The Intolerable Acts were drawing both sides closer to the war.
Minutemen were volunteers ready to fight at any minute.
In April 1775 General Thomas Gage thought the Americans were hiding ammunition near Concord.
I’ll be sneaky…but I stink at it
Hoping to catch them by surprise he left in the middle of the night but the Sons of Liberty were watching. One if by land - 2 if by sea.
I’ll warn them!
They sent 3 men to warn the colonists that “The British Are Coming!”, the most famous being Paul Revere . The other 2 were Samuel Prescott and Dawes. Prescott was captured in Concord.
That’s one important shot!
April 19th, 1775 the Redcoats meets the colonists in Lexington. Shots rang out and this scuffle was nicknamed “ The Shot Heard Round the World .” The British had won at Lexington.
When the British got to Concord they found nothing . They had been warned - so they moved all the ammo!
Well that idea was horrible!
On their way back to Boston the colonists lined up for 19 miles to shoot at them. Good for them that usually only 1 in 300 musket balls made their mark! The Americans had won at Concord.
At the end of the day 73 British were killed and the struggle for America had begun!
The colonists needed gunpowder and ammunition so Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys planned a surprise attack!
They attacked Ft. Ticonderoga on May 10th, 1775 and the British were caught totally off guard because they had not heard of Lexington and Concord and forced to surrender and hand over their ammunition .
Ok you can have it!!!!
They would use these weapons / cannons against them later in other battles! Hah! American victory.
Surprisingly a 14th colony was suggested and it was Canada but obviously that did not work out.
Battle of Bunker Hill
While this battle was going on also on May 10th the Second Continental Congress was meeting and drafted the Olive Branch Petition which was eventually rejected!
I’m not gonna let go! - too much money!
King George 3rd felt that if he let America go all of his ideas would fall , which is why he clung to it!
We love him!
They also elected George Washington as the commander of the Continental Army.
Following the leader…
He was chosen because many believed a great leader was going to be the key to success in this revolution!
He is the only American who ever lived that had the choice at the end of this revolution to become king .
His personality was mixed, with him being tough , graceful, powerful , bold, shy , and had a major temper .
The colonists built their forts on Breed’s and Bunker Hill to be able to shoot at British Ships in Boston Harbor.
Why are we not winning??
On June 17th the British began to move up the hill, the first and second attempt did not work out.
Don’t waste the ammo!
On the third attempt the Americans were getting low on ammunition so General Putnum ordered them to not fire until they see the whites of their eyes .
This was hard of course because of the guns they were using the soldiers would normally only see smoke during the battle.
The British also had a uniform designed with a stock around their neck that kept them from turning their head and keep them focused . Bad Idea.
That was supposed to be easy!
The British eventually take the hill but the redcoats lost 1,000 men in the process.
This is going to be a long war!
This was known as the first major battle of the American Revolution and proved the Americans could fight bravely and that the British were NOT easily defeated .
Declaration and In-Between.
While the Revolution was underway a man named Thomas Paine was gaining support for the American Cause through his pamphlet Common Sense . Within a few months he had 120,000 copies (A LOT back then!) printed.
Cause he’s smart!
Also Thomas Jefferson was appointed to write the Declaration of Independence . On July 4th , 1776 it was approved!
Jefferson’s original draft condemned ( said no) to the slave trade.
We are just recycling…
While the Declaration of Independence was being drafted, the Sons of Liberty took it upon themselves to take the statue of King George 3rd and melted it into bullets , to use later.
Battle of Long Island
Most of the early battles were located in the New England colonies they eventually shifted to the Middle Colonies by the middle of 1776.
The British wanted New York, and under the command of General Howe and his navy , the British arrive on August 27th.
They wanted cities by the coast so that they could control bringing in supplies .
Not going well….
They attack Washington’s troops at Long Island. For 2 days they fight until the Americans retreat from New York into Pennsylvania , quite defeated!
Losing is NO FUN!
Trenton / Princeton
Washington now had a standing army which means an army all the time. Even though he now had a constant army, the troop’s morale was low . You only had to stay 1 year and that time was getting close!
I wanna go home!
One way Washington tried to stay ahead of the British was to use spies . They would hide messages in their buttons and women would also help by working in British homes.
So since the enlistment year was about to end Washington decided to have a last ditch effort to keep his troops.
Washington on the day after Christmas , 1776 decided to launch a surprise attack on the Hessians stationed in Trenton , New Jersey.
Surprises are SCARY!
He crossed the Delaware river in small boats and caught the Hessians by surprise , mostly because they were all intoxicated . He ended up capturing over 900 Hessians, and not losing even one man!
A week later, Washington launched another surprise attack on the British. He had his men light fires to make them think they were sleeping, and in the middle of the night…attack! American win.
These two victories gave the Americans new hope in their war! These victories also guaranteed that many more men would stay and many of them would re-enlist !