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American Revolutionary War

1775 to 1783


War Description
American colonies rebel from British rule with the help of the French.

List Of Battles


Battle / Outcome
Description
Battle of Bunker's Hill
British defeat Colonists
Fought June 17, 1775, when 2,000 British troops, forming a portion of General Gage's army, dislodged the Americans holding Breeds Hill and Bunker's Hill, on the outskirts of Boston. The position was stubbornly contested, the assailants losing 800 men.
Battle of Lexington
Drawn Battle (Colonists vs. British)
Fought April 19, 1775, between the Royal troops, under General Gage, and the Americans. After a brief engagement the Americans were defeated, and retired. The losses on both sides were very small.
Battle of Princeton
Colonists defeat British
Fought 1776 between the Americans, under Washington, and the British, under General Gage. The British were defeated, and this victory enabled Washington to regain possession of New Jersey.
Battle of Trenton
Colonists defeat British
Fought Dec 26, 1776 when 2400 colonists under George Washington crossed the Delaware and surprised and 1400 Hessians under Johann Rall. The battle, fought early in the morning after a snowstorm was a route. The colonists captured over 900 prisoners and lost only two.
Battle of Brooklyn
British defeat Colonists
Fought August 27, 1776, between 30,000 British under Sir William Howe, and the Americans, about 11,000 strong, under General Putnam. The Americans were completely defeated, with a loss of about 2,000 killed and wounded. The British lost 65 killed and 255 wounded.
Battle of Bennington
Colonists defeat British
Fought August 10, 1777, between a British force under Colonel Baum, and the New Hampshire troops under General Stark. Baum had been ordered to seize the American magazines at Bennington, but found the place too strong, and asked for reinforcements. Meanwhile they were surrounded and attacked by Stark. The British fought till their ammunition was exhausted and then surrendered, while Baum was killed trying to cut his way through the American lines.
Battle of Brandywine
British defeat Colonists
Fought September 11, 1777, between 18,000 British under General Howe, and 8,000 Americans under Washington. The British General made a flank movement with a large portion of his force, whereupon Washington attacked the British in the front, but, being ill-supported by his lieutenant, Sullivan, he was driven back, and forced to retreat, with a loss of 900 killed and wounded and 300 prisoners. The British lost 590 killed and wounded.
Siege of Ticonderoga
British defeat Colonists
This place was invested, June 22, 1777, by the British, under General Burgoyne, and was defended by 5,000 Americans, under General St. Clair. After a brief siege, the Americans evacuated the Fort, July 5.
Battle of Germantown
British defeat Colonists
Fought October 4, 1777, between the Americans under Washington, and the British under Sir William Howe. The Americans attacked the British entrenchments, and were repulsed with heavy loss.
Battle of Oriskany
Loyalists defeat Patriots
On August 6, 1777 a force of patriots under the General Herkimer was ambushed by a force of Loyalists and natives under General Johnson and Chief Joseph Brant. The patriots were defeated with losses of over 450, including Herkimer.
Battle of Saratoga
Colonists defeat British
Fought October 7, 1777, between the British, 6,000 strong, under General Burgoyne, and the Americans, under General Gates. The Americans occupied a strongly entrenched position, which was attacked by Burgoyne. After a severe encounter, the attack was repulsed at all points, and the British driven back upon their camp at Saratoga, with heavy loss, including General Fraser, mortally wounded. The Americans followed up their success by an assault upon the British camp, in which they succeeded in effecting a lodgement, and on the following day, Burgoyne withdrew, and took up a fresh position on the heights near the Hudson. On October 15, Burgoyne, surrounded by the Americans, and finding that no aid could reach him, surrendered with 5,790 men, his total losses during the campaign having amounted to 4,689.
Battle of Carenage Bay
British defeat French
Fought 1778, between the French under the Comte d'Estaing, and the English under Admiral Barrington and General Meadows. After a severe encounter, the French were defeated, and the British took possession of the island of St. Lucia.
Battle of Pondicherry
British defeat French
A naval action was fought off Pondicherry, August 10, 1778, during the third siege, when a French squadron of 5 ships, under M. Tronjolly, issued from the roads, and offered battle to the 5 ships of Sir Edward Vernon. The French were worsted, and driven back to their anchorage.
Battle of Onessant
Drawn Battle (British vs.French)
Fought July 27, 1778, between 30 British ships of the line, under Admiral Keppel, and a French squadron of equal force, under the Comte d'Estaing. After a fight which lasted throughout the day, the two fleets drew off to repair damages, neither side having lost a ship.
Siege of Pondicherry
British defeat French
Having been surrendered to the French by the Peace of Paris, Pondicherry was again besieged by a British force, under Sir Hector Monro, in conjunction with a squadron of ships, under Sir Edward Vernon, August 8, 1778. It was gallantly defended by the French, under M. Bellecombe, until the middle of October, when after a month's bombardment the place surrendered.
Battle of Gibraltar
British defeat French-Spanish
From 1779 to 1783, Gibraltar sustained a siege at the hands of a combined French and Spanish force, who, though provided with powerful floating batteries, were unable to make any impression on the defenses. In the course of the siege, the garrison, under General Elliot, were several times reinforced and revictualled by British fleets, which ran the gauntlet of the blockade.
Battle of Penobscot Bay
British defeat Colonists
Fought July 14, 1779, when a British squadron of 10 ships, under Sir George Collier, completely destroyed an American squadron of 24 ships, and captured the 3,000 men who formed their crews.
Battle of Bon Homme Richard vs. Serapis
Americans defeat British
Famous naval battle between the French ship Bonhomme Richard under John Paul Jones, and the English frigate Serapis, fought September 23, 1779. In a far inferior vessel, against all odds, the Americans lashed the ships together, cleared the deck with grenades, and boarded the English vessel. The victory, although strategically unimportant, helped encourage the French to become more involved in the war.
Battle of Grenada
French defeat British
Fought July 3, 1779, between a British fleet of 24 sail, under Admiral Byron, and a French fleet of 20 sail-of-the-line, and to frigates, under the Comte d'Estaing. Admiral Byron attacked the French with a view of recapturing Grenada, but was unsuccessful, though he inflicted upon them a loss of 1,200 killed and 1,500 wounded. The British lost 183 killed and 346 wounded.
Battle of Camden
British defeat Colonists
Fought August 16, 1780, between the British under Cornwallis, and the Americans under Gates and de Kalb. Cornwallis had concentrated about 2,000 men at Camden, and though the Americans numbered 5,000, they were of very inferior quality. After a small affair of outposts, the British attacked the American levies, who were unable to face the steady attack of the regulars, and fled with heavy loss. Among the killed was de Kalb. The British lost 312 killed and wounded.
Battle of Minorca
French-Spanish defeat British
Having been restored to England by the Treaty of Paris in 1762, Minorca was again recaptured in 1781, by a force of 12,000 French and Spaniards, the garrison, under General Murray, being only 700 strong. Murray made a sturdy defense but was forced to surrender.
Battle of Porto Praya Bay
British defeat French
Fought April 16, 1781, when Commodore Johnstone, in command of a British squadron of 5 ships of the line and 5 frigates, repulsed a determined attack of a French squadron of 11 sail, under de Suffren. The loss in the British squadron amounted to 36 killed and 147 wounded.
Battle of Guildford Court House
British defeat Colonists
Fought March 16, 1781, between the British, under Lord Cornwallis, and a largely superior force of Americans, under General Greene, The Americans occupied a strongly entrenched position in and round Guildford, and the battle consisted of a series of independent actions, in which the British were uniformly successful, driving out the Americans with heavy casualties, and the loss of all their guns and ammunition. The British lost 548 killed and wounded, but the victory served little purpose, as Lord Cornwallis was too weak to pursue his advantage.
Battle of Cape Henry
British defeat French
Fought March 16, 1781, between a British fleet of eight ships of the line and three frigates under Vice-Admiral Arbuthnot, and a French squadron stronger by one frigate. The French were forced to retire, the British losing 30 killed and 64 wounded.
Siege of Yorktown
Colonists defeat British
The entrenched position of Lord Cornwallis, with 6,000 British troops at this place, was invested by Washington, with 7,000 French and 12,000 Americans, in September, 1781. The British held out until October 19, when, surrounded and outnumbered, Cornwallis surrendered, having lost during the operations, 12 officers and 469 rank and file, killed and wounded.
Battle of Lynn Haven Bay
French defeat British
Fought September 5, 1781, between a British fleet of 19 ships of the line and 7 frigates, under Admiral Thomas Graves, and a French fleet of 25 line of battle ships. Admiral Graves attacked the French as they were lying in Lynn Haven Bay, but was unsuccessful, and drew off after two hours' hard fighting, with a loss of 79 killed and 230 wounded. The French lost 22 officers and 200 men killed and wounded.
Battle of Eutaw Springs
British defeat Colonists
Fought September 8, 1781, between the British garrison of Charleston, under Colonel Stewart, and the Americans, under General Greene. The British were attacked and at first driven back, but rallying carried the American positions, but with a loss of 700 men, which so weakened their small force that they were unable to profit by the victory.
Battle of Negapatam
Drawn Battle (British vs.French)
A naval action was fought off this place in 1782 between a British squadron, under Sir Edward Hughes, and a French squadron, under Suffren. The opposing forces were of about equal strength, and the action was indecisive, but the French designs on Negapatam were frustrated, and Suffren drew oft to the southward.
Battle of Trincomalee
Drawn Battle (British vs.French)
A naval action was fought off this place April 12, 1782, between 11 British ships, under Sir Edward Hughes, and 12 French vessels, under Suffren. After a sanguinary action with no decisive result, the two fleets, both too seriously damaged to renew the conflict, separated, the British making for Trincomalee, and the French for their base to repair damages.
Battle of Dominica
British defeat French
Fought April 12, 1782, between the British fleet of 36 sail of the line, under Rodney, with Hood second in command, and the French fleet of 33 sail under de Grasse. Rodney departed from the usual tactics of a ship to ship action, and broke the enemy's line, gaining a complete victory, and capturing or destroying 5 ships, while 2 more were captured within the next few days. The British lost 261 killed and 837 wounded. The French losses have been put as high as 15,000, but it is probable that they lost about 3,000 killed and wounded, while 7,980 were taken in the captured ships. This action is also known as the battle of the Saints.
Battle of Trincomalee
Drawn Battle (British vs.French)
On September 3, 1782, another indecisive fight took place between the same Admirals off Trincomalee, the British having 12 and the French 15 sail. Both squadrons were compelled after the action to return to their respective bases to refit.
Battle of Cuddalore
British defeat French
Fought June 13, 1783, when a portion of the British force under General Stewart attacked the French entrenchments in front of Cuddalore, and after hard fighting, drove the French into the town with a loss of 700 men and 13 guns. The British lost 1,013 killed and wounded.
Battle of Pondicherry
Drawn Battle (British vs.French)
A second naval action off this place was fought June 20, 1783, between a British squadron of 18 ships of the line, and 12 frigates, under Sir Edward Hughes, and a French squadron, under de Suffren. The battle was undecided, the British ships suffering considerably in masts and rigging, and being unable to chase when de Suffren sheered off. The British loss was 520 killed and wounded.
Battle of Cuddalore
French defeat British
A naval action was fought off Cuddalore June 30, 1783, between a British squadron of 17 sail under Sir Edward Hughes, and 12 French ships under Suffren. The French, as usual, declined to come to close quarters, and after a long range action, in which Hughes lost 532 men, fighting was suspended at nightfall, leaving Suffren in possession of the roads, and able to prevent the complete investment of Cuddalore.

Story LinksBook Links
Lost Colonies  in  Stories From English History: III  by  A. J. Church
Washington in the Revolution  in  First Book in American History  by  Edward Eggleston
The Victory at Yorktown and Washington as President in  First Book in American History  by  Edward Eggleston
Marion's Tower  in  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans  by  Edward Eggleston
Paul Revere  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Green Mountain Boys  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Capturing the Hessians  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Lydia Darrah  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Captain Molly Pitcher  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Swamp Fox  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Outwitting a Tory  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Supporting the Colors  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Nancy Hart  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Mad Anthony  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Execution of Major Andre  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
How Schuyler was Saved  in  America First  by  L. B. Evans
Bunker Hill  in  Boys' Book of Battles  by  C. C. Fraser
Saratoga  in  Boys' Book of Battles  by  C. C. Fraser
Yorktown  in  Boys' Book of Battles  by  C. C. Fraser
Commodore John Paul Jones  in  Boys' Book of Sea Fights  by  C. C. Fraser
The American Rebellion  in  Hanoverians  by  C. J. B.  Gaskoin
The Battle of Lexington  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
Bunker Hill  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
The British leave Boston  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
A Lady's Way of Helping  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
Christmas Eve  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
The Fight at Bennington  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
Burgoyne's Surrender  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
The Winter at Valley Forge  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
Famous Sea Fights  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
The "Swamp Fox"  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
Two Unselfish Women  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
The Surrender of Cornwallis  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A.  Guerber
George Washington  in  Famous Men of Modern Times  by  J. H.  Haaren
George III. and the American Revolution  in  Story of England  by  S. B.  Harding
George Washington  in  Heroes Every Child Should Know  by  H. W.  Mabie
Paul Revere's Ride  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
First Thrust—The Battle of Bunker Hill  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
War in Canada  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
Darkest Hour—Trenton and Princeton  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
Burgoyne's Campaign—Bennington and Oriskany  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
Burgoyne's Campaign—Bemis Heights, Saratoga  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
Brandywine—Germantown—Valley Forge  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
War on the Sea  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
Battle of Monmouth  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E.  Marshall
George III—The Story of How America Was Lost  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E.  Marshall
Paul Revere's Ride  in  Historical Tales: 1—American  by  Charles  Morris
Green Mountain Boys  in  Historical Tales: 1—American  by  Charles  Morris
British at New York  in  Historical Tales: 1—American  by  Charles  Morris
Quakeress Patriot  in  Historical Tales: 1—American  by  Charles  Morris
Siege of Fort Schuyler  in  Historical Tales: 1—American  by  Charles  Morris
Marion, the Swamp Fox  in  Historical Tales: 1—American  by  Charles  Morris
General Greene's Famous Retreat  in  Historical Tales: 2—American  by  Charles  Morris
Battle of Lexington  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Paul Revere's Ride  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Capture of Ticonderoga  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Battle of Bunker Hill  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
General Warren  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
March to Quebec  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Red-coats Leave Boston  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Lydia Darrah Saves General Washington  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Washington's Christmas Gift to the American Army in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Valley Forge  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Massacre of Wyoming  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Surrender of Burgoyne  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Saratoga  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Fox of the Southern Swamp  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Women of South Carolina  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
Surrender of Cornwallis  in  American History Stories—Volume II  by  M. L. Pratt
In the Stockade at Wheeling  in  Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters  by  E. L. Sabin
Betty Zane's Powder Exploit  in  Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters  by  E. L. Sabin
Philip Schuyler and Burgoyne's Campaign  in  Builders of our Country Vol. II  by  Gertrude Southworth
Nathaniel Greene  in  Builders of our Country Vol. II  by  Gertrude Southworth
John Paul Jones  in  Builders of our Country Vol. II  by  Gertrude Southworth
Declaration of Independence  in  Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B.  Synge
Saratoga  in  Boy's Book of Battles  by  Eric  Wood
The Siege of Boston in  George Washington  by  Ada Russell
War of Independence in  George Washington  by  Ada Russell


Map Links
North American Colonies: British, Spanish
Battle of Saratoga
War of Independence and the Seven Years War


Image Links
Wayne aimed and fired one of the field pieces himself  in Hero of Stony Point Commander Paul Jones capturing the Serapis  in South American Fights and Fighters General Herkimer directing the battle  in Indian History for Young Folks
Battle-field at Oriskany  in Indian History for Young Folks General Wayne's Escape  in Indian History for Young Folks One of Marion's Men  in Stories of American Life and Adventure
Elizabeth Zane's Return  in Stories of American Life and Adventure Crossing the Delaware  in First Book in American History March to Trenton  in First Book in American History
The Redcoats are Coming!'  in First Book in American History Marching to Trenton  in Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans Battle Map: Bunker Hill in Boys' Book of Battles
The Battle of Bunker Hill from an old print  in Boys' Book of Battles Battle Map: Saratoga in Boys' Book of Battles The surrender of Burgoyne  in Boys' Book of Battles
Battle Map: Yorktown in Boys' Book of Battles The Surrender of Cornwallis by John Trumbull  in Boys' Book of Battles Battle Map: Serapis vs. Bonhomme in Boys' Book of Sea Fights
John Paul Jones  in Boys' Book of Sea Fights Bonhomme (64 guns), Serapis (50 guns), Lady Scarborough  in Boys' Book of Sea Fights The scene of General Borgoyne's Surrender  in Hanoverians
The sortie made by the garrison of Gibraltar on the Morning  in Hanoverians Shays' Rebellion  in Story of the Great Republic The Retreat from Concord  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies
Battle of Bunker Hill  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Washington crossing the Delaware  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Burgoyne's surrender  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies
At Valley Forge  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Molly Pitcher  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Indian cruelty  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies
The capture of Stony Point  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Clark's March  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Elizabeth Zane brings powder  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies
The Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Marion's Dinner  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Battle of Kings Mountain  in Story of the Thirteen Colonies
Surrender of Cornwallis in Story of the Thirteen Colonies Washington crossing the Delaware  in Famous Men of Modern Times The taking of Fort Vincennes from the British in 
The Battle of Bunker Hill in  Washington Crossing the Delaware in  Washington Crossing the Delaware in Historical Tales: 1—American
The Spirit of '76  in Historical Tales: 1—American The Boston Massacre  in Builders of our Country Vol. II The Battle on the Village Green of Lexington  in Builders of our Country Vol. II
The Last Defense behind the Breastworks of Bunker Hill  in Builders of our Country Vol. II Fortifying Dorchester Heights  in Builders of our Country Vol. II Washington Crossing the Delaware  in Builders of our Country Vol. II
Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge  in Builders of our Country Vol. II The English Route from Canada  in Builders of our Country Vol. II General Stark at the Battle of Bennington  in Builders of our Country Vol. II
The Wounded Herkimer  in Builders of our Country Vol. II Map of General Greene's Campaign in the South  in Builders of our Country Vol. II Touching Off the First Gun at the Siege of Yorktown  in Builders of our Country Vol. II
The Battle of Golden Hill  in Builders of our Country Vol. II