Battle of Long Island June 1776 - British General William Howe defeated the Americans. - Over 1,400 Americans were killed, wounded or captured.
George Washington escaped unharmed BUT……… His army was giving him a headache …………
Objective: To examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Continental and British armies.
Continental Army Advantages -Fighting for their homes and cause of freedom & liberty -leadership of George Washington -Knowledge of the terrain (geography)
Continental Army Disadvantages or “Washington’s Headaches” “ Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.” -GEORGE WASHINGTON July 6, 1777 -Only 1/3 of the colonists in favor of the war -No navy -Untrained and Unpaid soldiers -Troops were not yet “united for the cause” -Few cannons and little gunpowder -Officers not properly trained
The rifle took a long time to load, compared to the musket. By the time a soldier forced his rifle ball down the barrel, the enemy could get him with a bayonet. Their rifles had no bayonet, a necessity for fighting at close range, or in damp weather when wet flints and gunpowder made firearms useless. Because of these disadvantages, the musket remained the primary weapon used during the Revolutionary War.
- plentiful weapons and supplies British Army Advantages - highly trained, experienced soldiers & officers - most powerful navy in the world
-less reasons to fight hard – no inspirational cause British Army Disadvantages - the war was fought far from home – supplies, etc. - Unknown terrain -risked constant attack The Patriot – Battle Scene
Military Strategies Attrition [the Brits had a long supply line]. Guerilla tactics [fight an insurgent war you don’t have to win a battle, just wear the British down] Make an alliance with one of Britain’s enemies. The AmericansThe British Break the colonies in half by getting between the No. & the So. Blockade the ports to prevent the flow of goods and supplies from an ally. “Divide and Conquer” use the Loyalists. So…. What did Washington do to resolve these problems?
By late fall…… Washington forced out of NY and most of NJ. Winter was coming Things are starting to look desperate! What should Washington do…..?
Battle of Trenton -When? -What happens? -Casualties? -Significance?
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, American, 1816-1868 George Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Benjamin Franklin at the Court of France. What has Ben Franklin been up to? He has been wooing the French trying to get them to take more formal steps as an ally… he has his work cut out for him!
Saratoga: “Turning Point” of the War? Saratoga: “Turning Point” of the War? A modern-day re-enactment
Battle of Saratoga What was the plan???? GREAT PLAN, WHAT WENT WRONG????????
The Battle of Saratoga was a significant turning point in the war, WHY?
In the meantime…… where is George? Valley Forge - bleak outlook. The troops were: Freezing Hungry Sick 2,000 soldiers die, yet …. the survivors did not desert!
“ It may be said that no history... can furnish an instance of an Army’s suffering uncommon hardships as ours have done.... To see the men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie upon, without shoes,... and submitting without a murmur, is a proof of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarcely be paralleled.” -quoted in Ordeal at Valley Forge A Personal Voice - George Washington
But all was not lost…. Finally we are getting some help to train our soldiers Who? Prussian Capt. Friedrich von Steuben From France, Marquis de Lafayette Did this assistance make a difference????? YES - The Continental Army was transformed into an effective military force.
Valley Forge--Washington & Lafayette. Winter 1777-78.
Also, where’s that paycheck you promised? Congress running out of hard currency (gold and silver) and were printing more “Continentals” (paper money). Effect? How are we going to fix this problem?
How are the civilians in the colonies being affected by the war? How did the war effect colonial life: Women? African Americans? Native Americans? Now, back to the battlefield… After British lose at Saratoga and French join in… they decide to head south.