April 14, 1775 - Massachusetts
Governor Gage was ordered (secretly) by the British to suppress "open
rebellion" among colonists with all necessary force.
April 18, 1775 - When Gage ordered
700 British soldiers to Concord to destroy the colonists' weapons
depot, Paul Revere rode from Boston to warn colonists. At dawn the
next day, militiamen stood face to face with British troops on the
Lexington green. An unordered 'shot heard around the world' began the
American Revolution. News of the events at Lexington and Concord
spread like wildfire throughout the Colonies.
April 23, 1775 - The Provincial
Congress in Massachusetts ordered 13,600 American soldiers to be
mobilized. Volunteers from all over New England headed for Boston and
began a year long siege of British-held town.
May 10, 1775 - American forces led by
Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga in New York
and hauled the military equipment they captures to Boston by
May 10, 1775 - The Second
Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, with John Hancock as its
president. The Congress unanimously voted to appoint George
Washington general and commander-in-chief of a new Continental
June 17, 1775 - The first major fight
between British and Americans was the Battle of Bunker Hill. American
troops stood off repeated assaults until they ran out of ammunition.
The British took the hill, but with over a thousand casualties, with
400 Americans downed.
July 3, 1775 - At Cambridge,
Massachusetts, George Washington took command of the Continental Army
with it's nearly 17,000 men.
July 5, 1775 - The Continental
Congress aimed for reconciliation with Britain, though King George
III refused to even look at the petition.
July 6, 1775 - The Continental
Congress issued a declaration detailing the colonists' reasons for
fighting the British and resolving to "die free men rather than live
November 28, 1775 - The Navy is
established by Congress. The next day, Congress appoints a secret
committee to seek help from European nations.
December 23, 1775 - King George III
issued a proclamation closing the American colonies to all commerce
and trade, to take effect in March of 1776.
January 5, 1776 - The assembly of New
Hampshire adopted the first American state constitution.
January 9, 1776 - Thomas
Paine's "Common Sense" was published in Philadelphia and became an
March 4-17, 1776 - American forces
captured the heights overlooking Boston harbor, causing the British
to set sail. George Washington rushed to New York to set up defenses,
anticipating the British plan to invade New York City.
April 6, 1776 - The Continental
Congress declared colonial shipping ports open to all traffic except
the British. The Congress had authorized raids on British ships and
advised the disarming all Americans loyal to England.
May 2, 1776 - The American
revolutionaries got foreign support they had been hoping for. King
Louis XVI of France commited one million dollars in arms and
munitions. Spain promised support.
May 10, 1776 - The Continental
Congress authorized each of the 13 colonies to form local
June 28, 1776 - In South Carolina,
American forces successfully defended Charleston against a British
June-July, 1776 - A massive
British war fleet arrives in New York Harbor under the command of
General William Howe and his brother Admiral Lord Richard
June-July, 1776 - The Declaration of
Independence is produced and soon signed.
July 12, 1776 - Two British frigates
sailed up the Hudson River blasting their guns. Peace offers were
then made. Gen. Washington listened to offers, and politely
August 27-29, 1776 - Gen. Howe lead
15,000 soldiers against Washington's army in the Battle of Long
Island. Washington, outnumbered two to one, suffered a severe defeat.
The Americans retreated to Brooklyn Heights, fearing capture or the
need to surrender. But at night, the Americans crossed the East River
in small boats and escaped to Manhattan. Washington from then avoids
large battles with a series of retreats.
September 11, 1776 - A peace
conference was held on Staten Island with British Admiral Lord Howe.
The conference failed when colonists refused to revoke the
Declaration of Independence.
September 16, 1776 - After evacuating
New York City, Washington's army repulsed a British attack during the
Battle of Harlem Heights in upper Manhattan. Several days later, fire
engulfed New York City and destroyed over 300 buildings.
September 22, 1776 - After he was
caught spying on British troops on Long Island, Nathan Hale was
executed without a trial, his last words, "I only regret that I have
but one life to lose for my country."
September 26, 1776 - Congress
appoints Jefferson and Franklin to negotiate treaties with European
governments. Franklin headed to France seeking financial and military
October 11, 1776 - A big defeat for
the inexperienced American Navy on Lake Champlain was had at the
hands of a British fleet of 87 gunships. In seven hours most of the
American flotilla of 83 gunships were crippled with the remaining
ships destroyed two days later.
October 28, 1776 - After evacuating
his main forces from Manhattan, Washington's army suffered heavy
casualties in the Battle of White Plains.
November, 1776 - More victories for
the British as Fort Washington on Manhattan and its store of over 100
cannons, thousands of muskets and cartridges. Washington's army
suffered 3000 casualties and abandoned the New York area. Washington
moved his forces further west toward the Delaware River, with
Cornwallis pursuing him.
December 6, 1776 - The naval base at
Newport, Rhode Island, is captured by the British.
December 11, 1776 - Washington took
his troops across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. Fearing an
attack by the British, he abandoned Philadelphia for Baltimore. Among
Washington's troops is Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense.
December 25-26, 1776 - On Christmas,
George Washington took 2400 of his men and recrossed the Delaware
River, conducting a surprise raid on 1500 British-Hessians (German
mercenaries) at Trenton, New Jersey. The Hessians surrender after an
hour with nearly many taken prisoner by Washington who suffered only
six wounded. Washington reoccupied Trenton, providing a much needed
boost to the morale of all American Patriots.