Battle of Trenton
The Battle of Trenton was a small but pivotal battle during the American Revolutionary War which took place on the morning of December 26, 1776, in Trenton, New Jersey. After General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton the previous night, Washington led the main body of the Continental Army against Hessian mercenaries garrisoned at Trenton. After a brief battle two-thirds of the Hessian force was captured, with negligible losses to the Americans; the battle boosted the Continental Army's flagging morale, inspired re-enlistments. The Continental Army had suffered several defeats in New York and had been forced to retreat through New Jersey to Pennsylvania. Morale in the army was low; because the river was icy and the weather severe, the crossing proved dangerous. Two detachments were unable to cross the river, leaving Washington with only 2,400 men under his command in the assault, 3,000 less than planned; the army marched 9 miles south to Trenton. The Hessians had lowered their guard, thinking they were safe from the American army, had no long-distance outposts or patrols.
Washington's forces caught them off guard and, after a short but fierce resistance, most of the Hessians surrendered and were captured, with just over a third escaping across Assunpink Creek. Despite the battle's small numbers, the American victory inspired rebels in the colonies. With the success of the revolution in doubt a week earlier, the army had seemed on the verge of collapse; the dramatic victory attracted new recruits to the ranks. In early December 1776, American morale was low; the Americans had been ousted from New York by the British and their Hessian auxiliaries, the Continental Army was forced to retreat across New Jersey. Ninety percent of the Continental Army soldiers who had served at Long Island were gone. Men had deserted. Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, expressed some doubts, writing to his cousin in Virginia, "I think the game is pretty near up."At the time a small town in New Jersey, was occupied by four regiments of Hessian soldiers commanded by Colonel Johann Rall.
Washington's force comprised 2,400 men, with infantry divisions commanded by Major Generals Nathanael Greene and John Sullivan, artillery under the direction of Brigadier General Henry Knox. George Washington had stationed a spy named posing as a Tory, in Trenton. Honeyman had served with Major General James Wolfe in Quebec at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759, had no trouble establishing his credentials as a Tory. Honeyman was a bartender, who traded with the British and Hessians; this enabled him to gather intelligence, to convince the Hessians that the Continental Army was in such a low state of morale that they would not attack Trenton. Shortly before Christmas, he arranged to be captured by the Continental Army, who had orders to bring him to Washington unharmed. After being questioned by Washington, he was imprisoned in a hut, to be tried as a Tory in the morning, but a small fire broke out nearby, enabling him to "escape." The American plan relied on launching coordinated attacks from three directions.
General John Cadwalader would launch a diversionary attack against the British garrison at Bordentown, New Jersey, to block off reinforcements from the south. General James Ewing would take 700 militia across the river at Trenton Ferry, seize the bridge over the Assunpink Creek and prevent enemy troops from escaping; the main assault force of 2,400 men would cross the river 9 mi north of Trenton and split into two groups, one under Greene and one under Sullivan, to launch a pre-dawn attack. Sullivan would attack the town from the south, Greene from the north. Depending on the success of the operation, the Americans would follow up with separate attacks on Princeton and New Brunswick. During the week before the battle, American advance parties began to ambush enemy cavalry patrols, capturing dispatch riders and attacking Hessian pickets; the Hessian commander, to emphasize the danger to his men, sent 100 infantry and an artillery detachment to deliver a letter to the British commander at Princeton.
Washington ordered Ewing and his Pennsylvania militia to try to gain information on Hessian movements and technology. Ewing instead made three successful raids across the river. On December 17 and 18, 1776, they attacked an outpost of jägers and on the 21st, they set fire to several houses. Washington put constant watches on all possible crossings near the Continental Army encampment on the Delaware, as he believed William Howe would launch an attack from the north on Philadelphia if the river froze over. On December 20, 1776, some 2,000 troops led by General Sullivan arrived in Washington's camp, they had been under the command of Charles Lee, had been moving through northern New Jersey when Lee was captured. That same day, an additional 800 troops arrived from Fort Ticonderoga under the command of Horatio Gates. On December 14, 1776, the Hessians arrived in Trenton to establish their winter quarters. At the time, Trenton was a small town with about 100 houses and two main streets, King Street and Queen Street.
Carl von Donop, Rall's superior, had marched south to Mount Holly on December 22 to deal with the resistance in New Jersey, had clashed with some New Jersey militia there on December 23. Donop, who despised Rall, was reluctant to give command of Trent
Lewis Nicola was an Irish-born American military officer and writer who held various military and civilian positions throughout his career. Nicola is most notable for authoring the Newburgh letter, which urged George Washington to assume a royal title. Born in Dublin, Nicola had been an officer in the British Army, serving in Europe before immigrating to the Thirteen Colonies. Establishing a residence in Philadelphia with his family, Nicola opened a library in 1767 and was active in colonial philosophical organizations; as a result of his work to establish the American Philosophical Society, he was elected as one of its curators. When the American Revolution broke out, Nicola offered his services to the colonial government, which appointed him to various positions with local forces. In 1777, Nicola proposed; the Congress appointed him as its commander. The Corps was stationed at various Pennsylvania locations before moving to New York. In 1782, after the end of most hostilities but before the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Nicola wrote the Newburgh letter, received coldly by Washington.
Returning to civilian life, Nicola was still active in military affairs, was recalled to service during the 1790s, despite his advanced age. During this period, he continued to research for the American Philosophical Society, writing an controversial document entitled The Divinity of Jesus Christ Considered, From Scripture Evidences, in which he claimed that the divinity of Jesus Christ is not supported by scripture, he died in 1807, in the possession of only $55. Little is known of Nicola's early years, he was born in 1717 in Ireland to a British Army officer. His grandparents were Huguenot refugees, he was 511/512 French and 1/512 Italian by blood, his parents provided him with a strong educational background and bought him a commission in January 1740. Into that year, he married his first wife, Christiana Doyle, on September 19. During the 1740s, Nicola was stationed in various Irish cities: Galway, Cork, among others, he was stationed in Flanders, Belgium, in 1745 before he moved back to Charles Fort near Kinsale.
Doyle died in August 1759, Nicola married his second wife, Jane Bishop, on April 18, 1760. Their family decided to move to Philadelphia and they arrived August 1766. Upon the arrival Nicola started his own dry goods store; this did not work, he opened a library in September 1767. It started with nearly 200 to 300 volumes before expanding to over 1,000. Throughout the next couple of years, Nicola moved the library to different spots before settling to Spruce Street and renaming it "General Circulating Library". With the help of his friend John Morgan, Nicola was admitted into the American Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge. By the following year, he became a part of the committee to help a merger with the American Philosophical Society; the merger was completed in November 1768, Nicola was elected as one of the curators. At the start of the next year, Nicola decided to quit the dry food business for good and focus more on writing, stating " the taste of the age, found to possess many conveniences, such as gratifying the curiosity of the public, serving as a repository for many small, though valuable pieces that would otherwise be lost to the world."
He began editing his new periodical, the American Magazine, or General Repository, the first issue was published in January 1769. This magazine, devoted to science, poetry and American news, folded in December after only nine issues. Nicola, continued to conduct research and write articles for the Society. Due to financial difficulties and his family moved between various Pennsylvanian cities throughout the 1770s. Once the American Revolutionary War broke out, however, he realized that his military skills were most needed in Philadelphia. In July 1775, Nicola was hired by the Pennsylvania Council of Safety to inspect the local defenses in place along the banks of the Delaware River. Since this was the only military position offered to him, in January 1776 Nicola opened a beer-selling shop. Shortly thereafter, he opened a school to help children in various disciplines of mathematics and engineering; this endeavor was short-lived, however, as the Pennsylvania Council of Safety gave him a second military position, this time as a barracks master.
While attaining that position, Nicola composed and presented to the Council of Safety a "Plan of a Powder Magazine" and saw to the repair of the city jailhouse, for which he was reimbursed $226 by the Continental Congress. On December 2, 1776, Nicola was made Town Major of Pennsylvania. In March 1777, Nicola proposed to the Continental Congress the formation of an "Invalid Corps," a group of men unfit for combat but still able to perform other military duties. In June, the Continental Congress accepted the proposal, appointing Nicola the commander of about 1,000 troops divided into eight companies of soldiers; the Invalid Corps was stationed in Philadelphia for most part of the Revolutionary War, but it was forced to move once General William Howe advanced into the city in 1777. On September 25, 1777, the Invalid Corps retreated to Fort Mifflin. Due to sickness, lack of clean water, worries about British incursions, it was recommended to Nicola that he move the Corps to Trenton, New Jersey. Upon arriving at Trenton, Nicola moved to defend locals' property, seeing "a large vessel in the river with a valuable Cargo belonging to Congress, in danger of falling into the enemies hands", and
Battle of Brandywine
The Battle of Brandywine known as the Battle of Brandywine Creek, was fought between the American Continental Army of General George Washington and the British Army of General Sir William Howe on September 11, 1777. The "Redcoats" of the British Army defeated the American rebels in the Patriots' forces and forced them to withdraw northeast toward the American capital and largest city of Philadelphia where the Second Continental Congress had been meeting since 1775; the engagement occurred near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania during Howe's campaign to take Philadelphia, part of the American Revolutionary War. More troops fought at Brandywine than any other battle of the American Revolution, it was the longest single-day battle of the war, with continuous fighting for 11 hours. Howe's army departed from Sandy Hook, New Jersey across New York Bay from the occupied town of New York City on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, on July 23, 1777, landed near present-day Elkton, Maryland, at the point of the "Head of Elk" by the Elk River at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay, at the southern mouth of the Susquehanna River.
Marching north, the British Army brushed aside American light forces in a few skirmishes. General Washington offered battle with his army posted behind Brandywine Creek - off the Christina River. While part of his army demonstrated in front of Chadds Ford, Howe took the bulk of his troops on a long march that crossed the Brandywine far beyond Washington's right flank. Due to poor scouting, the Americans did not detect Howe's column until it reached a position in rear of their right flank. Belatedly, three divisions were shifted to block the British flanking force at Birmingham Friends Meetinghouse and School, a Quaker meeting house. After a stiff fight, Howe's wing broke through the newly formed American right wing, deployed on several hills. At this point Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen attacked Chadds Ford and crumpled the American left wing; as Washington's army streamed away in retreat, he brought up elements of General Nathanael Greene's division which held off Howe's column long enough for his army to escape to the northeast.
Polish General Casimir Pulaski defended Washington's rear assisting in his escape. The defeat and subsequent maneuvers left Philadelphia vulnerable; the British captured the city two weeks on September 26, beginning an occupation that would last nine months until June 1778. In late August 1777, after a distressing 34-day journey from Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey, a Royal Navy fleet of more than 260 ships carrying some 17,000 British troops under the command of British General Sir William Howe landed at the head of the Elk River, on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay near present-day Elkton, Maryland 40–50 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Unloading the ships proved to be a logistical problem because the narrow river neck was shallow and muddy. General George Washington had situated the American forces, about 20,300-strong, between Head of Elk and Philadelphia, his forces were able to reconnoiter the British landing from Iron Hill near Newark, about 9 miles to the northeast. Because of the delay disembarking from the ships, Howe did not set up a typical camp but moved forward with the troops.
As a result, Washington was not able to gauge the strength of the opposing forces. After a skirmish at Cooch's Bridge south of Newark, the British troops moved north and Washington abandoned a defensive encampment along the Red Clay Creek near Newport, Delaware to deploy against the British at Chadds Ford; this site was important as it was the most direct passage across the Brandywine River on the road from Baltimore to Philadelphia. On September 9, Washington positioned detachments to guard other fords above and below Chadds Ford, hoping to force the battle there. Washington employed General John Armstrong, commanding about 1,000 Pennsylvania militia, to cover Pyle's Ford, 5.8 miles south of Chadds Ford, covered by Major Generals Anthony Wayne's and Nathanael Greene's divisions. Major General John Sullivan's division extended northward along the Brandywine's east banks, covering the high ground north of Chadds Ford along with Major General Adam Stephen's division and Major General Lord Stirling's divisions.
Further upstream was a brigade under Colonel Moses Hazen covering Buffington's Ford and Wistar's Ford. Washington was confident; the British grouped forces at nearby Kennett Square. Howe, who had better information about the area than Washington, had no intention of mounting a full-scale frontal attack against the prepared American defenses, he instead employed a flanking maneuver. About 6,800 men under the command of Wilhelm von Knyphausen advanced to meet Washington's troops at Chadds Ford; the remainder of Howe's troops, about 9,000 men, under the command of Charles, Lord Cornwallis, marched north to Trimble's Ford across the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek east to Jefferies Ford across the East Branch, south to flank the American forces. September 11 began with a heavy fog. Washington received contradictory reports about the British troop movements and continued to believe that the main force was moving to attack at Chadds Ford. Knyphausen's Column At 5:30 a.m. the British and Hessian troops began marching east along the "Great Road" from Kennett Square, advancing on the American troops positioned where the road crossed Brandywine Creek.
The first shots of the battle took place about 4 miles west of Chadds Ford, at Welch's Tavern. Elements of Maxwell's continental light infantry skirmished with
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
Presidency of George Washington
The presidency of George Washington began on April 30, 1789, when Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States, ended on March 4, 1797. Washington took office after the 1788–89 presidential election, the nation's first quadrennial presidential election, in which he was elected unanimously. Washington was re-elected unanimously in the 1792 presidential election, chose to retire after two terms, he was succeeded by John Adams of the Federalist Party. Washington had established his preeminence among the new nation's Founding Fathers through his service as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and as President of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Once the Constitution was approved, it was expected that Washington would become the first President of the United States, despite his own desire to retire from public life. In his first inaugural address, Washington expressed both his reluctance to accept the presidency and his inexperience with the duties of civil administration, but he proved an able leader.
Washington presided over the establishment of the new federal government – appointing all of the high-ranking officials in the executive and judicial branches, shaping numerous political practices, establishing the site of the permanent capital of the United States. He supported Alexander Hamilton's economic policies whereby the federal government assumed the debts of the state governments and established the First Bank of the United States, the United States Mint, the United States Customs Service. Congress passed the Tariff of 1789, the Tariff of 1790, an excise tax on whiskey to fund the government and, in the case of the tariffs, address the trade imbalance with Britain. Washington led federal soldiers in suppressing the Whiskey Rebellion, which arose in opposition to the administration's taxation policies, he directed the Northwest Indian War, which saw the United States establish control over Native American tribes in the Northwest Territory. In foreign affairs, he assured domestic tranquility and maintained peace with the European powers despite the raging French Revolutionary Wars by issuing the 1793 Proclamation of Neutrality.
He secured two important bilateral treaties, the 1794 Jay Treaty with Great Britain and the 1795 Treaty of San Lorenzo with Spain, both of which fostered trade and helped secure control of the American frontier. To protect American shipping from Barbary pirates and other threats, he re-established the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794. Concerned about the growing partisanship within the government and the detrimental impact political parties could have on the fragile unity of the nation, Washington struggled throughout his eight-year presidency to hold rival factions together, he was, remains, the only U. S. president never to be affiliated with a political party. In spite of his efforts, debates over Hamilton's economic policy, the French Revolution, the Jay Treaty deepened ideological divisions; those that supported Hamilton formed the Federalist Party, while his opponents coalesced around Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and formed the Democratic-Republican Party. While criticized for furthering the partisanship he sought to avoid by identifying himself with Hamilton, Washington is nonetheless considered by scholars and political historians as one of the greatest presidents in American history ranking in the top three with Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Following the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787, a fatigued Washington returned to his estate in Virginia, Mount Vernon. He seemed intent on resuming his retirement and letting others govern the nation with its new frame of government; the American public at large, wanted Washington to be the nation's first president. The first U. S. presidential campaign was in essence what today would be called a grassroots effort to convince Washington to accept the office. Letters poured into Mount Vernon – from the people, from former comrades in arms, from across the Atlantic – informing him of public sentiment and imploring him to accept. Gouverneur Morris urged Washington to accept, writing " thirteen horses now about to be coupled together, there are some of every race and character, they will submit to your control. You therefore must, I say must mount this seat." Alexander Hamilton was one of the most dedicated in his efforts to get Washington to accept the presidency, as he foresaw himself receiving a powerful position in the administration.
The comte de Rochambeau urged Washington to accept, as did the Marquis de Lafayette, who exhorted Washington to "not to deny your acceptance of the office of President for the first years." Washington replied "Let those follow the pursuits of ambition and fame, who have a keener relish for them, or who may have more years, in store, for the enjoyment." In an October 1788 letter, Washington further expounded on his feelings regarding the election, stating, I should unfeignedly rejoice, in case the Electors, by giving their votes to another person would save me from the dreaded dilemma of being forced to accept or refuse... If that may not be–I am, in the next place, earnestly desirous of searching out the truth, knowing whether there does not exist a probability that the government would be just as and effectually carried into execution without my aid." Less certain was the choice for the vice presidency, which contained little definitive job description in the constitution. The only official role of the vice president was as the President of the United States Senate, a duty unrelated to the executive branch.
The Constitution stipulated that the position would be awarded to the runner-up in the presidential election, or
Siege of Yorktown
The Siege of Yorktown known as the Battle of Yorktown, the Surrender at Yorktown, German Battle or the Siege of Little York, ending on October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by British peer and Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, the siege proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in the North American theater, as the surrender by Cornwallis, the capture of both him and his army, prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict; the battle boosted faltering American morale and revived French enthusiasm for the war, as well as undermining popular support for the conflict in Great Britain. In 1780, about 5,500 French soldiers landed in Rhode Island to help their American allies fight the British troops who controlled New York City.
Following the arrival of dispatches from France that included the possibility of support from the French West Indies fleet of the Comte de Grasse and Rochambeau decided to ask de Grasse for assistance either in besieging New York, or in military operations against a British army operating in Virginia. On the advice of Rochambeau, de Grasse informed them of his intent to sail to the Chesapeake Bay, where Cornwallis had taken command of the army. Cornwallis, at first given confusing orders by his superior officer, Henry Clinton, was ordered to build a defensible deep-water port, which he began to do in Yorktown. Cornwallis' movements in Virginia were shadowed by a Continental Army force led by the Marquis de Lafayette; the French and American armies united north of New York City during the summer of 1781. When word of de Grasse's decision arrived, both armies began moving south toward Virginia, engaging in tactics of deception to lead the British to believe a siege of New York was planned. De Grasse sailed from the West Indies and arrived at the Chesapeake Bay at the end of August, bringing additional troops and creating a naval blockade of Yorktown.
He was transporting 500,000 silver pesos collected from the citizens of Havana, Cuba, to fund supplies for the siege and payroll for the Continental Army. While in Santo Domingo, de Grasse met with Francisco Saavedra de Sangronis, an agent of Carlos III of Spain. De Grasse had planned to leave several of his warships in Santo Domingo. Saavedra promised the assistance of the Spanish navy to protect the French merchant fleet, enabling de Grasse to sail north with all of his warships. In the beginning of September, he defeated a British fleet led by Sir Thomas Graves that came to relieve Cornwallis at the Battle of the Chesapeake; as a result of this victory, de Grasse blocked any escape by sea for Cornwallis. By late September and Rochambeau arrived, the army and naval forces surrounded Cornwallis. After initial preparations, the Americans and French built their first parallel and began the bombardment. With the British defense weakened, on October 14, 1781, Washington sent two columns to attack the last major remaining British outer defenses.
A French column under Wilhelm of the Palatinate-Zweibrücken took Redoubt No. 9 and an American column under Alexander Hamilton took Redoubt No. 10. With these defenses taken, the allies were able to finish their second parallel. With the American artillery closer and its bombardment more intense than the British position began to deteriorate rapidly. Cornwallis asked for capitulation terms on October 17. After two days of negotiation, the surrender ceremony occurred on October 19. With the capture of more than 7,000 British soldiers, negotiations between the United States and Great Britain began, resulting in the Treaty of Paris of 1783. On December 20, 1780, Benedict Arnold sailed from New York with 1,500 troops to Portsmouth, Virginia, he first raided Richmond, defeating the defending militia, from January 5–7 before falling back to Portsmouth. Admiral Destouches, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in July 1780 with a fleet transporting 5,500 soldiers, was encouraged by Washington and French Lieutenant General Rochambeau to move his fleet south, launch a joint land-naval attack on Arnold's troops.
The Marquis de Lafayette was sent south with 1,200 men to help with the assault. However, Destouches was reluctant to dispatch many ships, in February sent only three. After they proved ineffective, he took a larger force of 8 ships in March 1781, fought a tactically inconclusive battle with the British fleet of Marriot Arbuthnot at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Destouches withdrew due to the damage sustained to his fleet, leaving Arbuthnot and the British fleet in control of the bay's mouth. On March 26, Arnold was joined by 2,300 troops under command of Major General William Phillips, who took command of the combined forces. Phillips resumed raiding, defeating the militia at Blandford burning the tobacco warehouses at Petersburg on April 25. Richmond was about to suffer the same fate; the British, not wanting to engage in a major battle, withdrew to Petersburg on May 10. On May 20, Charles Cornwallis arrived at Petersburg with 1,500 men after suffering heavy casualties at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
He assumed command, as Phillips had died of a fever. Cornwallis had not received permission to abandon the Carolinas from his superior, Henry Clinton, but he believed that Virginia would be easier to capture, feeling that it would approve of an invading British army. With the arrival of Cornwallis and more reinforcements from New York, the British Army numbered 7,200 men. Cornwallis wanted to push Lafayette, whose force now