Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and the Hundred Years' War, it was an early colonial power, with possessions around the world. France originated as West Francia, the western half of the Carolingian Empire, with the Treaty of Verdun. A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, when Hugh Capet was elected king and founded the Capetian dynasty; the territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France was Philip II, in 1190. France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution. France in the Middle Ages was a feudal monarchy. In Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the French king was felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France.
West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, but the regular coronation of the eldest son of the reigning king during his father's lifetime established the principle of male primogeniture, which became codified in the Salic law. During the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years' War. Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars. France in the early modern era was centralised. Religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France. Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America but was costly and achieved little for France.
The Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the other great powers in 1814 and lasted until the French Revolution of 1848. During the years of the elderly Charlemagne's rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of the Kingdom of the Franks. After Charlemagne's death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining political unity and the empire began to crumble; the Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, with Charles the Bald ruling over West Francia, the nucleus of what would develop into the kingdom of France. Charles the Bald was crowned King of Lotharingia after the death of Lothair II in 869, but in the Treaty of Meerssen was forced to cede much of Lotharingia to his brothers, retaining the Rhone and Meuse basins but leaving the Rhineland with Aachen and Trier in East Francia. Viking advances were allowed to increase, their dreaded longships were sailing up the Loire and Seine rivers and other inland waterways, wreaking havoc and spreading terror.
During the reign of Charles the Simple, Normans under Rollo from Norway, were settled in an area on either side of the River Seine, downstream from Paris, to become Normandy. The Carolingians were to share the fate of their predecessors: after an intermittent power struggle between the two dynasties, the accession in 987 of Hugh Capet, Duke of France and Count of Paris, established the Capetian dynasty on the throne. With its offshoots, the houses of Valois and Bourbon, it was to rule France for more than 800 years; the old order left the new dynasty in immediate control of little beyond the middle Seine and adjacent territories, while powerful territorial lords such as the 10th- and 11th-century counts of Blois accumulated large domains of their own through marriage and through private arrangements with lesser nobles for protection and support. The area around the lower Seine became a source of particular concern when Duke William took possession of the kingdom of England by the Norman Conquest of 1066, making himself and his heirs the King's equal outside France.
Henry II inherited the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Anjou, married France's newly divorced ex-queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, who ruled much of southwest France, in 1152. After defeating a revolt led by Eleanor and three of their four sons, Henry had Eleanor imprisoned, made the Duke of Brittany his vassal, in effect ruled the western half of France as a greater power than the French throne. However, disputes among Henry's descendants over the division of his French territories, coupled with John of England's lengthy quarrel with Philip II, allowed Philip II to recover influence over most of this territory. After the French victory at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, the English monarchs maintained power only in southwestern Duchy of Guyenne; the death of Charles IV of France in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line. Under Salic law the crown could not pass through a woman (Philip IV's daughter
Battle of Stono Ferry
The Battle of Stono Ferry was an American Revolutionary War battle, fought on June 20, 1779, near Charleston, South Carolina. The rear guard from a British expedition retreating from an aborted attempt to take Charleston held off an assault by poorly trained militia forces under American General Benjamin Lincoln; the opening move in Britain's "southern strategy" to regain control of its rebellious colonies was Admiral Peter Parker and General Henry Clinton's ignominious defeat in June 1776 to a vastly smaller militia force at a partially-constructed palmetto palisade on Sullivan's Island off Charlestown, South Carolina, the Royal Navy's first repulse in a century. In December 1778, Savannah was captured and Charleston again exposed to danger. At the time, it was the site of the Continental Army's southern command under General Benjamin Lincoln; the British garrison at Savannah was about the same size as his own. Throughout the early months of 1779, Lincoln was reinforced by local militia as well as militia from North Carolina and Georgia.
From a base at Purrysburg, South Carolina, Lincoln directed these forces to monitor key points on the Savannah River between the coast and Augusta, which fell into British hands in late January. This buildup of forces prompted the British to withdraw their force from Augusta back to Ebenezer, across the river from Purrysburg. During these maneuvers a Loyalist force was defeated in the Battle of Kettle Creek, a North Carolina militia force was defeated in the Battle of Brier Creek. By mid-April Lincoln felt strong enough to move in force with the goal of tightening the cordon around Savannah, cutting the British off from local resources, he marched from Purrysburg on April 23 toward Augusta. Lincoln was unaware that the British supply situation was somewhat desperate, in part because American privateer activity had been successful in capturing British supply ships destined for Savannah and diverting them, his movement toward Augusta left the rich lands of coastal South Carolina protected by a minimal militia force.
When British General Augustine Prevost learned of this movement, he decided to counterthrust against the militia forces at Purrysburg, marching 2,500 men out on April 29. The militia, about 1,000 men under the command of General William Moultrie, fell back toward Charleston rather than engaging Prevost, Moultrie sent messengers to Lincoln warning him of the British movement; as Moultrie retreated, local men deserted his force in order to protect their plantations. Prevost decided to pursue Moultrie, chased him to the gates of Charleston. On May 10, companies from the two forces skirmished near Ashley Ferry, about seven miles from Charleston. Two days Prevost intercepted a message from which he learned that Lincoln was marching back to Charleston, decided to retreat, his army was slowed by having taken supplies en route, so he decided to leave a rear guard at Stono Ferry, between Johns Island and the mainland, removing most of his army to Savannah by boat on June 16. Prevost placed Lieutenant Colonel John Maitland in charge of the rear guard, which numbered about 900 men.
A bridgehead was established on the north side of an area now known as New Cut Church Flats. Three strong redoubts were built, circled by an abatis and manned by Highlanders from the 71st Foot, Hessians from the Regiment von Trumbach, companies of Loyalists from North and South Carolina. Lincoln, on his arrival in Charleston, decided to mount an attack on this outpost. Though he commanded five to seven thousand men, he was only able to raise about 1,200 men from the poorly trained local militia, for the expedition. General Moultrie led a smaller secondary effort to the east against a small group of British soldiers on Johns Island. Lincoln deployed his troops after a night march of eight miles from the Ashley Ferry, located in the present village of Drayton Hall. Upon their arrival at dawn, they began struggling through thick woods; the Americans advanced in two wings. Continental Army troops, under General Isaac Huger, made up the left wing. With Huger was a group of light infantry under John Henderson, it was these troops who, shortly before sunrise, made first contact with the enemy.
The battle began well for the Patriots. They engaged the British positions with small arms and cannon fire for an hour, at which point they advanced to the abatis. Of the Highlanders, two companies resisted until only 11 men were left standing. Here Maitland shifted his forces in an attempt to counter the larger threat posed by Huger's wing; the Hessians rallied and returned to the fight, reserves were brought across the bridge. Lincoln chose this moment to order a withdrawal; the American loss in the battle was 34 killed, 113 155 missing. Among the dead was Hugh Jackson, elder brother of future President Andrew Jackson, felled by heat and exhaustion. Huger was wounded; the British casualties were 93 wounded and 1 missing. Maitland had decided a week prior to the battle to withdraw from the site, but his movement was delayed by a lack of water transportation, he began moving on June 23 towards Beaufort, although with little prompting from Lincoln's attack. The site of the battle is still visible today, at the end of South Carolina Route 318 near Rantowles.
Mark M. Boatner III, Landmarks of the American Revolution, 1992 edition. Lipscomb, Terry.
Cavalry or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were the most mobile of the combat arms. An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon, or trooper; the designation of cavalry was not given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height and inertial mass over an opponent on foot. Another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent; the speed and shock value of the cavalry was appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages. In Europe cavalry became armoured, became known for the mounted knights.
During the 17th century cavalry in Europe lost most of its armor, ineffective against the muskets and cannon which were coming into use, by the mid-19th century armor had fallen into disuse, although some regiments retained a small thickened cuirass that offered protection against lances and sabres and some protection against shot. In the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. However, some cavalry still served during World War II, notably in the Red Army, the Mongolian People's Army, the Royal Italian Army, the Romanian Army, the Polish Land Forces, light reconnaissance units within the Waffen SS. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, or as mounted infantry in difficult terrain such as mountains or forested areas. Modern usage of the term refers to units performing the role of reconnaissance and target acquisition. In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles.
These include scouting, skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of own disposition of troops, forward security, offensive reconnaissance by combat, defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement, restoration of command and control, battle handover and passage of lines, relief in place, breakout operations, raiding. The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the "armored" designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was performed by light chariots; the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The chariot was adopted by settled peoples both as a military technology and an object of ceremonial status by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom of Egypt as well as the Assyrian army and Babylonian royalty; the power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, but was offset by the difficulty of raising large forces and by the inability of horses to carry heavy armor.
Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Iranic Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC. At this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was much more difficult than mere riding; the cavalry acted in pairs. At this early time, cavalry used swords and bows; the sculpture implies two types of cavalry. Images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse; as early as 490 BC a breed of large horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour, but large horses were still exceptional at this time. By the fourth century BC the Chinese during the Warring States period began to use cavalry against rival states, by 331 BC when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians the use of chariots in battle was obsolete in most nations.
The last recorded use of chariots as a shock force in continental Europe was during the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC. However, chariots remained in use for ceremonial purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph, or for racing. Outside of mainland Europe, the southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, but by the time of the Roman conquest of Britain a century chariots were obsolete in Britannia; the last mention of chariot use in Britain was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were limited to those citizens who could afford expensive war-horses. Three types of cavalry became common: light cavalry, whose riders, armed with javelins, could harass and skirmish.
The Gunpowder Incident was a conflict early in the American Revolutionary War between Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, militia led by Patrick Henry. On April 20, 1775, one day after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Lord Dunmore ordered the removal of the gunpowder from the magazine in Williamsburg, Virginia to a Royal Navy ship; this action sparked local unrest, militia companies began mustering throughout the colony. Patrick Henry led a small militia force toward Williamsburg to force return of the gunpowder to the colony's control; the matter was resolved without conflict. Dunmore, fearing for his personal safety retreated to a naval vessel, ending royal control of the colony. Military tensions began to rise in the British colonies of North America in 1774 when a series of legislative acts by the British Parliament known as the Intolerable Acts began to be implemented in the colonies; the colonies, in solidarity with the Province of Massachusetts Bay, singled out for punishment by those acts in the wake of the Boston Tea Party, had organized a Congress to meet in September 1774.
During the meeting of the First Continental Congress word arrived of a militia uprising in Massachusetts that became known as the Powder Alarm. In early September, General Thomas Gage, the royal governor of Massachusetts, had removed gunpowder from a powder magazine in Charlestown, militia from all over New England had flocked to the area in response to false rumors that violence had been involved. One consequence of this action was that the Congress called for the colonies to organize militia companies for their defense. Another was that Lord Dartmouth, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, advised the colonial governors to secure their military supplies, prohibited importation of further supplies of powder. In early 1775, Virginians began to organize militia companies and seek out military supplies to arm and equip them. Lord Dunmore, Virginia's royal governor, saw this rising unrest in his colony and sought to deprive Virginia militia of these supplies, it was not until after Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at the Second Virginia Convention on March 23 that Dunmore " it prudent to remove some Gunpowder, in a Magazine in this place."
Although British Army troops had been withdrawn from Virginia in the wake of the Powder Alarm, there were several Royal Navy ships in the Virginia waters of Chesapeake Bay. On April 19, Lord Dunmore brought a company of British sailors into Williamsburg and quartered them in the governor's mansion. Dunmore ordered Captain Henry Collins, commander of HMS Magdalen, to remove the gunpowder from the magazine in Williamsburg. On the night of April 20, Royal Navy sailors went to the Williamsburg powder magazine, loaded fifteen half barrels of powder into the governor's wagon, transported it to the eastern end of the Quarterpath Road to be loaded aboard the Magdalen in the James River; the act was discovered by townsfolk while underway, they sounded an alarm. Local militia rallied to the scene, riders spread word of the incident across the colony. Dunmore had as a precaution armed his servants with muskets, it was only the calming words of Patriot leaders, including the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, Peyton Randolph, that prevented the assembling crowd from storming Dunmore's mansion.
The city council demanded the return of the powder, claiming it was the property of the colony and not the Crown. Dunmore demurred, stating that he was moving the powder as protection against its seizure during a rumored slave uprising, would return it; this seemed to satisfy the assembled crowd, it dispersed peacefully. Unrest however spread throughout the countryside. After a second crowd was convinced to disperse by Patriot leaders, Dunmore reacted angrily, warning on April 22 that if attacked, he would "declare Freedom to the Slaves, reduce the City of Williamsburg to Ashes." He told a Williamsburg alderman that he had "once fought for the Virginians" but "By God, I would let them see that I could fight against them." By April 29, militia mobilizing in the countryside had learned of the battles at Lexington and Concord. Nearly 700 men mustered at Fredericksburg, decided to send a messenger to Williamsburg to assess the situation before marching on the capital. Peyton Randolph advised against violence, George Washington, a longtime leader of the Virginia militia, concurred.
In response to their advice, the Fredericksburg militia voted by a narrow margin not to march. However, militia from other parts of the colony did march to Williamsburg; the Hanover County militia, led by Patrick Henry, voted on May 2 to march on Williamsburg. Henry dispatched a small company to the home of Richard Corbin, the Deputy Collector of the Royal Revenue in Virginia, in a bid to force him to pay for the powder from Crown revenue in his possession; that day Dunmore's family escaped Williamsburg to Porto Bello, Lord Dunmore's hunting lodge on the York River, from there to HMS Fowey, lying at anchor in the York River. Corbin was not at home—he was in Williamsburg, meeting with Dunmore. Henry was advised by Carter Braxton, Corbin's son-in-law and a Patriot member of the House of Burgesses, not to enter the city, while Braxton rode into the city and negotiated a payment; the next day, May 4, Henry received a bill of exchange for £330 signed by a wealthy pl
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland
Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge
The Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought near Wilmington in present-day Pender County, North Carolina, on February 27, 1776. The victory of North Carolina Revolutionary forces over Southern Loyalists helped build political support for the revolution and increased recruitment of additional soldiers into their forces. Loyalist recruitment efforts in the interior of North Carolina began in earnest with news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Patriots in the province began organizing Continental Army and militia units; when word arrived in January 1776 of a planned British Army expedition to the area, Josiah Martin, the royal governor, ordered the Loyalist militia to muster in anticipation of their arrival. Revolutionary militia and Continental units mobilized to prevent the junction, blockading several routes until the poorly armed Loyalists were forced to confront them at Moore's Creek Bridge, about 18 miles north of Wilmington. In a brief early-morning engagement, a charge across the bridge by sword-wielding Loyalist Scotsmen was met by a barrage of musket fire.
One Loyalist leader was killed, another captured, the whole force was scattered. In the following days, many Loyalists were arrested. North Carolina was not militarily threatened again until 1780, memories of the battle and its aftermath negated efforts by Charles Cornwallis to recruit Loyalists in the area in 1781. In early 1775, with political and military tensions rising in the Thirteen Colonies, North Carolina's royal governor, Josiah Martin, hoped to combine the recruiting of Scots settlers in the North Carolina interior with that of sympathetic former Regulators and disaffected Loyalists in the coastal areas to build a large Loyalist force to counteract Patriot sympathies in the province, his petition to London to recruit 1,000 men had been rejected, but he continued efforts to rally Loyalist support. At about the same time, Scotsman Allan Maclean lobbied King George III for permission to recruit Loyalist Scots throughout North America. In April, he received royal permission to raise a regiment known as the Royal Highland Emigrants by recruiting retired Scottish soldiers living in North America.
One battalion was to be recruited in the northern provinces, including New York and Nova Scotia, while a second battalion was to be raised in North Carolina and other southern provinces, where a large number of these soldiers had been given land. After receiving his commissions from General Thomas Gage in June, Maclean sent Donald MacLeod and Donald MacDonald, two veterans of the June 17 Battle of Bunker Hill, south to lead the recruitment drive there; these recruiters were aware that Allan MacDonald, husband of the famous Jacobite heroine Flora MacDonald was actively recruiting in North Carolina. Their arrival at New Bern was cause for suspicion by members of North Carolina's Committee of Safety, but they were not arrested. On January 3, 1776, Martin learned that an expedition of more than 2,000 troops under the command of General Henry Clinton was planned for the southern colonies and that their arrival was expected in mid-February, he sent word to the recruiters that he expected them to deliver recruits to the coast by February 15, dispatched Alexander Maclean to Cross Creek to coordinate activities in that area.
Mclean optimistically reported to Martin that he would raise and equip 5,000 Regulators and 1,000 Scots. Martin is reported to have said "This is the moment when this country may be delivered from anarchy", expecting a North Carolina Loyalist victory. In a meeting of Scots and Regulator leaders at Cross Creek on February 5, there was disagreement on how to proceed; the Scots wanted to wait until the British troops had arrived before mustering, while the Regulators wanted to move immediately. The views of the latter prevailed since they claimed to be able to raise 5,000 men, while the Scots expected to raise only 700 to 800; when the forces mustered on February 15, there were about 3,500 men, but the number dwindled over the next few days. Many men had expected to be met and escorted by British troops and did not relish the possibility of having to fight their way to the coast; when they marched three days Brigadier General Donald MacDonald led between 1,400 and 1,600 men, predominantly Scots.
This number was further reduced over the coming days as more men deserted the column. With the reaction of the revolutionary war, word of the Cross Creek meeting reached members of the Revolutionary North Carolina Provincial Congress a few days after it happened; the colonies were broadly prosperous on the eve of the American Revolution. Pursuant to resolutions of the Second Continental Congress, the provincial congress had raised the 1st North Carolina Regiment of the Continental Army in fall 1775, given command to Colonel James Moore. Local committees of safety in Wilmington and New Bern had active militia organizations, led by Alexander Lillington and Richard Caswell respectively. On February 15 the Patriot forces began to mobilize. Moore led 650 Continentals out of Wilmington with the objective of preventing the Loyalists from reaching the coast, they camped on the southern shore of Rockfish Creek on February 15, about 7 miles from the Loyalist camp. General MacDonald learned of their arrival, sent Moore a copy of a proclamation issued by Governor Martin and a letter calling on the rebels to lay down their arms.
Moore responded with his own call that the Loyalists lay down their arms and support the cause of Congress. In the meantime, Caswell led 800 New Bern District Brigade militiamen toward the area. MacDonald
Capture of Savannah
The Capture of Savannah, or sometimes the First Battle of Savannah, was an American Revolutionary War battle fought on December 29, 1778 pitting local American Patriot militia and Continental Army units, holding the city, against a British invasion force under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell. The British seizure of the city led to an extended occupation and was the opening move in the British southern strategy to regain control of the rebellious Southern provinces by appealing to the strong Loyalist sentiment there. General Sir Henry Clinton, the commander-in-chief of the British forces based in New York City, dispatched Campbell and a 3,100-strong force from New York to capture Savannah, begin the process of returning Georgia to British control, he was to be assisted by troops under the command of Brigadier General Augustine Prevost that were marching up from Saint Augustine in East Florida. After landing near Savannah on December 23, Campbell assessed the American defenses, which were comparatively weak, decided to attack without waiting for Prevost.
Taking advantage of local assistance he flanked the American position outside the town, captured a large portion of Major General Robert Howe's army, drove the remnants to retreat into South Carolina. Campbell and Prevost followed up the victory with the capture of Sunbury and an expedition to Augusta; the latter was only occupied by Campbell for a few weeks before he retreated back to Savannah, citing insufficient Loyalist and Native American support and the threat of Patriot forces across the Savannah River in South Carolina. The British held off a Franco-American siege in 1779, held the city until late in the war. In March 1778, following the defeat of a British army at Saratoga and the consequent entry of France into the American Revolutionary War as an American ally, Lord George Germain, the British secretary responsible for the war, wrote to Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton that capturing the southern colonies was "considered by the King as an object of great importance in the scale of the war".
Germain's instructions to Clinton, framed as recommendations, were that he should abandon Philadelphia and embark on operations to recover Georgia and the Carolinas, while making diversionary attacks against Virginia and Maryland. In June and July 1778 Clinton removed his troops from Philadelphia back to New York. In November, after dealing with the threat of a French fleet off New York and Newport, Rhode Island, Clinton turned his attention to the south, he organized a force of about 3,000 men in New York and sent orders to Saint Augustine, the capital of East Florida, where Brigadier General Augustine Prevost was to organize all available men and Indian agent John Stuart was to rally the local Creek and Cherokee warriors to assist in operations against Georgia. Clinton's basic plan, first proposed by Thomas Brown in 1776, began with the capture of the capital of Georgia, Savannah. Clinton gave command of the detachment from New York to Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell; the force consisted of two battalions of the 71st Regiment of Foot, the Hessian regiments von Wöllwarth and von Wissenbach, four Loyalist provincial units: one battalion from the New York Volunteers, two from DeLancey's Brigade, one from Skinner's Brigade.
Campbell sailed from New York on November 26 and arrived off Tybee Island, near the mouth of the Savannah River, on December 23. The state of Georgia was defended by two separate forces. Units of the Continental Army were under the command of General Robert Howe, responsible for the defense of the entire South, while the state's militia companies were under the overall command of Georgia Governor John Houstoun. Howe and Georgia authorities had squabbled over control of military expeditions against Prevost in East Florida, those expeditions had failed; these failures led the Continental Congress to decide in September 1778 to replace Howe with Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who had negotiated militia participation in events surrounding the British defeat at Saratoga. Lincoln had not yet arrived. During November 1778 British raids into Georgia became more and more threatening to the state's population centers. Despite the urgency of the situation, Governor Houstoun refused to allow Howe to direct the movements of the Georgia militia.
On November 18, Howe began marching south from Charleston, South Carolina with 550 Continental Army troops, arriving in Savannah late that month. He learned that Campbell had sailed from New York on December 6. On December 23 sails were spotted off Tybee Island; the next day, Governor Houstoun assigned 100 Georgia militia to Howe. A war council decided to attempt a vigorous defense of Savannah, in spite of the fact that they were to be outnumbered, hoping to last until Lincoln's troops arrived. Due the large number of potential landing points, Howe was forced to hold most of his army in reserve until the British had landed; the place Campbell selected for landing was Girardeau's Plantation, located about 2 miles below the city. When word reached Howe that the landing had started on December 29, he sent a company of Continentals to occupy the bluffs above the landing site. Campbell realized that the bluffs would need to be controlled before the majority of his forces could land, dispatched two companies of the 71st Regiment to take control of them.
The Continentals opened fire at about 100 yards. The Continentals retreated, having killed four and wounded five at no