Portal:American Revolutionary War

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The American Revolutionary War Portal

Clockwise from top left: Battle of Bunker Hill, Death of Montgomery at Quebec, Battle of Cowpens, "Moonlight Battle"
The American Revolutionary War began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen united former British colonies on the North American continent, and ended in a global war between several European great powers. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution and intellectual American Enlightenment, whereby the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation. In 1775, revolutionaries gained control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up an alliance called the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. Petitions to the king to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in Congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion the following year. The Americans responded by formally declaring their independence as a new nation, the United States of America, claiming sovereignty and rejecting any allegiance to the British monarchy. In 1777 the Continentals captured a British army, leading to France entering the war on the side of the Americans in early 1778, and evening the military strength with Britain. Spain and the Dutch Republic – French allies – also went to war with Britain over the next two years.

Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.

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Major General Charles Grey (portrait by Joseph Collyer)
In September 1778, as part of British operations in the American Revolutionary War, Major General Charles Grey raided the Massachusetts communities of New Bedford, Fairhaven and Martha's Vineyard. The raid was one of the first in a series between 1778 and 1781 executed by the British against American coastal communities.

On September 5 and 6 Grey raided New Bedford and Fairhaven, only encountering significant resistance in Fairhaven. His troops destroyed storehouses, shipping, and supplies in New Bedford, where they met with light resistance from the local militia, and did less damage at Fairhaven, where militia resistance had time to organize. He then sailed for Martha's Vineyard, which was undefended. Between September 10 and 15 its residents surrendered 10,000 head of sheep and 300 oxen, as well as most of the island's weapons.


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From the American Revolutionary War task force of the Military history WikiProject:

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The death of general warren at the battle of bunker hill.jpg
The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill
Credit: John Trumbull

Completed in 1786, this painting depicts the death of Massachusetts militia general and politician Joseph Warren at the June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. Depicting the nature of personal divisions the revolution created, Warren is cradled by John Small, a British Army officer who is preventing another British soldier from bayoneting Warren. General Israel Putnam, with whom Major Small served in the French and Indian War, is at the far left of the painting; portraits of other figures important in the battle are also included.

Selected biography

Portrait attributed to Andrea Soldi, painted circa 1762–1765
General Sir Henry Clinton KB (16 April 1730 – 23 December 1795) was a British army officer and politician, best known for his service as a general during the American War of Independence, during most of which he was the British Commander-in-Chief in North America. In addition to his military service, due to the influence of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle, he was a Member of Parliament and the Governor of Gibraltar.

He came from a noble family that could trace its lineage to 1066 and had a long history of service to the Crown. The son of George Clinton, an admiral of the fleet, Sir Henry Clinton had two sons who continued the family tradition of high command: General Sir William Henry Clinton (1769–1846), and Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton (1771–1829).


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The 64th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army. The regiment was created as the 2nd Battalion, 11th Regiment of Foot in 1756, and redesignated as the 64th Regiment of Foot in 1758. In the American War of Independence the regiment was first station in Boston when it was besieged in 1775, and fought in major actions of the New York and New Jersey campaign of 1776-77 and the Philadelphia campaign of 1777-78. It was sent into the Southern theater in late 1779, participating in the Siege of Charleston; one of its units was surrendered at the [1781 Siege of Yorktown.

Although the 64th Foot fought in many of the major conflicts of the late 18th and early 19th centuries (including the Seven Years' War, Napoleonic Wars, Anglo-Persian War, and the Indian Rebellion of 1857, it was normally in the more minor theatres of these conflicts. The regiment took a county title as the 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot in 1782. Following the Cardwell Reforms the regiment amalgamated with the 98th (Prince of Wales's) Regiment of Foot to become The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment) in 1881. In the new regiment the 64th Foot became the 1st Battalion due to its seniority over the 98th Foot.


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