The American revolutionary war, also known as the American War of Independence, was fought between 1775 and 1783. The war ended two centuries of colonial rule by the British in most of the North American colonies. The result was a free nation that had achieved independence from the thirteen major colonies. The revolutionaries set up a Continental Army that would help them fight the more superior British army, who had a strong naval force that had captured most of the American coastal cities. In the victory of Saratoga, the French joined forces with Americans against the British and this proved pivotal in the overall success in the war. Later in the war, Spain and Netherlands allied with Americans to help defeat the British. The treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 to bring the war to an end and recognize the United States as a sovereign state. Here are the major battles of the revolutionary war that shaped the independence of the United States
1. Battle of Monmouth (June of 1778)
The Battle of Monmouth was fought on June 28th, 1778 in Monmouth, New Jersey. General George Washington had ordered Charles Lee, who was second in command, to take a small force of the Continental Army ahead of him and engage the redcoats until Washington could assemble the rest of the army from Valley Forge. After several hours of engaging with the British, Charles Lee ordered the forces to retreat from the battlefield. Washington met up with Lee on the road near Monmouth Courthouse, New Jersey, to his great surprise. What ensued was a bitter fury between Washington and Lee. Finally, Washington decided to march his troops as Lee reluctantly agreed to lead the advance party. Americans attacked the retreating British army and the war resulted in many being killed and wounded. Americans emerged victorious in the war, and Washington was lauded for his courage and bravery throughout the war.
2. Battle of King's Mountain (October of 1780)
The Battle of King’s Mountain in South Carolina was fought between a Patriot militia against the Loyalist army in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. The battle was an emphatic victory for the Patriot militia and one of the bloodiest battles in the war. The Loyalists under Major Patrick Ferguson were unwilling to surrender after the attack by the Patriot militia led by Colonel William Campbell. As a result, the Loyalist army considered a suicidal charge down the mountain which was unsuccessful as they were cut down in a hail of bullets. The Loyalists suffered 157 killed, 163 wounded, and 698 captured while the Patriots suffered just 28 killed and 60 wounded.
3. Battle of Fort Ticonderoga (May of 1775)
Fort Ticonderoga was an important point of access to both Canada and the Hudson River valley during the earlier French and Indian Wars. The Fort was located in Lake Champlain in northeastern New York. On May 10, 1775, Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont joined forces and launched a dawn attack on the fort. This came as a surprise to the British who were sleeping at the time. The battle of fort Ticonderoga was a small-scale conflict but one that was an important first victory of the American forces in the revolution. The continental army also acquired much-needed artillery to be used in subsequent battles.
4. Battle of Cowpens (January of 1781)
On January 17, 1781, in South Carolina, American troops caused heavy losses to the British in what was an important engagement in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolutionary War. The Americans were led by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan against the British forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton. General Morgan instructed the militia to leave the front line after firing two rounds. This repositioning strategy proved to be a success when the British mistook it for a rout and ran into a concentrated rifle fire followed by the return of the militia. As Tarleton escaped, the American troops decimated the British forces and inflicted heavy losses on them resulting in over 800 casualties with the Americans incurring only about 100 casualties.
5. Battle of Saratoga (October of 1777)
The Battles of Saratoga were fought eighteen days apart, occurring on September 19th and October 7th in 1777. It is regarded as the turning point battle in the American revolution in favor of Americans. The First Battle of Saratoga was fought on September 19th and was a British victory over the American forces. The victory was small but very costly to the British under General John Burgoyne. On October 7th, the British attacked the Americans again at Bemis Heights but this time it was a defeat and they were forced to retreat. This American victory convinced the French government to join the war as an American ally by providing open military assistance.
6. Battle of Bunker Hill (June of 1775)
On June 17, 1775, the British troops defeated the American Continental Army in the Battle of Bunker Hill in Massachusetts. This battle resulted in great losses to the inexperienced colonial army despite their victory which spurred on their confidence. The battle was one of the bloodiest in the American revolutionary war with about half of the 2,200 Redcoats who entered the battle killed or wounded. The patriots sustained 400 casualties, which was significantly small compared to the British casualties. However, the battle was not actually fought on Bunker Hill but a nearby one-third of a mile south on Breed’s Hill.
7. Battle of Fort Washington (November of 1776)
The Battle of Fort Washington was a battle in the American Revolutionary War that resulted in a British victory and the subsequent surrender of the garrison at Fort Washington. The battle ended in one of the worst Patriot defeats. On November 16, 1776, in New York, British and German troops combined forces against the American Continental Army. The continental Army led by General George Washington was defeated by General William Howe with the American army incurring a loss of cannons, military supplies, and up to 3000 casualties. The Americans were forced to retreat to Delaware river while the British captured Fort Washington.
8. Battles of Trenton and Princeton (Winter of 1776-1777)
General George Washington crossed the icy Delaware River on the night of Christmas and into the morning of December 26th in 1776, leading his Continental Army against the British forces stationed at Trenton, having with him around 1,400 men. General Washington captured more than 900 men and occupied Trenton four days later. On January 3, he led a daring night match to capture Princeton after luring the British forces south. These two victories were pivotal in boosting the morale of the American troops and reassuring their cause in independence.
9. Battle of Yorktown (October of 1781)
The Battle of Yorktown took place from the 28th of September until the 19th of October of 1781, waged between Americans and their French allies against the British in Virginia. It was the last great battle of the American revolutionary war. General George Washington was the commander of a force of 17,000 French and American troops against a contingent of 9000 British troops under General Lord Charles Cornwallis. The American army combated the British by blocking their escape through land while the French naval force prevented them from escaping via the sea. After three weeks of bombardment, day and night, the British eventually surrendered in the field at Yorktown which resulted in the end of the War for independence. The formal surrender ceremony was held on October 19, which included the handing over of the sword to the French and American commanders.
10. Battles of Lexington and Concord (April of 1775)
The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first battles of the Revolutionary War, and began to take place on the night of April 19th, 1775. The battles were fought between British colonists and angry resident militia. The lead up to the war was accelerated by tension building up between the British colonists and the residents of the 13 American colonies. On the night of the first American revolutionary war, 700 British troops marched from Boston to Concord in order to seize arms cache. Paul Revere was responsible for alerting the American militia of the imminent attack by the British. As the British realized that their plan was discovered, they began a mobilization process to combat the Redcoat column and the Patriot movement. This confrontation at the Lexington town started off the revolutionary war. Under the intense fire and attack, the British finally retreated to Boston.