The Beginning of the Revolutionary War
North American Claims
Boston & Concord
4/19/1775 The Battles of Lexington and Concord @ Lexington & Concord, Mass - American Win
> The Battles of Lexington and Concord were actually the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge, near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in the mainland of British North America. About 700 British Army regulars, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, were ordered to capture and destroy military supplies that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord.
George Washington was voted by the "House of Burgess" as one of members of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1774. He was 42 years old and was in his prime. When returning to Virginia he made sure the Virginia militia was ready for action. He could see that there was a dangerous future ahead and that he might be part of a different kind of battle plan.
He attended the second Continental Congress in May of 1775. By this time the battle at Lexington and Concord had created "The Shot Heard Around the World". He wore his military uniform to the sessions. He was surprised to see the meetings were closer to the crown then he presumed. The rationalization of the congress was surprising since hostilities were already in motion.
John Adams considered George Washington the best suited leader for the conflict ahead. Washington stayed away from the hall when the vote was taken. He was voted in "unanimously".
When Washington came to accept the honor he said: "I beg it may be remembered, by every gentleman in this room, that I, this day, declare with the utmost sincerity I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with". He explained that he did not want to draw a salary, except for expenses. At this point he was the one and only member of the newly created "Continental Army". By being from Virginia this helped unify the north and south. This created an alliance for the 13 colonies. Washington now was the new "Commander in Chief".
In June of 1775 he met his army in Cambridge. He then went to New York and participated in a parade to honor his visit. He met the militia of New York. On the same day a British Governor, William Tryon, arrived in New York. Both of these events had many New Yorkers involved in greeting these two opposite dignitaries. Now from opposite sides of the coming war.
As Washington was in New York the news of the battle of Bunker Hill was received as a patriot defeat. The news did not explain to Washington the great cost of men and resources were expended by the British. Even though the patriots left the battle field, they had made a major dent in the British army. Instead of lining up for battle the patriots made fortifications and fought behind their protected enclosures. This gave the British a great surprise. They were not expecting this kind of fighting.
Washington headed to Boston to organize the troops to begin his part as the Commander in Chief. General Washington and General Lee worked together to work with the Bostonians and the militia. It was obvious to both commanders that changes need to be made. They changed the officers of the corps and began training the new ones to follow their orders and organize the troops for health and order.
The troops did not have enough gun power to proceed. He put out a hushed request to targeted resource areas. He did not want the British to know how dire the Continental Army was incapable of defending itself. Washington didn't know of a British spy that was in the Massachusetts Congress but Washington kept a low profile and kept this information confidential. The secret was not divulged to the enemy.
As resources began to come in from all around, Washington made a blockade that cut off the British from leaving by land. His army was falling apart. Many soldiers went home or did not follow orders as prescribed so Washington recruited for a new army. As he received new recruits, the new officers trained them as best as possible. The time was at hand for a strong military. The British were one of the strongest militaries in the world. When the first flag of the United States was hoisted the Bostonians thought it was a flag of surrender. Things were very difficult.
5/10/1775 The Siege of Fort Ticonderoga @ Fort Ticonderoga, NY - American Win
> On April 19, 1775 the Revolutionary War had begun with the skirmishing at Lexington and Concord Massachusetts. Once the British detachment retreated to Boston, the Siege of Boston began. As the rebels continued to gather around Boston, they realized that they did not have the munitions or cannon to carry out successful siege or military operations. Fort Ticonderoga, which is located on Lake Champlain, became an objective for its stores of munitions and the strategic position of control that it held over the waterways to Canada. As a result, expeditions began to be planned to capture the fort. - - Click Here to Continue - -
5/27/1775 The Battle of Chelsea Creek @ Soffolk County, Mass - American Win
> The Battle of Chelsea Creek was the second military engagement of the Boston campaign of the American Revolutionary War. It is also known as the Battle of Noddle's Island, Battle of Hog Island and the Battle of the Chelsea Estuary. This battle was fought on May 27 and 28, 1775, on Chelsea Creek and on salt marshes, mudflats, and islands of Boston Harbor, northeast of the Boston peninsula. Most of these areas have since been united with the mainland by land reclamation and are now part of East Boston, Chelsea, Winthrop, and Revere. The British colonists met their goal of strengthening the siege of Boston by removing livestock and hay on those islands from the reach of the British regulars. - - Click Here to Continue - -
Washington ordered the captured canon from Ticonderoga to be brought to Boston area on custom made sleds through the snow. As the canon arrived a few weeks later they were placed on the Dorchester Heights overlooking the Boston Harbor. A major storm began and gave "cover" for this important placement of canon. This was a major strategic win for the Continental Army.
Washington was expecting the British to attack the canon placement on the heights so his troops could attack the British in the city but things changed quickly. A violent storm appeared and modified the British plan into a retreat. Again providence helped the colonists against the British superior war machine.
The British began to withdraw onto their ships. They would concede their position and threw some of their equipment into the Boston Bay in their haste to leave. The British worked out an arrangement with Washington that they would not burn the city of Boston as long as the patriots would let the ships leave peacefully.