independence.  Continental Congress declines the offer.
  • May 8 - General Howe is replaced by General Henry Clinton as commander of all British forces in the Colonies.
  • May 30 - 300 Iroquois Indians burn Cobleskill, New York at the prompting of the British.
  • June 18 - General Clinton, fearing a French blockade,  withdraws from Philadelphia and marches for New York City.  Amerians re-occupy Philadelphia.
  • June 19 - Washington moves from Valley Forge to intercept Clinton.
  • June 27-28 - Battle of Monmouth.  After a standoff, General Clinton continues towards New York.
  • July 2 - Continental Congress returns to Philadelphia.
  • July 3 - Massacre at Wyoming Valley, PA; Washington establishes West Point, NY as his headquarters.
  • July 10 - France declares war on Britain.
  • August 8 - French naval and American land forces attempt an unsuccessful seige of Newport, RI.  The French fleet returns to Boston for repairs.
  • September 14 - Benjamin Franklin named American representative to France.
  • November 11 - American settlers massacred by Loyalists and Indians at Cherry Valley, NY.
  • December 29 - British capture Savannah, GA.
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1779  
  • January 29 - British capture Augusta, GA.
  • April - American troops attack Chickamauga Indian villages in Tennessee in retaliation for raids on settlers.
  • May 10 - British burn Portsmouth and Norfolk, VA.
  • June 1 - Clinton moves up Hudson towards West Point.
  • June 16 - Spain declares war on Britain, but does not ally with Americans.
  • July 5-11 - Connecticut coastal towns raided by Loyalists.  Fairfield and Norwald burned, along with ships in the harbor at New Haven.
  • July 10 - Naval ships from Massachusetts attacking the Loyalist bulwark of Castine, Maine are destroyed by British Navy.
  • July 15 - Americans capture Stony Point.
  • August 14 - Continental Congress approves a peace plan specifying independence, complete withdrawal of British forces from Colonies and freedom of navigation on the Mississippi River as conditions.
  • August 29 - American forces defeat the combined Indian and Loyalist forces at Elmira, New York. Following the victory, American troops head northwest and destroy nearly 40 Cayuga and Seneca Indian villages in retaliation for the campaign of terror against American settlers. 
  • September 3 - October 28 -American forces suffer a major defeat while attacking the British at Savannah, Georgia.
  • September 23 - Bonne Homme Richard vs Serapis.  John Paul Jones replies "I have not yet begun to fight" when asked to surrender by the British captain.  Jones then captures the British ship before his own sinks.
  • September 27 - Congress appoints John Adams to negotiate with England for peace.
  • October 17 - Washington goes into winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey.
  • December 26 - General Clinton sails for Charleston from New York with 8000 men.
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1780   

  • April 8 - British warships enter Charleston Harbor.  Washington sends reinforcements.
  • May 6 - Fort Moultrie captured by the British.
  • May 12 - British capture Charleston.  With losses of 5400 men , 4 ships and a military arsenal, this is the worst American defeat of the Revolutionary War.
  • May 25 - In Morristown, New Jersey two Continental regiments conduct an armed march through the camp, demanding immediate payment of overdue salary and full rations. Rebellion is ended by troops from Pennsylvania.  Two leaders of the protest are hanged.
  • June 11 - Massachusettes endorses a new constitution asserting "all men are born free and equal," including blacks.
  • June 14 - Congress appoints General Horatio Gates to command of the Southern Army.
  • June 23 - British defeated by American forces at the Battle of Springfield, New Jersey.
  • June 28 - Battle of Monmouth.
  • July 11 - Count de Rochambeau arrives in Newport, Rhode Island with 6000 French soldiers.  A British blockade will keep them there for almost a year.
  • August 3 - Benedict Arnold named commander of West Point.
  • August 16 - Battle of Camden.
  • August 18 - Battle of Fishing Creek, SC.  An American defeat opens the door to North Carolina for the British.
  • September 23 - A British major in civilian clothing, carrying plans indicating Benedict Arnold intends to turn traitor and surrender West Point,  is captured near Tarrytown, New York. 
  • September 25 - Benedict Arnold flees West Point to the British ship Vulture on the Hudson. He is later named a brigadier general in the British.
  • October 7 - Battle of King's Mountain.  Cornwallis abandons his invasion of North Carolina.
  • October 14 - Battle of Shallow Ford.  General Gates is replaced by Nathanael Greene as commander ot the Southern Army.

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1781   

  • January 3 - Troops from Pennsylvania set up camp near Princeton, NJ and choose their own representatives to negotiate with state officials back in Pennsylvania. The crisis is eventually resolved through negotiations, but over half of the mutineers abandon the army.
  • January 17 - Battle of Cowpens.  General  Daniel Morgan defeats General  Tarleton in an American victory.
  • January 20 - Mutiny among American troops at Pompton, New Jersey. The rebellion is put down seven days later by a 600-man force sent by Washington. Two of the leaders are hanged

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  • March 15 - Battle of Guilford Courthouse.  General Cornwallis suffers heavy losses, abandons plans to conquer the Carolinas and retreats to Wilmington, then begins a campaign to conquer Virginia

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  • April 25 - Battle of Hobkirk's Hill.
  • May 21 - Washington and French General Rochambeau meet in Connecticut for a war council.  Rochambeau reluctantly agrees to Washington's plan for a joint French naval and American ground attack on New York.
  • June 4 - Thomas Jefferson narrowly escapes capture by the British at Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • June 10 - Americans troops under Marquis de Lafayette, General Anthony Wayne and Baron von Steuben begin to form a combined force in Virginia to oppose British forces under Benedict Arnold and General Cornwallis.
  • June 11 - Congress appoints Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Jay to a peace commission to supplement John Adams as the sole negotiator with the British.
  • July 20 - Slaves rebel in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • August 1 - Cornwallis and his 10,000 soldiers arrive at Yorktown, Virginia after several months of chasing General Greene's army with little success. He then establishes a base to communicate by sea with General Clinton's forces in New York. 
  • August 14 - Washington abandons the planned attack on New York in favor of Yorktown after receiving word from French Admiral Count de Grasse indicating his entire 29-ship French fleet with 3000 soldiers is now heading for the Chesapeake Bay near General Cornwallis.  Washington also coordinates with General Rochambeau to rush their best troops south to Virginia to destroy the British position in Yorktown. 
  • August 30 - Count de Grasse's fleet arrives off Yorktown, Virginia. De Grasse then lands troops near Yorktown, linking with Lafayette's American troops to cut Cornwallis off from any retreat by land.
  • September 1 - The troops of Washington and Rochambeau arrive at Philadelphia.
  • September 5-8 - Off Yorktown, a major naval battle between the French fleet of de Grasse and the outnumbered British fleet of Admiral Thomas Graves results in a victory for de Grasse.  The British fleet retreats to New York for reinforcements, leaving the French fleet in control of the Chesapeake.  The French fleet establishes a blockade, cutting Cornwallis off from any retreat by sea.  French naval reinforcements then arrive from Newport.
  • September 6 - Troops under Benedict Arnold loot and burn the port of New London, Connecticut.
  • September 8 - Battle of Eutaw Springs.
  • September 14-24 - De Grasse sends his ships up the Chesapeake Bay to transport the armies of Washington and Rochambeau to Yorktown.
  • September 28 - Washington, with a combined Allied army of 17,000 men, begins the siege of Yorktown.  French cannons bombard Cornwallis and his 9000 men day and night while the Allied lines slowly advance and encircle them.  British supplies run dangerously low. 
  • October 17 - As Yorktown is about to be taken, the British send out a flag of truce. Washington and Cornwallis then work out terms of surrender
  • October 19 - The Brithish surrender at Yorktown.  Hopes for a British victory in the war against America are dashed.
  • October 24 - General Clinton arrives at Chesapeake Bay with 7000 British reinforcements, but turns back upon hearing of the surrender at Yorktown
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1775  1776  1777  1778  1779 
1780  1781  1782  1783

1782   

  • January 5 - The British withdraw from North Carolina.
  • February 27 - The British House of Commons votes against further war in America.
  • March 5 - Parliament empowers the King to negotiate peace with the United States.
  • March 7 - American militiamen massacre 96 Delaware Indians in Ohio in retaliation for Indian raids conducted by other tribes.
  • March 20 - Lord North resigns as British Prime Minister, succeeded two days later by Lord Rockingham who seeks immediate negotiations with the American peace commissioners.

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  • April 4 - General Clinton replaced by Sir Guy Carleton as British commander in America.  Carleton will implement the new British policy of ending hostilities and withdraw British troops from America.
  • Aprl 12 - Battle of Les Saintes.  Ben Franklin and Richard Oswald begin peace talks in Paris.
  • April 16 - Washington establishes American army headquarters at Newburgh, New York.
  • April 19 - Negiotiations by John Adams results in the recognition of the United States of America by the Netherlands.
  • June 11 - The British withdraw from Savannah.
  • June 20 - The Great Seal of the United States of America adopted by Congress.
  • August 19 - Battle of Blue Licks.  Loyalist and Indian forces attack and defeat American settlers near Lexington, Kentucky.
  • August 25 - Mohawk Indian Chief Joseph Brant conducts raids on settlements in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
  • August 27 - A skirmish along the Combahee River in South Carolina is the last fighting between American and British forces in the Revolutionary War.
  • November 10 - Americans retaliate against Loyalist and Indian forces by attacking a Shawnee Indian village in the Ohio territory in the last battle of the war.
  • November 30 - A preliminary peace treaty is signed in Paris. Terms include recognition of American independence and the boundaries of the United States, along with British withdrawal from America.
  • December 14 - The British withdraw from Charleston.
  • December 15 - Strong objections are expressed by the French over the signing of the peace treaty in Paris without America first consulting them.  A diplomatic response by Ben Franklin prevents a falling out between France and America.

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1775  1776  1777  1778  1779 
1780  1781  1782  1783

1783  

  • January 20 - England signs a preliminary peace treaty with France and Spain.
  • February 3 - Spain recognizes the United States of America.  Sweden, Denmark and Russia follow suite later.
  • February 4 - England officially declares an end to hostilities in America.
  • March 10 - An anonymous letter circulates among Washington's senior officers camped at Newburgh, New York calling for an unauthorized meeting and urging the officers to defy the authority of the new U.S. national government (Congress) for its failure to honor past promises to the Continental Army. The next day, Washington forbids the meeting and suggests a regular meeting to be held on March 15.  A second anonymous letter appears, falsely claiming Washington himself sympathizes with the rebellious officers.
  • March 15 - March 15, 1783 - Washington gathers his officers and talks them out of a rebellion against the authority of Congress, preserving the American democracy.
  • April 11 - Congress officially declares an end to the Revolutionary War.
  • April 26 - The total of Loyalists who have fled for Canada reaches 100,000 as 7,000 leave New York.
  • June 13 - The main part of the Continental Army disbands.
  • June 24 - Congress moves from Philadelphia to Princeton, NJ to avoid protests from angry, unpaid war veterans.
  • July 8 - Slavery abolished in Massachusetts by the State Supreme Court.
  • September 3 -Treaty of Paris signed.  Congress will ratify the treaty on January 14, 1784. 
  • October 7 - The Virginia House of Burgesses grants freedom to slaves who served in the Continental Army.
  • November 2 - Washington delivers his farewell address to his army. The remaining troops are discharged the following day. 
  • November 25 - The last British troops depart as Washington enters Manhattan.
  • November 26 - Congress meets in Annapolis, Maryland.
  • December 23 - Washington appears before Congress and voluntarily resigns his commission.

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