May 17, 1774 British Thomas Gage takes command of His Majesty’s troop and becomes the governor of Massachusetts
Gage was in Boston to enforce the Coercive Acts
Militias in New England began to drill
“ Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
As word of Lexington and Concord reached Virginia, Washington prepared to leave for the meeting of the Second Continental Congress. Unsure of what would happen next the 43 year old planter packed his old red and blue uniform he had worn fighting under General Braddock in the French and Indian War. Is was a wise decision! Congress elected Washington to lead the new Continental Army as Commander-in-Chief.
The committee of five presented the Declaration of Independence to the second Continental Congress on July 2 nd . The Second Continental Congress voted to accept the Declaration of Independence on July 4 th
When Washington arrived in Massachusetts to take command of the army he found 14,500 men camping like hobos around Boston. He stated they “regarded an officer as no more than a broomstick” Washington had to attack the discipline problem with his troops first!
The city of Boston is surrounded by Patriots so the British soldiers rather than risk a bombardment decide to evacuate the two. Two weeks later the entire British army along with 1,000 loyalists leave for Canada. Patriots now turned against anyone suspected of siding with Britain: pelted with eggs, tar and feathered, and forced on their knees
British landed 32,000 soldiers on Staten Island led by General William Howe Washington’s 19,000 ill-trained soldiers were no match for the British and the Hessians Teacher Nathan Hale was captured and hung as a spy – “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” The Continental Army was driven through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania As the weather turned cold and early hopes faded, the Army melted away to only 3,000 Why was the number of Continental troops dwindling?
Why was there a reluctance to enlist African Americans? Who was reluctant?
Washington knew that he had to do something quickly or the revolution would fall apart. On December 23, 1776, he gathered his remaining troops together for a reading of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense The words inspired the troops and Washington revealed a plan to attack the British and Hessians at their winter camp
While the Hessians were celebrating Christmas with drinking and eating Washington led his troops during the late night across the Delaware in small boats and then by foot on icy dark roads toward Trenton
The Hessians awoke to find themselves under attack and after a brief and confused battle surrendered Washington stated “This is a glorious day for our country!” Washington pushed the British troops out of Princeton.
The British would take Albany, New York and gain control of the Hudson River to cut the New England colonies off from the Middle Colonies General William Howe would lead his troops upriver from New York City General John Burgoyne would lead 8,000 troops south from Canada To capture the upper part of the Hudson River Colonel Barry St. Leger would move west from Lake Ontario
Until the victory at Saratoga France had remained officially neutral
Because they hated the British and to stop them from being powerful, France (1777) and Spain (1779) became allies with the colonies
After trying to dislodge Howe from Philadelphia, The capital Washington retired with his army for the winter to Valley Forge, PA Men lacked food, shelter, clothing and shoes due to profiteering But even with a large amount of deserts the army made it through the winter