First Battles of General WashingtonWashington’s leadership helped the Continental Army continue to fight.Americans were debating on which side to support- the Continental Army, or the British army. The British Army was better experienced, trained, and armed.
The Continental Army’s Strengths And Weaknesses The Continental Army had disadvantages due to the British Army. They had no experience or training in war. However, they did have some strengths, such as their knowledge of land which helped them to plan attacks against the British Army. They also had a remarkable leader, General George Washington.
Washington Leads His Soldiers During springtime of 1776, Washington and his soldiers compelled the British Army to leave Boston. The British, however, refused to give up. They soon defeated the Continental Army in the Battle of Long Island, nearby New York City. Washington and his army were forced to retreat from the British. Washington required a spy to eavesdrop on the British, so he sent Captain Nathan Hale. Although, Hale did not succeed.
Washington’s Worries Washington was feeling trepidation due to his scarce amount of soldiers, and Nathan Hale, who was captured and hanged. Although he still believed that the British could not defeat him and his determined soldiers. Washington desired to win a battle so that his soldiers would keep fighting. He planned a surprise attack on a rival camp in Trenton, New Jersey.
The Attack Washington and his soldiers made their way across the icy Delaware River on December 25, 1776. With the element of surprise as their weapon, they attacked German mercenaries, taking nearly 1,000 of them captive. This delighted Patriots who were thrilled of this victory.
Two Armies General John Burgoyne began to lead a British army on in June of 1777 toward Albany, New York. Though an army of Americans were ready and waiting, anticipating Burgoyne’s arrival, prepared to prevent the British attack nearby Saratoga, New York. Polish engineer Thaddeus Kosciuszko aided them in this fierce battle.
Diverse Wars A courageous officer, Benedict Arnold, was the leader of many British attacks. The Americans were successful and Burgoyne and his abundant amount of soldiers had no choice but to surrender. The French were now convinced that the Americans could triumph over the British. They joined the Americans in the battle against Britain, along with several other countries, such as Spain, the Netherlands, and Russia.
Good News And Bad News The victory of Washington and his men at Saratoga was uplifting news, though there was also concerning news as well. Washington’s army had failed during two battles in Pennsylvania, and the British had Philadelphia captive.
Harsh Conditions in Valley Forge Washington tried to keep his army together, though the conditions at Valley Forge were quite horrible. Men had slept on the freezing ground, and many of Washington’s soldiers had suffered death by disease. Spring finally came along after all the difficult work that Washington had done. Their army now had more food, supplies, and they were ready for battle.
The Continental Army Strikes Back German soldier Baron Friedrich von Steuben joined the army and helped Washington’s soldiers at Valley Forge to train and prepare. He taught them how to use their weapons, and how to march together at the same pace. By the time he was finished, the soldiers were well trained. Due to their excellent and efficient training, they fought well in their next battle. With aid from France, and other men, including Steuben and Lafayette, it appeared that the U.S. could win.