New York and New Jersey campaign
The New York and New Jersey campaign was a series of battles in 1776 and the winter months of 1777 for control of New York City and the state of New Jersey during the American Revolutionary War between British forces under General Sir William Howe and the Continental Army under General George Washington. Howe was successful in driving Washington out of New York City, but overextended his reach into New Jersey, ended the active campaign season in January 1777 with only a few outposts near the city; the British held New York harbor for the rest of the war, using it as a base for expeditions against other targets. First landing unopposed on Staten Island on July 3, 1776, Howe assembled an army composed of elements, withdrawn from Boston in March following their failure to hold that city, combined with additional British troops, as well as Hessian troops hired from several German principalities. Washington had New England soldiers as well as regiments from states as far south as Virginia. Landing on Long Island in August, Howe defeated Washington in the largest battle of the war, but the Continental Army was able to make an orderly retreat to Manhattan under cover of darkness and fog.
Washington suffered a series of further defeats in Manhattan, with the exception of the skirmish at Harlem Heights, withdrew to White Plains, New York. At that point Howe returned to Manhattan to capture forces Washington had left in the north of the island. Washington and much of his army crossed the Hudson River into New Jersey, retreated all the way across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, shrinking due to ending enlistment periods and poor morale. Howe ordered his troops into winter quarters in December, establishing a chain of outposts from New York to Burlington, New Jersey. Washington, in a tremendous boost to American morale, launched a successful strike against the Trenton garrison after crossing the icy Delaware River, prompting Howe to withdraw his chain of outposts back to New Brunswick and the coast near New York, while Washington established his winter camp at Morristown. During the remaining winter months, both sides skirmished as the British sought forage and provisions.
Britain maintained control of New York City and some of the surrounding territory until the war ended in 1783, using it as a base for operations elsewhere in North America. In 1777, General Howe launched a campaign to capture Philadelphia, leaving General Sir Henry Clinton in command of the New York area, while General John Burgoyne led an attempt to gain control of the Hudson River valley, moving south from Quebec and failed at Saratoga. Northern New Jersey was the scene of skirmishing between the opposing forces for the rest of the war; when the American Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, British troops were under siege in Boston. They defeated Patriot forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill, suffering high casualties; when news of this expensive British victory reached London, General William Howe and Lord George Germain, the British official responsible, determined that a "decisive action" should be taken against New York City using forces recruited from throughout the British Empire as well as troops hired from small German states.
General George Washington named by the Second Continental Congress as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, echoed the sentiments of others that New York was "a post of infinite importance", began the task of organizing military companies in the New York area when he stopped there on his way to take command of the siege of Boston. In January 1776, Washington ordered Charles Lee to raise troops and take command of New York's defenses. Lee had made some progress on the city's defenses when word arrived in late March 1776 that the British army had left Boston after Washington threatened them from heights south of the city. Concerned that General Howe was sailing directly to New York, Washington hurried regiments from Boston, including General Israel Putnam, who commanded the troops until Washington himself arrived in mid-April. At the end of April, Washington dispatched General John Sullivan with six regiments to the north to bolster the faltering Quebec campaign. General Howe, rather than moving against New York, withdrew his army to Halifax, Nova Scotia, regrouped while transports full of British troops, shipped from bases around Europe and intended for New York, began gathering at Halifax.
In June, he set sail for New York with the 9,000 men assembled there, before all of the transports arrived. German troops from Hesse-Kassel, as well as British troops from Henry Clinton's unsuccessful expedition to the Carolinas, were to meet with Howe's fleet when it reached New York. General Howe's brother, Admiral Lord Howe, arrived at Halifax with further transports after the general sailed, followed; when General Howe arrived in the outer harbor of New York, the ships began sailing up the undefended Narrows between Staten Island and Long Island on July 2, started landing troops on the undefended shores of Staten Island that day. Washington learned from prisoners taken that Howe had landed 10,000 men, but was awaiting the arrival of another 15,000. General Washington, with a smaller army of about 19,000 effective troops, lacked significant intelligence on the British force and plans, was uncertain where in the New York area the Howes intended to strike, he split the Continental Army between fortified positions on Long Island and mainland locations, established a "Flying Camp" in northern New Jersey.
This was intended as a reserve force that could support operations anywhere along the New Jersey side of the Hudson. The Howe brothers had been granted authority as peace commissioners by Parliament, with limite
Siege of Boston
The Siege of Boston was the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War. New England militiamen prevented the movement by land of the British Army, garrisoned in what was the peninsular city of Boston, Massachusetts Bay. Both sides had to deal with resource supply and personnel issues over the course of the siege. British resupply and reinforcement activities were limited to sea access. After eleven months of the siege, the British abandoned Boston by sailing to Nova Scotia; the siege began on April 19 after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, when the militia from surrounding Massachusetts communities blocked land access to Boston. The Continental Congress formed the Continental Army from the militia, with George Washington as its Commander in Chief. In June 1775, the British seized Bunker and Breed's Hills, from which the Continentals were preparing to bombard the city, but their casualties were heavy and their gains were insufficient to break the Continental Army's hold on land access to Boston.
The Americans laid siege to the British-occupied city. Military actions during the remainder of the siege were limited to occasional raids, minor skirmishes, sniper fire. In November 1775, Washington sent the 25-year-old bookseller-turned-soldier Henry Knox to bring to Boston the heavy artillery, captured at Fort Ticonderoga. In a technically complex and demanding operation, Knox brought many cannons to the Boston area by January 1776. In March 1776, these artillery fortified Dorchester Heights, thereby threatening the British supply lifeline; the British commander William Howe saw the British position as indefensible and withdrew the British forces in Boston to the British stronghold at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on March 17. Prior to 1775, the British had imposed taxes and import duties on the American colonies, to which the inhabitants objected since they lacked British Parliamentary representation. In response to the Boston Tea Party and other acts of protest, 4,000 British troops under the command of General Thomas Gage were sent to occupy Boston and to pacify the restive Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Parliament authorized Gage, among other actions. It was reformed into the Provincial Congress, continued to meet; the Provincial Congress called for the organization of local militias and coordinated the accumulation of weapons and other military supplies. Under the terms of the Boston Port Act, Gage closed the Boston port, which caused much unemployment and discontent; when British forces were sent to seize military supplies from the town of Concord on April 19, 1775, militia companies from surrounding towns opposed them in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. At Concord, some of the British forces were routed in a confrontation at the North Bridge; the British troops, on their march back to Boston, were engaged in a running battle, suffering heavy casualties. All of the New England colonies raised militias in response to this alarm, sent them to Boston. After the battles of April 19, the Massachusetts militia, under the loose leadership of William Heath, superseded by General Artemas Ward late on the 20th, formed a siege line extending from Chelsea, around the peninsulas of Boston and Charlestown, to Roxbury surrounding Boston on three sides.
They blocked the Charlestown Neck, the Boston Neck, leaving only the harbor and sea access under British control. In the days following the creation of the siege line, the size of the colonial forces grew, as militias from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut arrived on the scene. General Gage wrote of his surprise of the number of rebels surrounding the city: "The rebels are not the despicable rabble too many have supposed them to be.... In all their wars against the French they never showed such conduct and perseverance as they do now."General Gage turned his attention to fortifying defensible positions. In the south, at Roxbury, Gage ordered lines of defenses with 10 twenty-four pound guns. In Boston proper, four hills were fortified, they were to be the main defense of the city. Over time, each of these hills were strengthened. Gage decided to abandon Charlestown, removing the beleaguered forces to Boston; the town of Charlestown itself was vacant, the high lands of Charlestown were left undefended, as were the heights of Dorchester, which had a commanding view of the harbor and the city.
The British at first restricted movement in and out of the city, fearing infiltration of weapons. Besieged and besiegers reached an informal agreement allowing traffic on the Boston Neck, provided no firearms were carried. Residents of Boston turned in 2,000 muskets, most of the Patriot residents left the city. Many Loyalists who lived outside the city of Boston fled into the city. Most of them felt that it was not safe to live outside of the city, because the Patriots were now in control of the countryside; some of the men, after arriving in Boston, joined Loyalist regiments attached to the British army. Because the siege did not blockade the harbor, the city remained open for the Royal Navy, under Vice Admiral Samuel Graves, to bring in supplies from Nova Scotia and other places. Colonial forces could do little to stop these shipments due to the naval supremacy of the British fleet. American privateers were able to harass supply ships, food prices rose quickly. Soon the shortages
George Washington Birthplace National Monument
The George Washington Birthplace National Monument is a national monument in Westmoreland County, United States. This site was developed in the mid-17th century as a colonial tobacco plantation by Englishman John Washington. A member of the assembly, he was a great-grandfather of George Washington and the first United States president. George Washington was born in this house on February 22, 1732, he lived here until age three, returning to live here as a teenager. Before the 20th century, the original house was lost, but the foundation outlines of Washington's house are marked; the public park was established in 1930 and in 1931 a memorial house was built in historicist style to mark the site and to represent an 18th-century tobacco plantation. The historic park opened during the Great Depression. At the entrance to the grounds, now maintained and operated by the National Park Service, is a Memorial Shaft obelisk of Vermont marble. C; the monument and its preceding plantation, which would be called Wakefield, are located at the confluence of Popes Creek and the larger Potomac River, is representative of 18th-century Virginia tobacco plantations.
The area has been restored and maintained with farm buildings, groves of trees, livestock and crops of tobacco and wheat, to represent the environment Washington knew here as a boy. One of George Washington's great-grandfathers, John Washington, settled this plantation in 1657 at the original property on Bridges Creek; the family acquired expanded land to the south toward nearby Popes Creek. Before 1718 the first section of the house in which George Washington was born was built, his father enlarged it between 1722–1726. He added on to it by the mid-1770s, making a ten-room house known as "Wakefield"; this house, which George Washington in 1792 would describe as "the ancient mansion seat," was destroyed by fire and flood on Christmas Day 1779, never rebuilt. Thirty-two graves of Washington family members have been found at the Bridges Creek cemetery plot, including George's half-brother, father and great-grandfather. Washington's father cultivated tobacco on his several plantations; this labor-intensive crop was worked by African Americans.
By the time George Washington was born in 1732, the population of the Virginia colony was 50 percent black, most of the ethnic Africans were enslaved. During the time that Washington lived here, his father held "20 or so" slaves to work on the tobacco plantation at Popes Creek. Ln 1858, the Commonwealth of Virginia acquired the property to preserve the homesite and cemetery, but the Civil War intervened. Short on revenues for such purposes, Virginia donated the land to the federal government in 1882; the Wakefield National Memorial Association was formed in 1923 to restore the property. In 1930, the grounds were authorized by Congress as a U. S. National Monument. In 1931, the Wakefield Association received a grant from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to acquire and transfer a total of 394 acres of land to the Federal government. Since the exact appearance of the original Washington family home is not known, a Memorial House was designed by Edward Donn, Jr. representing similar buildings of the era. The actual location of Washington's boyhood home is adjacent to the memorial house and its foundation is outlined in the ground by crushed oyster shells.
The Memorial House represents a typical upper-class house of the period of the original's construction. The Memorial House is constructed of bricks handmade from local clay, it has a central hallway and four rooms on each floor, furnished in the 1730–1750 period style by the Wakefield National Memorial Association. Furnishings include. Most of the other furnishings are more than 200 years old; the park and Memorial House were opened by the National Park Service in 1932, on the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth. In the 21st century, the Monument is part of the National Park Service's ongoing efforts to interpret historical resources. In addition to the Memorial House, park facilities open to visitors include the historic birthplace home area, Kitchen House, hiking trails, picnic grounds. In the Kitchen House, costumed re-enactors demonstrate candle- and soap-making. A Colonial Herb and Flower Garden has been planted with herbs and flowers common to Washington's time, such as thyme and basil, flowers such as hollyhocks, forget-me-nots, roses.
Typical trees and bushes of Washington's time have been added to the landscaping. The Colonial Living Farm has a barn and pasture, raises livestock and crops of the 18th century variety, using farming methods common then. Visitors may tour the Washington family Burial Ground, which contains the graves of 32 members of the Washington family, including George Washington's father and great-grandfather. Replicas of two original gravestones are visible, along with five memorial tablets placed here in the 1930s; the Visitors' Center contains artifacts recovered from the burned-down Washington house, such as those pictured at right: a bowl, clay figurine, wine bottle seal belonging to Augustine Washington, wine bottle, keyhole plate. A 15-minute film depicting Washington family life is shown in a theater at the Visitors' Center; the George Washington Birthplace National Monument is 38 miles east of Fredericksburg, located on the Northern Neck. It can be reached via Virginia State Route 204, the access road to the site from Virgini
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
Battle of Long Island
The Battle of Long Island is known as the Battle of Brooklyn and the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. The victory over the Americans gave the British control of strategically important New York City, it was fought on August 27, 1776, was the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War to take place after the United States declared its independence on July 4, 1776. In troop deployment and combat, it was the largest battle of the entire war. After defeating the British in the Siege of Boston on March 17, 1776, commander-in-chief General George Washington brought the Continental Army to defend the port city of New York, located at the southern end of Manhattan Island. Washington understood that the city's harbor would provide an excellent base for the Royal Navy, so he established defenses there and waited for the British to attack. In July, the British under the command of General William Howe landed a few miles across the harbor from Manhattan on the sparsely-populated Staten Island, where they were reinforced by ships in Lower New York Bay during the next month and a half, bringing their total force to 32,000 troops.
Washington knew the difficulty in holding the city with the British fleet in control of the entrance to the harbor at the Narrows, he moved the bulk of his forces to Manhattan, believing that it would be the first target. On August 22, the British landed on the shores of Gravesend Bay in southwest Kings County, across the Narrows from Staten Island and more than a dozen miles south from the established East River crossings to Manhattan. After five days of waiting, the British attacked U. S. defenses on the Guan Heights. Unknown to the Americans, Howe had brought his main army around their rear and attacked their flank soon after; the Americans panicked, resulting in twenty percent losses through casualties and capture, although a stand by 400 Maryland and Delaware troops prevented a more substantial portion of the army from being lost. The remainder of the army retreated to the main defenses on Brooklyn Heights; the British dug in for a siege but, on the night of August 29–30, Washington evacuated the entire army to Manhattan without the loss of supplies or a single life.
Washington and the Continental Army were driven out of New York after several more defeats and forced to retreat through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. In the first stage of the war, the British Army was trapped in the peninsular city of Boston and they abandoned it on March 17, sailing to Halifax, Nova Scotia to await reinforcements. Washington began to transfer regiments to New York City which he believed the British would next attack because of its strategic importance. Washington left Boston on April 4, arrived at New York on April 13, established headquarters at the former home of Archibald Kennedy on Broadway facing Bowling Green. Washington had sent his second in command Charles Lee ahead to New York the previous February to establish the city's defenses. Lee remained in New York City until March. Troops were in limited supply, so Washington found the defenses incomplete, but Lee had concluded that it would be impossible to hold the city with the British commanding the sea, he reasoned that the defenses should be located with the ability to inflict heavy casualties upon the British if any move was made to take and hold ground.
Barricades and redoubts were established in and around the city, the bastion of Fort Stirling across the East River in Brooklyn Heights, facing the city. Lee saw that the immediate area was cleared of Loyalists. Washington began moving troops to Brooklyn in early May, there were several thousand of them there in a short time. Three more forts were under construction on the eastern side of the East River to support Fort Stirling, which stood to the west of the hamlet of Brooklyn Heights; these new fortifications were Fort Putnam, Fort Greene, Fort Box. They lay from north to south, with Fort Putnam farthest to the north, Greene to the southwest, Box farther southwest; each of these defensive structures was surrounded by a large ditch, all connected by a line of entrenchments and a total of 36 cannons. Fort Defiance was being constructed at this time, located farther southwest, past Fort Box, near present-day Red Hook. In addition to these new forts, a mounted battery was established on Governors Island, cannons were placed at Fort George facing Bowling Green, more cannons placed at the Whitehall Dock, which sat on the East River.
Hulks were sunk at strategic locations to deter the British from entering the East River and other waterways. Washington had been authorized by Congress to recruit an army of up to 28,501 troops, but he had only 19,000 when he reached New York. Military discipline was inadequate. Petty internal conflict was common under the strain of a large number of people from different environments and temperaments in relative closeness. Commander of the artillery Henry Knox persuaded Washington to transfer 400 to 500 soldiers, who lacked muskets or guns, to crew the artillery. In early June and Greene inspected the land at the north end of Manhattan and decided to establish Fort Washington. Fort Constitution renamed Fort Lee, was planned opposite Fort Washington on the Hudson River; the forts were hoped to discourage the British ships from sailing up the Hudson River. On June 28, Washington learned that the British fleet had set sail from Halifax on June 9 and were heading toward New York. On June 29, signals were sent from men stationed on
The Braddock expedition called Braddock's campaign or, more Braddock's Defeat, was a failed British military expedition which attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755 during the French and Indian War. It was defeated at the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, the survivors retreated; the expedition takes its name from General Edward Braddock, who led the British forces and died in the effort. Braddock's defeat was a major setback for the British in the early stages of the war with France and has been described as one of the most disastrous defeats for the British in the 18th century. Braddock's expedition was part of a massive British offensive against the French in North America that summer; as commander-in-chief of the British Army in America, General Braddock led the main thrust against the Ohio Country with a column some 2,100 strong. His command consisted of two regular line regiments, the 44th and 48th with about 1,350 men, along with about 500 regular soldiers and militiamen from several British American colonies, artillery and other support troops.
With these men, Braddock expected to seize Fort Duquesne and push on to capture a series of French forts reaching Fort Niagara. George Washington, promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of the Virginia militia on June 4, 1754 by Governor Robert Dinwiddie, was just 23, knew the territory and served as a volunteer aide-de-camp to General Braddock. Braddock's Chief of Scouts was Lieutenant John Fraser of the Virginia Regiment. Fraser owned land at Turtle Creek, had been at Fort Necessity, had served as Second-in-Command at Fort Prince George, at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. Braddock failed in his attempts to recruit Native American allies from those tribes not yet allied with the French. A number of Indians in the area, notably Delaware leader Shingas, remained neutral. Caught between two powerful European empires at war, the local Indians could not afford to be on the side of the loser, they would decide based on Braddock's failure. Setting out from Fort Cumberland in Maryland on May 29, 1755, the expedition faced an enormous logistical challenge: moving a large body of men with equipment and heavy cannons, across the densely wooded Allegheny Mountains and into western Pennsylvania, a journey of about 110 miles.
Braddock had received important assistance from Benjamin Franklin, who helped procure wagons and supplies for the expedition. Among the wagoners were two young men who would become legends of American history: Daniel Boone and Daniel Morgan. Other members of the expedition included Charles Scott. Among the British were Thomas Gage; the expedition progressed because Braddock considered making a road to Fort Duquesne a priority in order to supply the position he expected to capture and hold at the Forks of the Ohio, because of a shortage of healthy draft animals. In some cases, the column was only able to progress at a rate of two miles a day, creating Braddock's Road—an important legacy of the march—as they went. To speed up movement, Braddock split his men into a "flying column" of about 1,300 men which he commanded, lagging far behind, a supply column of 800 men with most of the baggage, commanded by Colonel Thomas Dunbar, they passed the ruins of Fort Necessity along the way, where the French and Canadians had defeated Washington the previous summer.
Small French and Indian war bands skirmished with Braddock's men during the march. Meanwhile, at Fort Duquesne, the French garrison consisted of only about 250 regulars and Canadian militia, with about 640 Indian allies camped outside the fort; the Indians were from a variety of tribes long associated with the French, including Ottawas and Potawatomis. Claude-Pierre Pécaudy de Contrecœur, the Canadian commander, received reports from Indian scouting parties that the British were on their way to besiege the fort, he realised he could not withstand Braddock's cannon, decided to launch a preemptive strike, an ambush of Braddock's army as he crossed the Monongahela River. The Indian allies were reluctant to attack such a large British force, but the French field commander Daniel Liénard de Beaujeu, who dressed himself in full war regalia complete with war paint, convinced them to follow his lead. By July 8, 1755, the Braddock force was on the land owned by the Chief Scout, Lieutenant John Fraser.
That evening, the Indians sent a delegation to the British to request a conference. Braddock sent Fraser; the Indians asked the British to halt their advance so that they could attempt to negotiate a peaceful withdrawal by the French from Fort Duquesne. Both Washington and Fraser recommended this to Braddock but he demurred. On July 9, 1755, Braddock's men crossed the Monongahela without opposition, about 10 miles south of Fort Duquesne; the advance guard of 300 grenadiers and colonials with two cannon under Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gage began to move ahead. George Washington tried to warn him of the flaws in his plan—for example, the French and the Indians fought differently than the open-field style used by the British—but his efforts were ignored, Braddock insisted on fighting as "gentlemen". Unexpectedly, Gage's advance guard came upon the French and Indians, who were hurrying to the river, behind schedule and too late to set an ambush. In the skirmish that followed between Gage's soldiers and the French, the French commander, was killed by the first volley of
The Philadelphia campaign was a British initiative in the American Revolutionary War to gain control of Philadelphia, the seat of the Second Continental Congress. British General William Howe, after unsuccessfully attempting to draw the Continental Army under General George Washington into a battle in northern New Jersey, embarked his army on transports, landed them at the northern end of Chesapeake Bay. From there, he advanced northward toward Philadelphia. Washington prepared defenses against Howe's movements at Brandywine Creek, but was flanked and beaten back in the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. After further skirmishes and maneuvers, Howe was able to occupy Philadelphia. Washington unsuccessfully attacked one of Howe's garrisons at Germantown before retreating to Valley Forge for the winter. Howe's campaign was controversial because, although he captured the American capital of Philadelphia, he proceeded and did not aid the concurrent campaign of John Burgoyne further north, which ended in disaster at Saratoga for the British, brought France into the war.
General Howe resigned during the occupation of Philadelphia and was replaced by his second-in-command, General Sir Henry Clinton. Clinton evacuated the troops from Philadelphia back to New York City in 1778 in order to increase that city's defenses against a possible Franco-American attack. Washington harried the British army all the way across New Jersey, forced a battle at Monmouth Court House, one of the largest battles of the war. At the end of the campaign the two armies were in the same positions they were at its beginning. Following General William Howe's successful capture of New York City, George Washington's successful actions at Trenton and Princeton, the two armies settled into an uneasy stalemate in the winter months of early 1777. While this time was punctuated by numerous skirmishes, the British army continued to occupy outposts at New Brunswick and Perth Amboy, New Jersey. General Howe had proposed to George Germain, the British civilian official responsible for conduct of the war, an expedition for 1777 to capture Philadelphia, the seat of the rebellious Second Continental Congress.
Germain approved his plan. He approved plans by John Burgoyne for an expedition to "force his way to Albany" from Montreal. Germain's approval of Howe's expedition included the expectation that Howe would be able to assist Burgoyne, effecting a junction at Albany between the forces of Burgoyne and troops that Howe would send north from New York City. Howe decided by early April against taking his army overland to Philadelphia through New Jersey, as this would entail a difficult crossing of the broad Delaware River under hostile conditions, it would require the transportation or construction of the necessary watercraft. Howe's plan, sent to Germain on April 2 effectively isolated Burgoyne from any possibility of significant support, since Howe would be taking his army by sea to Philadelphia, the New York garrison would be too small for any significant offensive operations up the Hudson River to assist Burgoyne. Washington realized. Burgoyne" and was baffled why he did not do so. Washington at the time and historians since have puzzled over the reason Howe was not in place to come to the relief of General John Burgoyne, whose invasion army from Canada was surrounded and captured by the Americans in October.
Historians agree. Following Howe's capture of New York and Washington's retreat across the Delaware, Howe on December 20, 1776 wrote to Germain, proposing an elaborate set of campaigns for 1777; these included operations to gain control of the Hudson River, expand operations from the base at Newport, Rhode Island, take the seat of the rebel Continental Congress, Philadelphia. The latter Howe saw as attractive, since Washington was just north of the city: Howe wrote that he was "persuaded the Principal Army should act offensively, where the enemy's chief strength lies." Germain acknowledged that this plan was "well digested", but it called for more men than Germain was prepared to provide. After the setbacks in New Jersey, Howe in mid-January 1777 proposed operations against Philadelphia that included an overland expedition and a sea-based attack, thinking this might lead to a decisive victory over the Continental Army; this plan was developed to the extent that in April Howe's army was seen constructing pontoon bridges.
However, by mid-May Howe had abandoned the idea of an overland expedition: "I propose to invade Pennsylvania by sea... we must abandon the Jersies."Howe's decision to not assist Burgoyne may have been rooted in Howe's perception that Burgoyne would receive credit for a successful campaign if it required Howe's help. Historian John Alden notes the jealousies among various British leaders, saying, "It is, as jealous of Burgoyne as Burgoyne was of him and that he was not eager to do anything which might assist his junior up the ladder of military renown." Along the same lines Don Higginbotham concludes that in Howe's view, " was Burgoyne's whole show, he wanted little to do with it. With regard to Burgoyne's army, he would do only what was required of him." Howe himself wrote to Burgoyne