American Revolutionary War

1774-1783
American Colonies, France — versus — Britain

Boston — 1775     New York, New Jersey — 1776      Saratoga — 1777     
Philadelphia — 1777-78      Southern Theatre — 1780-81      Western Theatre — 1777-83     
Naval Battles — 1777-83     

Rebellion in the American colonies was never a problem for Britain until after she succeeded in driving France from the continent during the French Indian Wars. As long as England's army was required to fend off the French and their Indian allies, there was no talk of rebellion, but once the threat was relieved, the colonists no longer wanted to be taxed to support British troops in the region that they no longer saw as necessary.

Although Britain's army and resources dwarfed that of the American colonists, the colonists had several important advantages. First, the colonies were spread out over an enormous area and governed independently from each other. Settlers were accustomed to living off the land and even if Britain conquered most of the major cities, it made little difference to the colonists. Second, the population of the colonies at the time of the revolution was over 2 million, far too large to control by force, even with the largest army Britain could muster. Third, the war was so unpopular in Britain that king George had to hirer mercenaries from Germany to fight the colonists, and even his generals were less than enthusiastic about the effort. In contrast, most patriots were were entirely loyal to the cause and they had an excellent leader in George Washington. Lastly, the British would need an overwhelming victory over the patriots to crush the rebellion, while the American only needed to make it impossible for Britain to prevail. A stalemate, over the long term, would be an American victory.

Siege of Boston : 1775

Battle of Bunker Hill
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
The American War of Independence began in the area of Boston, a city which had long been a hot-bed of revolutionary activity, and had never had good relations with the crown. It had already been the site of several small-scale rebellions, including the Boston tea party, and was considered a trouble-spot by Britain.

The battles of Lexington and Concord were small, but significant conflicts that were triggered by a British decision to confiscate the armaments of a local militia and arrest several well-known "trouble-makers". The British plans were thwarted, and once hostilities commenced, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold made a surprise attack on Ft. Ticonderoga near Lake Champlain. A month later, when the patriots heard that the British were going to fortify several hills surrounding Boston, they fought the first major battle of the war at Bunker Hill. At the same time the Continental Congress, realizing that war was imminent, appointed George Washington commander-in-chief of the Continental army.

All this activity occurred in April, May and June 1775, over a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed. As soon as possible, Washington joined the Massachusetts militiamen who had besieged the British army inside Boston. With very little arms or ammunition, there was little he could do but drill his men. Meanwhile, Henry Knox managed to move almost all of the cannon taken for Ft. Ticonderoga to Boston, where it was used to fortify Dorchester Heights. Seeing that it was now impossible to use Boston as a base of operations, the British withdrew to Halifax. This successful campaign gave confidence to many wavering patriots and encouraged the signers of the Declaration of Independence.



DateBattle Summary
1775  
Battle of Lexington (Boston ) drawn battle victory
Fought April 19, 1775, between the Royal troops, under General Gage, and the Americans. After a brief engagement the Americans were defeated, and retired. The losses on both sides were very small.
  
1775  
Battle of Bunker's Hill (Boston ) British victory
Fought June 17, 1775, when 2,000 British troops, forming a portion of General Gage's army, dislodged the Americans holding Breeds Hill and Bunker's Hill, on the outskirts of Boston. The position was stubbornly contested, the assailants losing 800 men.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Paul Revere Paul Revere is famous for his ride from through Lexington-Concord, warning of the British attack.
Nathan Hale American patriot caught by the British and hung for treason.
George Washington Leader of the Continental Army of the U.S. during the Revolutionary War, and first President.
John Stark 'Hero of Bennington' during the American Revolution. Fought with Rogers' Rangers during French Indian War.
Ethan Allen Mountain man who became famous leader of Vermont's "Green Mountain Boys" during Revolution Era.
Israel Putnam Outspoken and adventure-loving soldier. Participated in both French-Indian and Revolutionary Wars.
Henry Knox Officer in the Continental army who later arose to be the first American secretary of War.
General Howe Commander-and-Chief of British forces during Revolutionary War. Took New York and Philadelphia.
Henry Clinton British General during the American Revolutionary War.


Story Links
Book Links
Paul Revere  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Green Mountain Boys  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Bunker Hill  in  Boys' Book of Battles  by  Chelsea Curtis Fraser
The Battle of Lexington  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
Bunker Hill  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
The British leave Boston  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
Paul Revere's Ride  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
First Thrust—The Battle of Bunker Hill  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
Paul Revere's Ride  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
Battle of Lexington  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Paul Revere's Ride  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Battle of Bunker Hill  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
General Warren  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Red-coats Leave Boston  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
The Siege of Boston in  George Washington  by   Ada Russell
Declaration of Independence  in  The Struggle for Sea Power  by  M. B. Synge


New York and New Jersey : 1776

Battle of Trenton
WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE
Once the Declaration of Independence was signed, Washington anticipated an attack on New York and did what he could to fortify the area. The British took Staten Island and spent several months marshaling forces before they attacked the Patriot fortifications on Manhattan. Confronted by an overwhelming force of over 30,000 British soldiers, there was little the Patriots could do but retreat, first to their camp at Brooklyn heights, and then north. They fought several more engagements, but eventually had to surrender Forts Washington and Lee, guarding the entrance to the Hudson River. By November, Washington and his army had to retreat through New Jersey, pursued by British forces.

Washington crossed the Delaware with most of his forces in late November to escape the British army. A month later he crossed back into New Jersey on Christmas eve and surprised the Hessian garrison at Trenton. He followed this up with another victory at Princeton, which boosted morale considerably. During the rest of the winter of 1776-77, the British army under General Howe was solidly entrenched in New York, with control of the Hudson river, and Washington was working to rebuild his army.



DateBattle Summary
1776  
Battle of Brooklyn (New York ) British victory
Fought August 27, 1776, between 30,000 British under Sir William Howe, and the Americans, about 11,000 strong, under General Putnam. The Americans were completely defeated, with a loss of about 2,000 killed and wounded. The British lost 65 killed and 255 wounded.
  
1776  
Battle of Trenton (New York ) Colonists victory
Fought Dec 26, 1776 when 2400 colonists under George Washington crossed the Delaware and surprised and 1400 Hessians under Johann Rall. The battle, fought early in the morning after a snowstorm was a route. The colonists captured over 900 prisoners and lost only two.
  
1776  
Battle of Princeton (New York ) Colonists victory
Fought 1776 between the Americans, under Washington, and the British, under General Gage. The British were defeated, and this victory enabled Washington to regain possession of New Jersey.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Israel Putnam Outspoken and adventure-loving soldier. Participated in both French-Indian and Revolutionary Wars.
George Washington Leader of the Continental Army of the U.S. during the Revolutionary War, and first President.
General Howe Commander-and-Chief of British forces during Revolutionary War. Took New York and Philadelphia.
Henry Clinton British General during the American Revolutionary War.
General Cornwallis British leader defeated at Yorktown in Revolutionary War. Later served as governor in India.


Story Links
Book Links
Capturing the Hessians  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
A Lady's Way of Helping  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
Christmas Eve  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
Darkest Hour—Trenton and Princeton  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
Washington's Christmas Gift to the American Army in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
War of Independence in  George Washington  by   Ada Russell


Saragota Campaign : 1777

Surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga
SURRENDER OF BURGOYNE AT SARATOGA
The British strategy was to cut the colonies in half by gaining control of the Hudson valley. General Burgoyne would enter New York from the north, by way of Canada, while General Howe worked his way up the Hudson, from his base in New York city. It was a good strategy, but Burgoyne met stiff patriot resistance at the battles of Bennington and Oriskany, and his supply lines were constantly disrupted. Howe's army was split, and got off to a late start, so when the continental army, surrounded Burgoyne at Saratoga, he was forced to surrender with his entire army. The patriots took over 6000 British prisoners, and established such a strong presence in the area, that the British made few attempts to control the interior regions of the Northwest, beyond the major port cities.

The Saratoga campaign lasted from July to October, 1777. It was an outstanding victory and did much to boost moral. More importantly, however, it convinced the French to make an alliance with the Americans against Britain. This was not entirely altruistic, however. France had lost much colonial territory to Britain during the Seven Year's War, and wanted a chance to re-establish her Empire. France's main contribution to the American war effort was to distract Britain by attacking her colonies throughout the globe; in India, Canada, and the West Indies. France was a formidable opponent and Britain could no longer concentrate her troops, ships, or resources on the colonial war in America. Suddenly she had much more to lose than just the colonies.



DateBattle Summary
1777  
Siege of Ticonderoga (Saratoga ) British victory
This place was invested, June 22, 1777, by the British, under General Burgoyne, and was defended by 5,000 Americans, under General St. Clair. After a brief siege, the Americans evacuated the Fort, July 5.
  
1777  
Battle of Bennington (Saratoga ) Colonists victory
Fought August 10, 1777, between a British force under Colonel Baum, and the New Hampshire troops under General Stark. Baum had been ordered to seize the American magazines at Bennington, but found the place too strong, and asked for reinforcements. Meanwhile they were surrounded and attacked by Stark. The British fought till their ammunition was exhausted and then surrendered, while Baum was killed trying to cut his way through the American lines.
  
1777  
Battle of Oriskany (Saratoga ) Loyalists victory
On August 6, 1777 a force of patriots under the General Herkimer was ambushed by a force of Loyalists and natives under General Johnson and Chief Joseph Brant. The patriots were defeated with losses of over 450, including Herkimer.
  
1777  
Battle of Saratoga (Saratoga ) Colonists victory
Fought October 7, 1777, between the British, 6,000 strong, under General Burgoyne, and the Americans, under General Gates. The Americans occupied a strongly entrenched position, which was attacked by Burgoyne. After a severe encounter, the attack was repulsed at all points, and the British driven back upon their camp at Saratoga, with heavy loss, including General Fraser, mortally wounded. The Americans followed up their success by an assault upon the British camp, in which they succeeded in effecting a lodgement, and on the following day, Burgoyne withdrew, and took up a fresh position on the heights near the Hudson. On October 15, Burgoyne, surrounded by the Americans, and finding that no aid could reach him, surrendered with 5,790 men, his total losses during the campaign having amounted to 4,689.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Benedict Arnold Hero of the Revolutionary War, but tragically turned traitor. He escaped to the British before discovery.
John Stark 'Hero of Bennington' during the American Revolution. Fought with Rogers' Rangers during French Indian War.
Philip Schuyler Military leader during the American Revolutionary period. Later a statesman from New York.
Horatio Gates American General during the Revolutionary Wars.
General Burgoyne British leader who surrendered with 6000 men to American forces at Saratoga.


Story Links
Book Links
Mad Anthony  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
How Schuyler was Saved  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Saratoga  in  Boys' Book of Battles  by  Chelsea Curtis Fraser
The Fight at Bennington  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
Burgoyne's Surrender  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
War in Canada  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
Burgoyne's Campaign—Bennington and Oriskany  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
Burgoyne's Campaign—Bemis Heights, Saratoga  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
Green Mountain Boys  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
British at New York  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
Siege of Fort Schuyler  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
Capture of Ticonderoga  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
March to Quebec  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Surrender of Burgoyne  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Saratoga  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Philip Schuyler and Burgoyne's Campaign  in  Builders of Our Country: Book II  by  Gertrude van Duyn Southworth
Saratoga  in  The Boy's Book of Battles  by  Eric Wood


Philadelphia Campaign : 1777-1778

Molly Pitcher
MOLLY PITCHER AT THE BATTLE OF MONMOUTH
While Benedict Arnold and the other heroes of Saratoga were destroying the British offensive in upstate New York, Washington and Howe were skirmishing in the New York, New Jersey area. Washington could not afford to risk another large, pitched battle, so he avoided meeting Howe until the Battle of Brandywine, as Howe marched on Philadelphia, the continental capital. The colonists were defeated at Brandywine and again at Germantown before they retreated to Valley Forge for the winter. After defeating the patriots, Howe entered Philadelphia with half of his army and occupied the city. He did not, however, take aggressive action against Washington's army, and allowed his troops to rest there for the winter. When word of the disaster at Saratoga reached Britain, however, Howe was blamed for not being more aggressive, and relieved of command.

During the Winter at Valley Forge, Washington drilled his troops with the help of Baron von Steuben, a Prussian military expert who became Washington's chief of staff. Their vastly improved discipline and tactics were apparent in the next major contest at Monmouth, New Jersey, where the Patriots held a superior British force at bay, while taking few losses. The Battle of Monmouth was the last major battle in the area. The British received word that a French fleet was on its way to New York, and they retired from New Jersey to defend their stronghold.



DateBattle Summary
1777  
Battle of Brandywine (Philadelphia ) British victory
Fought September 11, 1777, between 18,000 British under General Howe, and 8,000 Americans under Washington. The British General made a flank movement with a large portion of his force, whereupon Washington attacked the British in the front, but, being ill-supported by his lieutenant, Sullivan, he was driven back, and forced to retreat, with a loss of 900 killed and wounded and 300 prisoners. The British lost 590 killed and wounded.
  
1777  
Battle of Germantown (Philadelphia ) British victory
Fought October 4, 1777, between the Americans under Washington, and the British under Sir William Howe. The Americans attacked the British entrenchments, and were repulsed with heavy loss.
  
1778  
Battle of Monmouth (Philadelphia ) British victory
Fought June 28, 1778 between 11,000 patriots under Generals Washington and Lee, and 15,000 British and Hessians under Generals Clinton and Cornwallis.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Anthony Wayne Bold and popular Revolutionary War Hero. Well known for victory at Stony Point.
Nathaniel Greene General under George Washington, active in the Philadelphia and Southern Campaigns.
George Washington Leader of the Continental Army of the U.S. during the Revolutionary War, and first President.
Molly Pitcher When her husband was killed, she took over his position and helped man a cannon at the Battle of Monmouth.
General Howe Commander-and-Chief of British forces during Revolutionary War. Took New York and Philadelphia.
General Cornwallis British leader defeated at Yorktown in Revolutionary War. Later served as governor in India.
Henry Clinton British General during the American Revolutionary War.


Story Links
Book Links
Lydia Darrah  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Captain Molly Pitcher  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
The Winter at Valley Forge  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
Brandywine—Germantown—Valley Forge  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
Battle of Monmouth  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
Quakeress Patriot  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
Lydia Darrah Saves General Washington  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Valley Forge  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Massacre of Wyoming  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt


Southern Theatre : 1780-1781

Cornwallis at Yorktown
SURRENDER OF CORNWALLIS AT YORKTOWN
After France entered the war in 1778, the British shifted their strategy in the America. They decided that their limited resources were best deployed by trying to take control of the south, where loyalist sentiment was stronger than in the north, and at the same time, to encourage Indians of the Ohio valley to harass American settlements in the west. Knowing that time was on his side, and the French aid would soon be available, Washington avoided meeting British armies in large battles for much of 1779. And even during 1780-81, when fighting resumed in earnest in the south, most battles were much smaller scale than they had been in the north.

Britain began its southern campaign by taking the port city of Charleston, and using it as its southern base. From there they fought a number of indecisive skirmishes with Patriots militias. Francis Marion, known as the "Swamp Fox" was especially effective against the British, using unconventional tactics. The greatest Patriot defeat at this time was delivered at Camden, but this was only a temporary setback. Once a large French fleet arrived to aid the patriot effort, Washington and the French commanders decided to surround Cornwallis at Yorktown. By cutting off all escape by land or sea, Cornwallis was forced to surrender with his entire army of 7,000. This was the last major military operation of the war.



DateBattle Summary
1780  
Battle of Camden (Southern ) British victory
Fought August 16, 1780, between the British under Cornwallis, and the Americans under Gates and de Kalb. Cornwallis had concentrated about 2,000 men at Camden, and though the Americans numbered 5,000, they were of very inferior quality. After a small affair of outposts, the British attacked the American levies, who were unable to face the steady attack of the regulars, and fled with heavy loss. Among the killed was de Kalb. The British lost 312 killed and wounded.
  
1781  
Battle of Guildford Court House (Southern ) British victory
Fought March 16, 1781, between the British, under Lord Cornwallis, and a largely superior force of Americans, under General Greene, The Americans occupied a strongly entrenched position in and round Guildford, and the battle consisted of a series of independent actions, in which the British were uniformly successful, driving out the Americans with heavy casualties, and the loss of all their guns and ammunition. The British lost 548 killed and wounded, but the victory served little purpose, as Lord Cornwallis was too weak to pursue his advantage.
  
1781  
Battle of Eutaw Springs (Southern ) British victory
Fought September 8, 1781, between the British garrison of Charleston, under Colonel Stewart, and the Americans, under General Greene. The British were attacked and at first driven back, but rallying carried the American positions, but with a loss of 700 men, which so weakened their small force that they were unable to profit by the victory.
  
1781  
Siege of Yorktown (Southern ) Colonists victory
The entrenched position of Lord Cornwallis, with 6,000 British troops at this place, was invested by Washington, with 7,000 French and 12,000 Americans, in September, 1781. The British held out until October 19, when, surrounded and outnumbered, Cornwallis surrendered, having lost during the operations, 12 officers and 469 rank and file, killed and wounded.
  


Commander
Short Biography
Francis Marion Revolutionary War leader whose used guerilla tactics against the Tories in the Southeast marshes.
General Cornwallis British leader defeated at Yorktown in Revolutionary War. Later served as governor in India.
Horatio Gates American General during the Revolutionary Wars.
George Washington Leader of the Continental Army of the U.S. during the Revolutionary War, and first President.
Lafayette French soldier who fought in American Revolution, and early leader of French Revolution.


Western Theatre : 1777-1782

Elizabeth Zane
ELIZABETH ZANE AT THE SIEGE OF FT. HENRY
The western theatre of the American Civil War was fought mostly in the Ohio valley between settlers and Indians who had been armed by the British. In 1776, a Shawnee Chieftain had made an unpopular treaty ceding land in Kentucky. Many Indian tribes in the region who never agreed to the treaty and as soon as the colonies declared independence, the Shawnees made an alliance with Britain and began to attack settlements in Kentucky. The most well-known actions were the Siege of Boonesborough, Bryant's Station, and Fort Henry, and the Battle of Blue Licks. The fighting in the west continued even after 1781, when a stalemate was reached in the east.


Commander
Short Biography
Daniel Boone Explored the Kentucky and Tennessee Valley. Opened a road for settlers through Cumberland Gap.
Simon Girty Controversial frontiersman who allied himself with the British and Indians against the American colonists. Accused of torture of white captives while living with Indians.
Elizabeth Zane As Fort Henry was besieged by Indians, Elizabeth risked her life to leave the barricade and carry back gunpowder from her father cabin.
George Rogers Clark Revolutionary war hero who fought both British and Indians in the Ohio Valley.
Joseph Brant Mohawk leader allied with the British during the Revolutionary War
Chief Blackfish Shawnee chief who led the siege of Boonesborough


Story Links
Book Links
Backwoodsmen of Kentucky  in  Indian History for Young Folks  by  Francis S. Drake
Indians Join Britain against the Colonies  in  Indian History for Young Folks  by  Francis S. Drake
Elizabeth Zane  in  Stories of American Life and Adventure  by  Edward Eggleston
Clark and His Men  in  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans  by  Edward Eggleston
Elizabeth Zane  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Indian Trick  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Winning the Northwest  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Boone in Kentucky  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
How Clark won the Northwest  in  Historical Tales: American II  by  Charles Morris
The Battle of the Blue Licks  in  Boys' Book of Border Battles  by  Edwin L. Sabin
Attack on Logan's Station  in  Frontier Fighters  by  Edwin L. Sabin
Big Turtle Breaks the Net  in  Frontier Fighters  by  Edwin L. Sabin
Scout Kenton has a Hard Time  in  Frontier Fighters  by  Edwin L. Sabin
Scrape of the Wetzel Brothers  in  Frontier Fighters  by  Edwin L. Sabin
Captain Brady Swears Vengeance  in  Frontier Fighters  by  Edwin L. Sabin
Flight of Three Soldiers  in  Frontier Fighters  by  Edwin L. Sabin
The Women of Bryant's Station  in  Frontier Fighters  by  Edwin L. Sabin


Naval Battles : 1778-1782

John Paul Jones Serapis
JOHN PAUL JONES CAPTURES THE SERAPIS
The area where the colonists were most over-matched by the British was in naval power. Britain maintained the strongest navy in the world and the colonists had only a few merchant ships fitted with cannon, that were suitable only for harassing merchant ships supplying British troops and colonies in the West Indies. The most ambitious coordinated naval effort was at Penobscot Bay in Maine, but that turned into a disaster for the Americans, when a British fleet arrived to support the British garrison.

The most famous naval battle of the war the Bonhomme Richard vs. Serapis, where John Paul Jones, managed to take a British ship while his own ship was on fire and sinking. It had little effect on the war effort, but helped demonstrate American resolve. Most of the other naval battles during the Revolutionary War were fought between British and French fleets with little contribution from American vessels.



DateBattle Summary
1778  
Battle of Onessant (Naval-Europe ) drawn battle victory
Fought July 27, 1778, between 30 British ships of the line, under Admiral Keppel, and a French squadron of equal force, under the Comte d'Estaing. After a fight which lasted throughout the day, the two fleets drew off to repair damages, neither side having lost a ship.
  
1778  
Battle of Carenage Bay (Naval-West indies ) British victory
Fought 1778, between the French under the Comte d'Estaing, and the English under Admiral Barrington and General Meadows. After a severe encounter, the French were defeated, and the British took possession of the island of St. Lucia.
  
1779  
Battle of Grenada (Naval-West indies ) French victory
Fought July 3, 1779, between a British fleet of 24 sail, under Admiral Byron, and a French fleet of 20 sail-of-the-line, and to frigates, under the Comte d'Estaing. Admiral Byron attacked the French with a view of recapturing Grenada, but was unsuccessful, though he inflicted upon them a loss of 1,200 killed and 1,500 wounded. The British lost 183 killed and 346 wounded.
  
1779  
Battle of Penobscot Bay (Naval-North America ) British victory
Fought July 14, 1779, when a British squadron of 10 ships, under Sir George Collier, completely destroyed an American squadron of 24 ships, and captured the 3,000 men who formed their crews.
  
1779  
Battle of Bon Homme Richard vs. Serapis (Naval-Europe ) Americans victory
Famous naval battle between the French ship Bonhomme Richard under John Paul Jones, and the English frigate Serapis, fought September 23, 1779. In a far inferior vessel, against all odds, the Americans lashed the ships together, cleared the deck with grenades, and boarded the English vessel. The victory, although strategically unimportant, helped encourage the French to become more involved in the war.
  
1779  
Battle of Gibraltar (Naval-Europe ) British victory
From 1779 to 1783, Gibraltar sustained a siege at the hands of a combined French and Spanish force, who, though provided with powerful floating batteries, were unable to make any impression on the defenses. In the course of the siege, the garrison, under General Elliot, were several times reinforced and revictualled by British fleets, which ran the gauntlet of the blockade.
  
1781  
Battle of Cape Henry (Naval-North American ) British victory
Fought March 16, 1781, between a British fleet of eight ships of the line and three frigates under Vice-Admiral Arbuthnot, and a French squadron stronger by one frigate. The French were forced to retire, the British losing 30 killed and 64 wounded.
  
1781  
Battle of Lynn Haven Bay (Naval-North America ) French victory
Fought September 5, 1781, between a British fleet of 19 ships of the line and 7 frigates, under Admiral Thomas Graves, and a French fleet of 25 line of battle ships. Admiral Graves attacked the French as they were lying in Lynn Haven Bay, but was unsuccessful, and drew off after two hours' hard fighting, with a loss of 79 killed and 230 wounded. The French lost 22 officers and 200 men killed and wounded.
  
1782  
Battle of Dominica (Naval-West indies ) British victory
Fought April 12, 1782, between the British fleet of 36 sail of the line, under Rodney, with Hood second in command, and the French fleet of 33 sail under de Grasse. Rodney departed from the usual tactics of a ship to ship action, and broke the enemy's line, gaining a complete victory, and capturing or destroying 5 ships, while 2 more were captured within the next few days. The British lost 261 killed and 837 wounded. The French losses have been put as high as 15,000, but it is probable that they lost about 3,000 killed and wounded, while 7,980 were taken in the captured ships. This action is also known as the battle of the Saints.
  


Commander
Short Biography
John Paul Jones American Revolution Naval Hero. Famous for the sea fight Bon Homme Richard vs. Serapis.
Compte dEstaing French Admiral prominant during the American Revolutionary Wars.


Story Links
Book Links
Commodore John Paul Jones  in  Boys' Book of Sea Fights  by  Chelsea Curtis Fraser
Famous Sea Fights  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
War on the Sea  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
John Paul Jones  in  Builders of Our Country: Book II  by  Gertrude van Duyn Southworth


Book Links
American History Stories—Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Hero of Stony Point  by  James Barnes
George Washington  by  Ada Russell

Story Links
Book Links
Lost Colonies  in  Stories from English History, Part Third  by  Alfred J. Church
Washington in the Revolution  in  A First Book in American History  by  Edward Eggleston
Execution of Major Andre  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
The American Rebellion  in  The Hanoverians  by  C. J. B. Gaskoin
George Washington  in  Famous Men of Modern Times  by  John H. Haaren
George III. and the American Revolution  in  The Story of England  by  Samuel B. Harding
George Washington  in  Heroes Every Child Should Know  by  H. W. Mabie
George III—The Story of How America Was Lost  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall


Image Links


Wayne aimed and fired one of the field pieces himself
 in  The Hero of Stony Point

Commander Paul Jones capturing the Serapis
 in South American Fights and Fighters

General Herkimer directing the battle
 in Indian History for Young Folks

Battle-field at Oriskany
 in Indian History for Young Folks

General Wayne's Escape
 in Indian History for Young Folks

One of Marion's Men
 in Stories of American Life and Adventure

Elizabeth Zane's Return
 in Stories of American Life and Adventure

Crossing the Delaware
 in A First Book in American History

March to Trenton
 in A First Book in American History

The Redcoats are Coming!'
 in A First Book in American History

Marching to Trenton
 in Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans

Battle Map: Bunker Hill
 in Boys' Book of Battles

The Battle of Bunker Hill from an old print
 in Boys' Book of Battles

Battle Map: Saratoga
 in Boys' Book of Battles

The surrender of Burgoyne
 in Boys' Book of Battles

Battle Map: Yorktown
 in Boys' Book of Battles

The Surrender of Cornwallis by John Trumbull
 in Boys' Book of Battles

Battle Map: Serapis vs. Bonhomme
 in Boys' Book of Sea Fights

John Paul Jones
 in Boys' Book of Sea Fights

Bonhomme (64 guns), Serapis (50 guns), Lady Scarborough
 in Boys' Book of Sea Fights

The scene of General Borgoyne's Surrender
 in The Hanoverians

The sortie made by the garrison of Gibraltar on the Morning
 in The Hanoverians

Shays' Rebellion
 in Story of the Great Republic

The Retreat from Concord
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Battle of Bunker Hill
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Washington crossing the Delaware
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Burgoyne's surrender
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

At Valley Forge
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Molly Pitcher
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Indian cruelty
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

The capture of Stony Point
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Clark's March
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Elizabeth Zane brings powder
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

The Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Marion's Dinner
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Battle of Kings Mountain
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Surrender of Cornwallis
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies

Washington crossing the Delaware
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

The taking of Fort Vincennes from the British
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

The Battle of Bunker Hill
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

Washington Crossing the Delaware
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

Washington Crossing the Delaware
 in Historical Tales, Vol I: American

The Spirit of '76
 in Historical Tales, Vol I: American

The Boston Massacre
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

The Battle on the Village Green of Lexington
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

The Last Defense behind the Breastworks of Bunker Hill
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

Fortifying Dorchester Heights
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

Washington Crossing the Delaware
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

The English Route from Canada
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

General Stark at the Battle of Bennington
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

The Wounded Herkimer
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

Map of General Greene's Campaign in the South
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

Touching Off the First Gun at the Siege of Yorktown
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

The Battle of Golden Hill
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II