Revolutionary War Part 3 U. S. History Mrs. Rieffel
1777: The War for the North Washington wins the Battle of Princeton (1/3) Washington winters in Morristown, NJ (1/6-5/28) Flag Resolution (flag possibly designed by Hopkinson, likely sewn by Betsy Ross) (6/14) St. Clair surrenders Fort Ticonderoga to the British (7/5) Lafayette arrives in Philadelphia (7/27) British General Howe lands at Head of Elk, Maryland (8/25) British success at the Battle of Brandywine, PA (9/11) Burgoyne checked by Americans under Gates at Freeman's Farm, NY (9/19) The Battle of Saratoga Paoli Massacre, PA (9/21) British under Howe occupy Philadelphia (9/26) Americans driven off at the Battle of Germantown (10/4) Burgoyne loses second battle of Freeman's Farm, NY (at Bemis Heights) (10/7) Burgoyne surrenders to American General Gates at Saratoga, NY (10/17) British capture Fort Mifflin, PA (11/16) Americans repulse British at Whitemarsh, PA (12/5-7) The Winter at Valley Forge, PA (12/19/77-6/19/78)
June 17, 1777 - A British force of 7700 men under Gen. John Burgoyne invades from Canada, sailing down Lake Champlain toward Albany, planning to link up with Gen. Howe who will come north from New York City, thus cutting off New England from the rest of the colonies.
July 6, 1777 - Gen. Burgoyne's troops stun the Americans with the capture of Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. Its military supplies are greatly needed by Washington's forces. The loss of the fort is a tremendous blow to American morale.
October 7, 1777 - The Battle of Saratoga results in the first major American victory of the Revolutionary War as Gen. Horatio Gates and Gen. Benedict Arnold defeat Gen. Burgoyne, inflicting 600 British casualties. American losses are only 150.
- A British army of nearly 7,000 surrendered today to a combined force of American militia and Continental regulars. "The fortunes of war have made me your prisoner," said British General John Burgoyne as he handed over his sword to his American counterpart, Horatio Gates. "I shall always be ready to testify that it was through no fault of your excellency," Gates replied. Burgoyne Surrenders News of the momentous British defeat spread quickly through the colonies and fueled speculation that the French government would now seriously consider entering the conflict on the American side. For months, rumors have suggested that Louis XVI needed solid proof of the strength of the revolution before he would officially commit French military aid to the cause. The British defeat at Saratoga could very well buy that help. The end for Burgoyne and his army came on the heels of a long and arduous campaign that began with a stunning British victory at Ticonderoga. Burgoyne, known in the press as "Gentleman Johnny" began his sojourn in Canada. In an attempt to link forces with British General Howe traveling north from New York, Burgoyne sailed with his army down Lake Champlain, headed for Albany. They paused only to capture the formidable American fort at Ticonderoga.
British expectations were dashed, however, in the American countryside. Burgoyne's cumbersome retinue, which included 30 carts of Burgoyne's personal possessions, and several cases of champagne, was stymied by the dense New York forests.
By the time Burgoyne reached Freeman's Farm near Saratoga, American patriots were less cowed by Burgoyne's haughty pronouncements demanding their surrender, than they were of general fears of having an invading army in the neighborhood. In fact, the American militia had been fully alerted to Burgoyne's presence, and, as one observer put it, "were out in droves." By the time the two battles of Saratoga were fought, American forces led by Gates and his able field general, Benedict Arnold, outnumbered Burgoyne and his army by nearly 2 to 1. Killed in the ensuing battle was Burgoyne's second-in-command, General Simon Fraser. A witness to Fraser's death heard him cry, "Oh fatal ambition," as life seeped out of him. He may have been speaking of the whole misguided campaign. In Paris, it can be assumed that the American ambassador to Versailles, Benjamin Franklin, will act immediately on word of this victory, and once again beg Louis for French aid. If that assistance is forthcoming, it is certain that the war will continue and spread—by means of the ancient enmities between Britain and France—to the far reaches of the globe.
On the grounds of the Saratoga National Historic Park, there rests a monument to Benedict Arnold's leg. It sits on the spot where Arnold fell wounded during the Battle of Freeman's Farm.
He had just led a brilliant charge against a British redoubt—the culmination of a day of extraordinary field generalship that led one of his soldiers to later write of Arnold that he was "the very genius of war." The leg was severely wounded, bleeding copiously, and pinned beneath Arnold's own horse. It survived the battle and the war. Arnold, of course, did, too. But in the process, he turned from one of the great heroes of the American Revolution into the epitome of traitorousness. Some of the seeds of his treachery were planted during his recuperation from that wound at Saratoga. Arnold started to become embittered by what he saw as a lack of recognition for his military genius on the part Congress and the Continental Army. Just a year and a half after his gallantry at Saratoga, Arnold offered his services to the British. Specifically, he planned to hand over the keys to West Point, a crucial American fort on the Hudson which Arnold commanded.
Legend tells us that Betsy Ross designed and created the first American flag consisting of 13 stripes and 13 stars. It was Betsy’s grandson who first told this story. While it is tru e that Betsy was a seamstress and did make flags and banners supporting the Continental Army, there is no concrete evidence that she was petitioned by George Washington to create a flag for the new nation. Historians have not bee n able to find any historical record of the request or meeting. Betsy Griscom Ross
1778: Valley Forge and the French Alliance The French Alliance (2/6) British General William Howe replaced by Henry Clinton (3/7) Von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge Battle of Barren Hill, PA (5/20) Washington fights to a draw at Battle of Monmouth (6/28) George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia, a French village near Detroit (7/4) French and American forces besiege Newport, RI (8/8) British occupy Savannah, GA (12/29)
July 27, 1777 - Marquis de Lafayette, a 19 year old French aristocrat, arrives in Philadelphia and volunteers to serve without pay. Congress appoints him as a major general in the Continental Army. Lafayette will become one of Gen. Washington's most trusted aides.
With a commission secured from an American agent in Paris, Lafayette joined the American ranks as a major general in 1777. He was just 20 years old. Lafayette served on Washington's staff and became a great friend of the Commander-in-chief, and, ultimately, a trusted field officer. He fought in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1778, returned to France in 1779 to help secure full French support for the American cause, and then came back to America, where he played a vital role in the entrapment of Cornwallis at Yorktown.
European adventurers, soldiers-of-fortune, and romantics like Lafayette flocked to the Continental Army during the American Revolution. A long list of European soldiers aided the Continental cause, including: Baron von Steuben, from Prussia, who is credited with shaping Washington's independent-minded army into a well-drilled fighting machine; Tadeusz Kosciuszko, the Polish patriot, who fought at Saratoga and engineered the construction of fortifications around West Point; and Casimir Pulaski, another Pole, who fought with Washington at Brandywine and Germantown.
February 23, 1778 - Baron von Steuben of Prussia arrives at Valley Forge to join the Continental Army. He then begins much needed training and drilling of Washington's troops, now suffering from poor morale resulting from cold, hunger, disease, low supplies and desertions over the long, harsh winter.
At Valley Forge, 1 out of 4 soldiers died — usually from disease, exposure, hunger—not battle
I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it..."
Gen. Pulaski's letter to George Washington
Before coming to America, Pulaski led an unsuccessful revolt of Polish forces against Russia, which controlled Poland at that time. He learned of the American cause in France from Benjamin Franklin, who encouraged him to travel to America.
PULASKI, CASIMIR , (1748?-1779), a Polish nobleman and soldier, won fame for his role with the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War in America (1775-1783). He sailed to America in 1777 to offer his services to General George Washington. Pulaski was Washington's aide-de-camp at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777. At Washington's urging, Congress made Pulaski a brigadier general. Pulaski, an expert cavalryman, organized a corps of cavalrymen that became known as Pulaski's Legion. The group performed valiantly in the South. In the siege of Savannah, which resulted in his death, he rendered distinguished service. In the assault of October 8 he commanded the entire cavalry, both French and American. During the battle of Oct. 9, 1779, he received a wound in his right thigh which proved fatal. He was taken from the battle field after the conflict to the brig Wasp for transfer to Charleston. Head winds delayed the ship for several days and Pulaski died as the ship was leaving the river. He was buried at sea, but funeral services were held afterwards in the city of Charleston.
Pulaski was born in the province of Podolia, Poland, now part of Ukraine. By an act of the United States Congress, October 11 is observed as Pulaski Day. In Illinois, the first Monday in March is celebrated as Pulaski Day.
Few American war heroes can match the stature of Thaddeus Kosciuszko. He lent his military and engineering skills, learned in the top military academies of Poland and France, to the largely untrained army of George Washington.
His fortifications and expert logistical planning stymied the British at Saratoga, leading to France’s decision to assist the Americans.
His design of the fortifications at West Point, which later became the United States Military Academy, made them so formidable that the British never attempted an attack.
Kosciuszko was moved to tears when he first read the Declaration of Independence and insisted on meeting Thomas Jefferson, who had drafted it.
Later, in his will, Kosciuszko directed Jefferson to use Kosciuszko's American assets to free and educate slaves.
Yankee Doodle went to town A-riding on a pony Stuck a feather in his hat And called it macaroni .
CHORUS : Yankee Doodle, keep it up Yankee Doodle dandy Mind the music and the step And with the girls be handy.
Father and I went down to camp Along with Captain Gooding And there we saw the men and boys As thick as hasty pudding .
There was Captain Washington Upon a slapping stallion A-giving orders to his men I guess there was a million.
The music and words go back to 15th century Holland, as a harvesting song that began, "Yanker dudel doodle down." In England, the tune was used for a nursery rhyme -- "Lucy Locket". Later, the song poked fun of Puritan church leader Oliver Cromwell, because "Yankee" was a mispronunciation of the word "English" in the Dutch language, and "doodle" refers to a dumb person. But it was a British surgeon, Richard Schuckburgh, who wrote the words we know today that ridiculed the ragtag colonists fighting in the French and Indian War. Soon after, the British troops used the song to make fun of the American colonists during the Revolutionary War. Yet it became the American colonists' rallying anthem for that war. At the time the Revolutionary War began, Americans were proud to be called Yankees and "Yankee Doodle" became the colonists most stirring anthem of defiance and liberty. During Pre-Revolutionary America when the song "Yankee Doodle" first became popular, the word macaroni in the line that reads "stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni" didn't refer to the pasta. Instead, "Macaroni" was a fancy and overdressed ("dandy") style of Italian clothing widely imitated in England at the time. So by just sticking a feather in his cap and calling himself a "Macaroni", Yankee Doodle was proudly proclaiming himself to be a country bumpkin (an awkward and unsophisticated person), because that was how the English regarded most colonials at that time. hasty pudding -- A baked dish made mostly of cornmeal, milk, and molasses. It's not pudding like Jell-O pudding, it's more of a mush. At the time, pudding was the term used for the dessert course of a meal.
If ponies rode men and grass ate cows, And cats were chased into holes by the mouse . . . If summer were spring and the other way round, Then all the world would be upside down. There is some dispute as to whether the British actually played "The World Turned Upside Down" as they surrendered at Yorktown. Tradition says yes, but at least one scholar has claimed that the earliest mention of the song being played as arms were laid down didn't occur until 1828, almost fifty years after the event. Contemporary accounts are certain, however, of the importance "Yankee Doodle" had in the ceremony. Henry Knox, Washington's chief of artillery, says that the British band was specifically not allowed to play the song. The Marquis de Lafayette writes that the French army played the song to "discomfort" the British as they marched from the fort between the French and Americans. "Yankee Doodle" was born as a jest at American soldiers. The song first appeared during the French and Indian War, sung by British troops to poke fun at the bumpkin nature of their American cousins. Americans were called Jonathan's by the British. The word yankee was probably derived from the Dutch word jankee, or little John. Early in the day, at the battles of Lexington and Concord, British troops played "Yankee Doodle" to poke fun at the Americans as they marched through the countryside. This was before they faced the withering fire of the New England militia on their way back to Boston at the end of the day. The British again played the song to deride the colonists at Bunker Hill, but by this time, the "Jonathan's" had claimed the tune as their own.
Molly Pitcher Not many women are mentioned during the Revolutionary War. If they are, they are not always titled a "heroine." However, Molly Pitcher broke the trend by not only being a war hero, but also a loyal wife and hard worker. Born to German immigrants on Oct. 13, 1754, the future hero was given the name Mary. In 1769 Mary became a servant to Dr. William Irvine. Later Mary's employer became a colonel and a brigadier general in the colonial army. He also commanded men during the Battle of Monmouth. Leaving her career as a maid, Mary married a soldier by the name of John Casper Hays. When he enlisted in the Colonial artillery in 1775, the couple shadowed one another all the way out into the battlefield. During the cruel Battle of Monmouth, Mary would bring pitchers of water from a nearby creek to the thirsty soldiers. This act of courage and kindness earned Mary the nicknames of "Sergeant" and the more popular name of "Molly Pitcher." Both were good humored and well deserved names. Molly's acts did not stop at the pitcher. When Molly's husband collapsed while manning his cannon, Molly took over for him. This brought attention to Molly from George Washington who complimented her works. Molly's happiness came to an end when her husband died in 1789. Instead of staying a widow Molly married her second husband, George McCauley. However the two were not a happy couple. Her new spouse treated Mary as a servant. It would seem all was lost for Molly Pitcher, but in 1822 the legislator of Pennsylvania awarded Mary with annuity for life to repay her for her acts of kindness. Mary died on January 22, 1832. However, the example she set for those women who think they can't will live on forever. Molly Pitcher was definitely a heroine.
Margaret Corbin Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783) During the Revolutionary War, a few courageous females served in combat alongside their husbands. When Fort Washington on Manhattan Island came under attack by the Hessians under British Command on November 16, 1776, Margaret Corbin stood at a cannon beside her husband John and handled ammunition. When he was fatally wounded, she took his place at the cannon until she herself was wounded. After the battle, her comrades took her across the Hudson River to Fort Lee, New Jersey, where she received medical care. On June 29, 1779, the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, the decision-making body of the executive branch, allocated Margaret a $30 stipend "to relieve her present necessities" and recommended that the Board of War give her a pension. Congress received a letter from the Board of War supporting the Executive Council's recommendation. Congress immediately authorized that Margaret receive, for life, one-half of the monthly pay allotted to soldiers and as a one-time allocation, a complete outfit of clothing. . Molly Corbin - Photo of illustration by Herbert Knotel Sources: Archives of the US Army Women's Museum - Photos from personal donation. Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley gained a nickname of "Molly Pitcher" in 1778 by carrying water to the men on the Revolutionary battlefield at Monmouth, New Jersey. As did Margaret Corbin, Mary Hays McCauley replaced her husband, Captain John Hays, when he collapsed at his cannon. Many women who carried water to men on the battlefield were called "Molly Pitchers," a term. At the hands of storytellers after the Revolution, "the name and imagery of "Molly Pitcher" offered a popular and precious symbol of extraordinary female bravery - and marital fidelity - in war." A more recent association is "selfless service" during war. Battle of Monmouth (Associated with Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley) - Photo of a painting by Ferris in 1892.
1779: The War Spreads Militia beat Tories at Kettle Creek, NC (2/14) American George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes on the Wabash in the Western campaign (2/25) Fairfield, CT, burned by British (7/8) Norwalk, CT, burned by British (7/11) American "Mad" Anthony Wayne captures Stony Point, NY (7/15-16) "Light Horse" Harry Lee attacks Paulus Hook, NJ (8/19) John Paul Jones , aboard the Bonhomme Richard , captures British man-of-war Serapis near English coast (9/23) Coldest Winter of the war, Washington at Morristown, NJ
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK (1752-1818), was an American frontiersman and soldier who won important victories in the Northwest Territory during the Revolutionary War in America (1775-1783). The Northwest Territory was a vast tract of land lying north of the Ohio River, south of Canada, west of Pennsylvania, and east of the Mississippi River. Clark's victories helped the American negotiators claim this area during peace talks with Britain that ended the Revolutionary War.
Told to hold the West, Clark did. He fought and retreated throughout the “backwoods” of The United States.
1780: The Campaign for the South British capture Charleston, SC (5/12) French troops arrive at Newport, RI, to aid the American cause (7/11) Benedict Arnold's plans to cede West Point to the British discovered (9/25) King's Mountain, SC: battle lasted 65 minutes. American troops led by Isaac Shelby and John Sevier defeated Maj. Patrick Ferguson and one-third of General Cornwallis' army. (10/7) Washington names Nathanael Greene commander of the Southern Army (10/14)
In Spring 1756, while Morgan was taking supplies to Fort Chiswell, he irritated a British Lieutenant who struck him with the flat of his sword. Morgan then knocked the officer out with one punch. Morgan was court-martialed and sentenced to 500 lashes. Morgan later always maintained that the drummer had miscounted and he had only been given 499 lashes, so the British still 'owed him one more lash.' In 1758, Morgan joined a local company of rangers serving the British Army. It was recommended that he be given the rank of Captain, but only an Ensign's commission was available, which he accepted. As he and two escorts were returning from Fort Edwards with a dispatch for the commanding officer at Winchester, Virginia, Indians ambushed them at Hanging Rock. The escorts were killed, while Morgan was seriously wounded by a bullet that hit the back of his neck, knocked out all his teeth in his left jaw and exited his cheek. Morgan managed to stay in his saddle and ride away.
In1753, when the French and Indian War, Marion joined a militia company led by his older brother Gabriel. In the Cherokee War of 1760-61, Marion served in Captain William Moultrie's company where he proved to be an excellent horseman and marksman. After the French and Indian War, Marion established himself as a planter in St. John's Parish and in 1773, bought a plantation on the Santee River. In 1775, he was elected to the South Carolina Provincial Congress.
Born: January 29, 1756; Leesylvania, Virginia Died: March 25, 1818; Cumberland Island, Georgia
Henry Lee was born on January 29, 1756 in Leesylvania, Virginia. In June 1776, he was commissioned a Captain in the Virginia Light Cavalry. In January 1778, he was promoted to Major. Lee next received commendation for his actions at Paulus Hook, New Jersey in August 1779. In the Fall of 1780, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel, 'Lee's Legion' was formed and ordered to South Carolina. Lee's Legion was effective at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in March, 1781. In a series of detached actions, Lee captured Fort Watson, Fort Motte, Fort Granby and Fort Galphin. He next supported sieges at Augusta and Ninety-Six. Lee again distinguished himself at Eutaw Springs on September 8, 1781. Lee was present at Yorktown , Virginia in October, 1781.
1781: All But Done Mutiny of unpaid Pennsylvania soldiers (1/1) Patriot Morgan overwhelming defeated British Col. Tarleton at Cowpens, SC (1/17) Articles of Confederation adopted (3/2) British win costly victory at Guilford Courthouse, NC (3/15) Cornwallis clashed with Greene at Guilford Courthouse, NC (5/15) Americans recapture Augusta, GA (6/6) "Mad" Anthony Wayne repulsed at Green Springs Farm, VA (7/6) French fleet drove British naval force from Chesapeake Bay (9/15) Cornwallis surrounded on land and sea by Americans and French and surrenders at Yorktown, VA (10/19)
JOHN HANSON Discover the amazing truth about our nation's first president . George Washington is revered as the father of our country. He was not, however, our first president. Washington was the first president elected under the Constitution. But the United States existed as a nation for 13 years before the Constitution was enacted, held together by the Articles of Confederation. During this time- John Hanson of Maryland was elected by Congress as the first President of the United States! Hanson only served a year, and is now largely forgotten, but at the time, a colleague wrote to congratulate him on filling "The most important seat in the United States." That letter was signed… George Washington.
It's important to note that America's earliest cartoons were political in nature. The first cartoon appeared in Ben Franklin's newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754. It appeared as part of an editorial by Franklin commenting on 'the present disunited state of the British Colonies.'
The woodcut drawing entitled 'Join or Die' pictures a divided snake in eight pieces representing as many colonial governments. The drawing was based on the popular superstition that a snake that had been cut in two would come to life if the pieces were joined before sunset. The drawing immediately caught the public's fancy and was reproduced in other newspapers.
The following letter was published in the Pennsylvania Journal on December 27, 1775. It was signed by "An American Guesser," recently identified as Benjamin Franklin. Written after the Revolution began but before the Declaration of Independence was signed, it offers a unique glimpse into Franklin's observant mind . The Rattlesnake as a Symbol of America I observed on one of the drums belonging to the marines now raising, there was painted a Rattle-Snake, with this modest motto under it, "Don't tread on me." As I know it is the custom to have some device on the arms of every country, I supposed this may have been intended for the arms of America; and as I have nothing to do with public affairs, and as my time is perfectly my own, in order to divert an idle hour, I sat down to guess what could have been intended by this uncommon device — I took care, however, to consult on this occasion a person who is acquainted with heraldry, from whom I learned, that it is a rule among the learned of that science "That the worthy properties of the animal, in the crest-born, shall be considered," and, "That the base ones cannot have been intended;" he likewise informed me that the ancients considered the serpent as an emblem of wisdom, and in a certain attitude of endless duration — both which circumstances I suppose may have been had in view. Having gained this intelligence, and recollecting that countries are sometimes represented by animals peculiar to them, it occurred to me that the Rattle-Snake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America, and may therefore have been chosen, on that account, to represent her. But then "the worldly properties" of a Snake I judged would be hard to point out. This rather raised than suppressed my curiosity, and having frequently seen the Rattle-Snake, I ran over in my mind every property by which she was distinguished, not only from other animals, but from those of the same genus or class of animals, endeavoring to fix some meaning to each, not wholly inconsistent with common sense.
I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eyelids. She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shown and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal. Conscious of this, she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her. Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America? The poison of her teeth is the necessary means of digesting her food, and at the same time is certain destruction to her enemies. This may be understood to intimate that those things which are destructive to our enemies, may be to us not only harmless, but absolutely necessary to our existence. I confess I was wholly at a loss what to make of the rattles, 'till I went back and counted them and found them just thirteen, exactly the number of the Colonies united in America; and I recollected too that this was the only part of the Snake which increased in numbers. Perhaps it might be only fancy, but, I conceited the painter had shown a half formed additional rattle, which, I suppose, may have been intended to represent the province of Canada. 'Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together, so as never to be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living. The Rattlesnake is solitary, and associates with her kind only when it is necessary for their preservation. In winter, the warmth of a number together will preserve their lives, while singly, they would probably perish. The power of fascination attributed to her, by a generous construction, may be understood to mean, that those who consider the liberty and blessings which America affords, and once come over to her, never afterwards leave her, but spend their lives with her. She strongly resembles America in this, that she is beautiful in youth and her beauty increaseth with her age, "her tongue also is blue and forked as the lightning, and her abode is among impenetrable rocks." An American Guesser In a 1784 letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin compared the eagle with the turkey as a symbol for America.
HOPE LODGE HISTORIC SITE One of the finest examples of Georgian Architecture, located minutes from Philadelphia 553 S. Bethlehem Pike • Fort Washington, PA 19034
November 5 (Sat) 10am-4pm Whitemarsh Encampment Meet re-enactors portraying the common soldiers, officers, camp followers, and sutlers of the American and British troops during the Revolutionary War. Step back in time as the grounds and 18th century barn are transformed into a Revolutionary War field hospital. Colonial crafts, activities, special tours, dirt redoubts, military skirmishes, and drills await. Admission charged.
Lydia Darragh Lydia Darragh shares much in common with Betsy Ross. Both were Quaker woman who supported the war effort and both were read out of their meetings because of that support. The place of both in history is challenged because there is no concrete proof of their stories -- instead, a family member brought each one's memorable act to light. When the British occupied Philadelphia on September 26, 1777, Darragh was a housewife living on Second Street. The home of her neighbor John Cadwalader was occupied by General Howe for use as his headquarters during the occupation. (Cadwalader, a member of the Philadelphia Light Horse, would figure heroically in a skirmish at Whitemarsh.) Shortly after the British arrived, Major John Andre knocked on Darragh's door and ordered her to move out of the house so that it could be used by British officers. Lydia demurred as she had two children to take care of and no place to go. She had already sent her two youngest children to stay with relatives. She decided to visit Lord Howe personally and ask for his permission to remain in her house. On the way, she met a British officer who serendipitously turned out to be a second cousin, Captain Barrington, from Ireland. Due to Barrington's intervention, Darragh was allowed to stay in her home provided she kept a room available for British officers to hold meetings. So it was, on the night of December 2 that her house served as a conference center for top British Officers. The officers listened attentively as Howe fine-tuned his plans for a major offensive against Whitemarsh on the 4th. General Howe, acting on information from his spies, heard that the Americans were moving to a new camp. He wanted to catch the Americans out in the open. Also listening attentively was Lydia Darragh, who had positioned herself in a linen closet abutting the meeting room. Among those at Whitemarsh was Darragh's oldest son, Charles, who was serving with the 2nd Pennsylvania regiment. As the meeting was breaking up, Darragh sneaked back to bed and feigned sleep. Major John Andre knocked on the door at two different intervals, but she did not respond. On his third knock, she opened the door and acknowledged Andre who told her the officers were through with their meeting.
Lydia Darragh had two days to warn the Americans at Whitemarsh of the upcoming attack. She concocted a ruse. She went to Howe's headquarters and requested a pass from her cousin to go and get flour at a mill in Frankford. The request itself was not that unusual, as the poor were frequently given passes to purchase goods in the countryside. Darragh set out early on the morning of the 3rd carrying an empty flour sack. She walked several miles through the snow before heading toward the Rising Sun Tavern, which was north of the city. According to her daughter, Ann, shortly before she reached the tavern she ran into Thomas Craig, a member of the Pennsylvania militia and acquaintance of her son Charles. She passed on her news of the British plans to Craig, who promised he would take it to General Washington himself. But Elias Boudinot, Commissary of Prisoners, who was dining at the Rising Sun Tavern, told a different story. "After Dinner, a little poor looking insignificant Old Woman came in & solicited leave to go into the Country to buy some flour -- While we were asking some Questions, she walked up to me and put into my hands a dirty old needle book, with various small pockets in it." Boudinot told the woman to wait for the answer to her request, but she left in the interim. Boudinot poked through the book failing to find anything useful until he got to the last pocket where he "found a piece of paper rolled up into the form of a pipe shank. On unrolling it I found information that General Howe was coming out the next morning with 5,000 men, 13 pieces of cannon, baggage wagons, and 11 boat on wheels. On comparing this with other information, I found it true and immediately rode post to headquarters." Boudinot's telling of the story appears in his private journal. It differs from Ann Darragh's telling of the story in many details, particularly who transferred the message to Washington. Ann's account comes with a kicker, though. It was obvious to the British that the Americans had been well prepared for their attack and further knew when they were coming. Somebody had leaked word and the British were looking for the source. Several suspects were questioned including Lydia Darragh. On December 9th, Major Andre, the spymaster who would recruit Benedict Arnold to the British side, knocked on Darragh's door once more. Andre asked Darragh if anyone had been up on the night of the 2nd. She told Andre that everyone had been asleep early. Andre believed her. He left saying, "One thing is certain the enemy had notice of our coming, were prepared for us, and we marched back like a parcel of fools. The walls must have ears." The Quaker housewife had outwitted the British spymaster.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be a member of the American army on that foggy October morning in 1777? The Annual Battle of Germantown was reenacted on the grounds of Cliveden and Upsala on Saturday, October 1, 2005. Hundreds of colorfully costumed re-enactors took the field on the site of this pivotal Revolutionary War Battle, where Washington's troops fought bravely through dense fog and smoke for hours before they were defeated and withdrew to Valley Forge for healing and regrouping . Battle Reenactments (12 noon and 3 p.m.) Nearly four hundred uniformed troops participate in the recreation of The Battle of Germantown, a pivotal battle of the Philadelphia Campaign of the American Revolution. Follow along with the action as author Tom McGuire provides an entertaining and educational play-by-play. In October, 1777, about 120 British infantrymen barricaded themselves inside a massive stone house on the Germantown Road to fend off an attack from thousands of American forces commanded by George Washington. The British successfully defended the house known as Cliveden for several hours, causing serious American losses while sustaining few casualties themselves. Today, Cliveden's narrated Battle reenactments attract thousands of visitors each year. The Battle of Germantown Reenactment October 1st
Deborah Sampson Gannet Deborah Sampson (originally Samson, but history has inserted the "p") was the first women to enlisted in the Revolutionary War. Under the name Robert Shurtleff (also spelled Shirtliff or Shirtlieff), Deborah endured two battle injuries. Her identity remained a secret until it was discovered by a doctor following her second injury. Deborah was honorably discharged from the army.
Nancy Morgan Hart is the only woman to have a Georgia county named for her. Hart County, carved from Elbert, Franklin and Wilkes counties in 1853, honors the legendary frontierswoman. Hart was not born in Georgia, nor did she die here, but the daring exploits of this fierce Revolutionary War patriot captured the imagination of her contemporaries and became part of the state’s folklore and history. As befits a legend, Hart is said to be related to pioneer Daniel Boone, Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan, and by marriage to Senators Henry Clay and Thomas Hart Benton. As also befits a legend, her physical appearance was both dramatic and imposing: red hair, freckles, six feet tall, cross-eyed, and scars of small pox evident on her face. Nephew Thomas Hart Benton described her as muscular and erect at sixty. She was a hard swearer and a sharpshooter who could handle a rifle as well as any man. A mother of eight, her knowledge of frontier medicine made her a sought-after midwife. “ Poor Nancy, she was a honey of a Patriot, but the devil of a wife.” – A Neighbor
She was born around 1735 in North Carolina. She married Benjamin Hart and they migrated first to South Carolina, and then to the Georgia back country where they settled along the banks of the Broad River in Wilkes County in 1771. It was a time of civil strife so great as to be called the “War of Extermination,” and most of the women and children were relocated for their safety. Nancy Hart, however, chose to remain with her husband. Her most celebrated escapade occurred while Benjamin Hart was working in fields some distance from their house. Five or six Tories appeared and demanded that she prepare a meal for them. In the course of that preparation she managed to seize their rifles (after getting them tipsy with corn whiskey according to one version) and threatened to shoot the first man who moved. As one advanced on her anyway, she killed him, quickly picked up another gun and wounded another. Hart and his neighbors, who had rushed to the cabin upon being summoned by one of the children, suggested shooting the remaining captives. His wife, however, is reported to have said that shooting was too good for Tories. They were taken to the woods and hanged. A gang of workers grading a railroad bed about half a mile from the site of the Hart cabin discovered what may have been the remains of the hapless fellows when they dug up six skeletons in 1912.
“ Poor Nancy, she was a honey of a Patriot, but the devil of a wife.” – A Neighbor Little is known about the early life of Nancy Morgan, but she is believed to have been born in North Carolina. She and her husband, Benjamin Hart, moved first to South Carolina around 1771, and then to Georgia where they settled on the Broad River, near Elberton. During the Revolutionary War the spying and other exploits of Nancy Hart, a fierce patriot, earned her a reputation for combativeness that the neighboring Cherokees named her “Wahatchee,” or “War Woman.” The most famous episode involved varying accounts about a group of Tories who invaded her home. She served food and liquor to catch them off guard, then killed one, wounded another and held the rest at gunpoint until her husband and neighbors arrived. Nancy Hart also lived in Brunswick and Clarke County. In 1853 the newly formed Hart County was named for her. It is the only county in Georgia named for a woman.
Phillis Wheatley As a slave, Phillis Wheatley had no rights and few privileges. She was a house slave for Susannah Wheatley who taught her English. Susannah also helped Phillis learn to read and write Latin, literature, and poetry. At the age of fourteen, Phillis wrote the poem "On the Arrival of the Ships of War, and Landing of the Troops." Her poems were collected and published by her friend and mentor, Susannah. Phillis was released from slavery after Susannah’s death. She continued to write poetry about the war, new nation, and African heritage throughout her life. She died at age 31, in 1784. She was also a patriot and admirer of George Washington, about whom she wrote: A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine, With gold unfading, Washington! be thine.
YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA October 19, 1781 - Surrender at Yorktown
In a stunning reversal of fortune that may signal the end of fighting in the American colonies, Charles Lord Cornwallis today signed orders surrendering his British Army to a combined French and American force outside the Virginia tobacco port of Yorktown. Cornwallis' second-in-command, Charles O'Hara, attempted to deliver Cornwallis's sword to French general, Comte de Rochambeau. But Rochambeau directed O'Hara to American General George Washington, who coolly steered the British officer to Washington's own second in command, Major General Benjamin Lincoln. Thus ended a three-week old siege which had begun with the miraculous convergence of French and American forces on the Chesapeake Bay. With just a brief window of opportunity to pin Cornwallis in Virginia, Washington and Rochambeau raced southward from New York to link up with the French fleet under Admiral Comte de Grasse in Chesapeake Bay. They arrived just in time to corner the British, who were anticipating relief that never came from either General Henry Clinton or the British fleet. Off shore, the French fleet effectively blocked aid from Cornwallis. On shore, the incessant shelling of the French and American guns made life miserable for the British troops. When a British officer finally appeared with a white flag on the parapet surrounding Yorktown, the French and American guns fell quiet. The Continental forces let go a momentous cheer until Washington ordered it silenced. "Let history huzzah for you," he was heard to shout. Cornwallis' surrender ended a disastrous southern campaign for the British army. Britain's strategy—an attempt to incorporate loyalist support with British efforts—had begun with high hopes and a victory in Charleston, South Carolina just a year and a half before. But the plan backfired as loyalist and Patriot forces in the south fought a series of savage fights that left both sides bloodied, but only the Patriots unbowed. Cornwallis limped into Virginia in late summer trailed by a force led by the The Marquis de Lafayette, long a supporter of American efforts both as a soldier in this country, and as an advocate for the cause in France. As Cornwallis' 8,000 man force became prisoners-of-war, the British band played the The World Turned Upside Down, a tune that underscored the strange turn of events which had brought defeat at the hands of the provincial forces of America, to the most powerful country in Europe. As the "world war" engendered by the American Revolution continues to plague British foreign policy, it looks more and more likely that King George and Parliament will cut its losses in the colonies and begin a withdrawal of troops. After six and half years of fighting, the war may be finally over.
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, October 19th, 1781 John Trumbull
Off shore, the French fleet effectively blocked aid from Cornwallis. On shore, the incessant shelling of the French and American guns made life miserable for the British troops. When a British officer finally appeared with a white flag on the parapet surrounding Yorktown, the French and American guns fell quiet. The Continental forces let go a momentous cheer until Washington ordered it silenced. "Let history huzzah for you," he was heard to shout. Cornwallis' surrender ended a disastrous southern campaign for the British army. Britain's strategy—an attempt to incorporate loyalist support with British efforts—had begun with high hopes and a victory in Charleston, South Carolina just a year and a half before. But the plan backfired as loyalist and Patriot forces in the south fought a series of savage fights that left both sides bloodied, but only the Patriots unbowed. Cornwallis limped into Virginia in late summer trailed by a force led by the The Marquis de Lafayette, long a supporter of American efforts both as a soldier in this country, and as an advocate for the cause in France. As Cornwallis' 8,000 man force became prisoners-of-war, the British band played the The World Turned Upside Down, a tune that underscored the strange turn of events which had brought defeat at the hands of the provincial forces of America, to the most powerful country in Europe. As the "world war" engendered by the American Revolution continues to plague British foreign policy, it looks more and more likely that King George and Parliament will cut its losses in the colonies and begin a withdrawal of troops. After six and half years of fighting, the war may be finally over.
Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805)British general and colonial governor, served with distinction in American Revolution, won battle of Brandywine, captured Philadelphia in 1777 and Charleston in 1780, forced to surrender to Washington at Yorktown in 1781 ending the war.
The movie character of General Charles Cornwallis is based on the real-life Lt. General Charles Earl Cornwallis . Just as in the movie, General Cornwallis oversaw the British Army's operations in the Carolinas in 1780-81. In the movie, General Cornwallis is portrayed as a bit older, in his 50's, than he really was. Cornwallis was in his early 40's during the American Revolution. He is also portrayed to be someone pompous. This may not have really been the case, since he endeared himself to his men by often being at the front lines in harm's way along side them, rather than hanging back and watching the battle from the safety of afar. Although General Cornwallis was part of the force that captured Charleston . He was not present at the surrender and occupation, because he was in the backcountry carrying on support operation. Although, the scene of he and Colonel Tavington in Charleston is not dated and could have been set several days after the first occupation, when he was in the city receiving orders.
General Cornwallis was the commander at the Battle of Camden defeating Maj. General Horatio Gates as in the movie. He also found his efforts to move into North Carolina frustrated because of the various militia bands that continually harassed his supply lines and outposts. Cornwallis also never met in truce with any of the militia leaders as he does with Benjamin Martin . Though Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton was unsuccessful in tracking down Francis Marion , he did succeed in surprising Thomas Sumter . As a result, there is no indication that there was as much tension between Cornwallis and Tarleton as is portrayed between Cornwallis and Colonel Tavington over Benjamin Martin's elusiveness. In fact, Cornwallis supported Tarleton even after Tarleton was routed by Brig. General Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens . They maintained a long friendship that only broke up many years later over conflicting personal memoirs (and you thought that was a 20th century problem). General Cornwallis was present at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse , which served as partial basis for the unnamed climactic battle in the movie. However, at that battle, he held the field because Maj. General Nathanael Greene withdrew first, but Cornwallis did receive so many casualties that he was unable to pursue Greene.
Lastly, Cornwallis did claim illness at Yorktown , sending his second-in-command Brig. General Charles O'Hara to surrender to General George Washington .
General George Washington Resigning his Commission to Congress as Commander in Chief of the Army at Annapolis, Maryland, December 23rd, 1783 John Trumbull
1782 and Beyond Lord North resigned as British Prime Minister (3/20/82) British evacuated Savannah, GA (7/11/82) British sign Articles of Peace (11/30/82) British leave Charleston, SC (12/14/82) Congress ratifies preliminary peace treaty (4/19/83) Treaty of Paris (9/3/83) British troops leave New York (11/25/83) Washington Resigns as Commander (12/23/83) U.S. Constitution ratified (9/17/87)
The American Peace commissioners, left to right: John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin (B. Franklin's grandson and secretary). Unfinished painting (because the British commissioners refused to pose) by Benjamin West.
American Flags—not quite Old Glory yet! American ships in New England waters flew a "Liberty Tree" flag in 1775. It shows a green pine tree on a white background. The Continental Navy used this flag upon its inception. The "Grand Union" shown here is also called The "Cambridge Flag." It was flown over Prospect Hill, overlooking Boston, January 1, 1776. In the canton (the square in the corner) are the crosses of Saint Andrew and Saint George, borrowed from the British flag.
The "Betsy Ross" flag. According to some sources, this flag was first used in 1777. It was used by the Third Maryland Regiment. There was no official pattern for how the stars were to be arranged. The flag was carried at the Battle of Cowpens, which took place on January 17, 1781, in South Carolina. The actual flag from that battle hangs in the Maryland State House. At the Battle of Bennington in August 1777 were two famous flags. One, shown here, is called the Bennington Flag or the Fillmore Flag. Nathaniel Fillmore took this flag home from the battlefield. The flag was passed down through generations of Fillmores, including Millard, and today it can be seen at Vermont's Bennington Museum.
In the post-war years, Americans were rightly proud of their wartime accomplishments, and proud of the new republic they had created. In defeating Great Britain and gaining their independence, Americans felt that they had also defeated a corrupt, European set of social, artistic and political values. They were very conscious of the need to build the new republic on a new set of values in which virtue would be the guiding principle. The example of George Washington resigning from the army and returning, like the Roman leader Cincinnatus, to his farm was perhaps the most notable display of the values of this virtuous society. Washington's life in general became a shining example of proper behavior in the new republic with the publication, in 1800, of the Life of Washington , just after his death, by Parson Weems. It was here that first appeared the story of young George confessing to chopping down his father's cherry tree.
Although he sounds like a fire and brimstone kind of preacher, Edwards was brilliant and considered open-minded for his time. He starts the Great Awakening in New England along with George Whitefield and founds Princeton.
Wealthy, well-educated, married, and in love, living in Quincy, MA, they called each other Dearest Friend in their letters, and were a true partnership; however, John was told to “remember the ladies,” in the set-up of the new government. “ Remember, all men would by tyrants if you gave them a chance ”, but apparently he forgot.
Elizabeth Freeman was probably born in 1742, to enslaved African parents in Claverack, New York. At the age of six months she was purchased, along with her sister, by John Ashley of Sheffield, Massachusetts, whom she served until she was nearly forty. By then she was known as "Mum Bett," and had a young daughter known as "Little Bett." Her husband had been killed while fighting in the Revolutionary War. One day, the mistress angrily tried to hit Mum Bett's sister with a heated kitchen shovel. Mum Bett intervened and received the blow instead. Furious, she left the house and refused to return. When Colonel Ashley appealed to the law for her return, she called on Theodore Sedgewick, a lawyer from Stockbridge who had anti-slavery sentiments, and asked for his help to sue for her freedom. Mum Bett had listened carefully while the wealthy men she served talked about the Bill of Rights and the new state constitution, and she decided that if all people were born free and equal, then the laws must apply to her, too. Sedgewick agreed to take the case, which was joined by another of Ashley's slaves, a man called Brom. Brom & Bett v. Ashley was argued before a county court. The jury ruled in favor of Bett and Brom, making them the first enslaved African Americans to be freed under the Massachusetts constitution of 1780, and ordered Ashley to pay them thirty shillings and costs. This municipal case set a precedent that was affirmed by the state courts in the Quock Walker case and ultimately led to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.
Elizabeth Freeman was probably born in 1742, to enslaved African parents in Claverack, New York. At the age of six months she was purchased, along with her sister, by John Ashley of Sheffield, Massachusetts, whom she served until she was nearly forty. By then she was known as "Mum Bett," and had a young daughter known as "Little Bett." Her husband had been killed while fighting in the Revolutionary War.
After the ruling, despite pleas from Colonel Ashley that she return and work for him for wages, Mum Bett went to work for the Sedgewicks. She stayed with them as their housekeeper for years, eventually setting up house with her daughter. She became a much sought-after nurse and midwife. When Elizabeth Freeman was nearly 70 years old, Susan Ridley Sedgewick painted a miniature portrait of her in watercolor on ivory. Sedgewick was the young wife of Theodore Sedgewick, Jr., whose father had represented Freeman in her claim for freedom from slavery under the Bill of Rights and the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. Elizabeth Freeman died in 1829, a free woman, surrounded by her children and grandchildren in the free state of Massachusetts that she had helped to create. One of her great-grandchildren was W.E.B. DuBois, born almost forty years later in Great Barrington, the very town where her historic case was argued. The tombstone of Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett), the African American woman whose suit for freedom helped bring about the end of slavery in Massachusetts, can still be seen in the old burial ground of Stockbridge. It reads: "She was born a slave and remained a slave for nearly thirty years. She could neither read nor write yet in her own sphere she had no superior or equal. She neither wasted time nor property. She never violated a trust nor failed to perform a duty. In every situation of domestic trial, she was the most efficient helper, and the tenderest friend. Good mother, farewell."
BENJAMIN BANNEKER was probably the best-known African American in early United States history. He was an astronomer, farmer, mathematician, and surveyor.
In 1791, Banneker was an assistant to Major Andrew Ellicott, the surveyor appointed by President George Washington to lay out the boundaries of the District of Columbia. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson had recommended Banneker for this work.
Banneker was born on Nov. 9, 1731, near Baltimore. His grandmother, an Englishwoman, taught him to read and write. For several winters, he attended a small school open to blacks and whites. There he developed a keen interest in mathematics and science. Later, while farming, Banneker pursued his mathematical studies and taught himself astronomy. In 1753, he completed a clock built entirely of wood, each gear carved by hand. His only models were a pocket watch and a picture of a clock. The clock kept almost perfect time for over 50 years.
From 1791 to 1796, Banneker made all the astronomical and tide calculations and weather predictions for a yearly almanac. Banneker sent Jefferson a copy of his first almanac. With it he sent a letter calling for the abolition of slavery and a liberal attitude toward blacks. Banneker's skills impressed Jefferson. Jefferson sent a copy of the almanac to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris as evidence of the talent of blacks. Opponents of slavery in the United States and England also used the almanacs as evidence of the abilities of black people.
The publishers of Banneker's almanacs printed contributions by prominent Americans in addition to his material. In the 1793 almanac, for example, the surgeon and statesman Benjamin Rush proposed the appointment of a U.S. secretary of peace. Banneker probably contributed a few proverbs, essays, and poems to the almanac. He died on Oct. 25, 1806.