Talk:Battle of Harlem Heights

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"Fox Hunt" edits[edit]

The edits to this section do not seem to be at all an improvement on the original contribution, except for some additional facts. Can we have the original text back, please?

I agree with the above unsigned comment.
British troops made a tactical error by having their light infantry buglers sound a fox hunting call, "gone away," while in pursuit. This was intended to insult Washington, himself a keen fox hunter, having learned the sport from Lord Fairfax during the French and Indian War. "Gone away" means that a fox is in full flight from the hounds on its trail. The Continentals, who were in orderly retreat, were infuriated by this and galvanized to hold their ground.
What evidence is there for this? The British Light Infantry routinely used hunting horns to transmit battlefield commands, as demonstrated at Harlem Heights. How can this be presented as a tactical decision, let alone a tactical error?
There is no indication that the British bugle calls reported by Joseph Hodgkins- "which was for a reinforcement"- and by Joseph Reed (despite the comments made to his wife, quoted below) were anything other than battlefield commands. The identification of the bugle calls as a fox-hunting call 'Gone Away' appears to be a modern embroidery of Reed's aside, "as is usual after a fox chase". Random derisory bugle calls would not only show a lack of discipline in a crack unit but risked causing confusion. Certainly, a drummer would not have sounded non-regulation bugle calls without instruction.
It was Joseph Reed's subjective perception that the British "sounded their bugles in a grossly insulting manner"; an understandable conclusion given his admitted sense of disgrace at that point and given that the Philadelphia attorney had little experience of the British light infantry in action.
Reed had already analysed the situation: "Finding how things were going, I went over to the General, to get some support for the brave fellows who had behaved so well." Do we have a record of how Washington perceived the British bugles and any impact it had on command decisions? If not, then the subject matter of this rather rambling section is partisan folklore and should either be edited as such or excised. JF42 (talk) 14:40, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Hessians[edit]

Hey there. I see you replaced the Hessian component in the belligerents section of the infobox on Battle of Harlem Heights. I think that while it is technically true that the Hessians were involved, there's not much reason to separate them out from the British. There were lots of militias involved on the American side, but for this battle, we can lump them all together into the Continental Army. Perhaps if we can figure out the numbers, we can put them in the strength section (see Battle of Long Island. However, to argue your side, if you look at Battle of Fort Washington, there is Hessians in the belligerents section. Perhaps we should bring something up on the project space to standardize this? What do you think? Tan | 39 01:33, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

No answer from editor. Per consensus from Task Force discussion here, removing Hessians as belligerent force. Tan | 39 23:59, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

This page, along with White Plains keeps being altered to an American victory, deleting the references and placing marks on the page to not alter it. These two pages need to be locked to established users only (Trip Johnson (talk) 19:50, 6 April 2008 (UTC))

Well, this article is next on my list of battles to expand to GA status (it's the chronologically logical continuation of Landing at Kip's Bay, which I just greatly expanded and improved). Anyway, we will have to discuss this, because David McCullough, in 1776, cites this battle as an American victory. Tan | 39 23:34, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Yet Britishbattles.com cites the battle as a draw, as there was no clear victor in strategic or tactical senses. Also, the page should be locked to stop the vandals who keep editing it (Trip Johnson (talk) 12:45, 9 April 2008 (UTC))
fulldisclosure: I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the fact that I'm tan's admin coach and am watching his edits/projectsThat being said, I'm a history buff, and I suspect that this is a scenario wherein the history is written by the victors/differing sides---with different expectations. What to an established military might be considered a draw, might be deemed as a victory to a struggling nation. In other words, the very fact that the British Army wasn't victorious, could be seen as a victory needed by the American military..Balloonman (talk) 04:56, 10 April 2008 (UTC) sorry, didn't see entire discussion below
That statement does not make sense. By that reasoning, because the British didn't win decisively, they were defeated decisively? Neither side held the ground that the very battle took place on, Washington retreated and so did the British = draw. (Trip Johnson (talk) 11:44, 10 April 2008 (UTC))
One could say that it was victory for the Americans to hold their ground against a numerically superior British force. There may not have been any real strategic victory achieved, but I am certain that this battle must have been a great psychological victory for the Americans at that stage of the war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.52.215.5 (talk) 22:46, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Infobox disagreement[edit]

Just because the British suffered heavier losses that does not mean it is an American victory. If that is the case, the British won the War of 1812 and the Germans won World War 2. Both sides retreated, so it was nothing more than a overall draw, but the fact that the Americans did not retreat instantly, means this battle should be a psychological victory for the Americans. I have more than four references stating that it was a draw, but I really don't think it is down to a bunch of people squabbling to dictate history. (Trip Johnson (talk) 11:43, 10 April 2008 (UTC))

Generally, not always, when one side suffers heavier losses, they lose the battle. However, in this battle I do believe it was a huge moral victory(as said above) and with the heavier losses on the British side=American Victory. (Red4tribe (talk) 12:41, 10 April 2008 (UTC))

Remember that it is not up to us to decide, analyze, or interpret this. We have to use the consensus of published historians. Right now, we're running 4-1, more or less, on referenced material stating that this was an American victory, albeit a minor one. Again, I have zero vested interest in this - I just finished a 4x major expansion of a battle where the Brits demolished the Americans - don't think this is a personal thing. It's history, not a sport. Trip Johnson, if you have four references there that say this was a draw (I assume one of them is Britishbattles.com), can you cite them here (with quotes) in this discussion, as I did with mine above? It's really hard to give ephemeral references any weight... Tan | 39 14:57, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I would like to discuss the term belligerent. I believe that belligerent refers to the overall opposing parties (i.e. United States and Great Britain) not to the forces they employed.

I have stated a discussion on the Main Talk Page of the American Revolutionary War task force hoping for some other opinions as I think this does need clarification. dashiellx (talk) 15:09, 10 April 2008 (UTC)


I happened to talk a glance at what was written about the battle in other languages, and all of the ones that had an outcome written had an American victory. And it appears at the moment, as tan said, we are running 4-1 for an American Victory. (Red4tribe (talk) 12:42, 11 April 2008 (UTC))

That does not mean you can alter the result. No consensus yet, so do not change it. For the record, here is some sources which state the battle as a draw, or implications that it was a draw:

[1] < This article states that Washington ordered his army to withdraw
[2] < Same as the above
[3] < states the battle as a draw
[4] < states the battle as a draw
[5] < states the battle as a draw. I think it is time we reached an agreement on this. I think the best course of action we can opt for, is "American withdrawal, British troops hold the ground but suffer heavier casualties, American psychological victory, tactically and strategically indecisive". (Trip Johnson (talk) 17:09, 12 April 2008 (UTC))

It clearly means that many more people believe it was an American Victory. You seem to be too stubborn to accept that. Yes, I have read your references, and take a look at this

The importance of this action for the Americans was that it was the Virginia militia who had fled the British the day before who fought steadily and effectively alongside the Northern Rangers, going a long way to restoring the confidence of the American army in itself.

It restored great confidence in the American Army. To me, that, with the combination of heavier British losses, makes it an American Victory.


(Red4tribe (talk) 17:24, 12 April 2008 (UTC))

I don't care what you think. That quote does not warrant a tactical or strategic victory. BOTH SIDES WITHDREW FROM THE FIELD. It was overall a draw, but an American PSYCHOLOGICAL victory. Until we reach an agreement, it STANDS. (Trip Johnson (talk) 18:06, 12 April 2008 (UTC))

Appears someone is losing their temper here....you cannot seem to face the fact that it was an American victory, and you will be to stubborn to ever accept anything else, so I really see no point in any type of agreement with you here. Prehaps this is new to you but you do not have full reign over wikipedia.

Now, for everyone else whos mind is flexible enough to accept changes here is why I believe it is an American victory

1.I have a number of reliable references(if you wish for me to list them just ask)
2.The British suffered heavier losses
3.It was a great moral list, it showed the Americans could fight against the British
4.Every other language here says its an American Victory
5.This battle prevented the British from driving up into the Hudson Valley

Now, other than trip, we all seem to agree it is an american victory, not a decisive victory, or a very important battle, but still an american victory. (Red4tribe (talk) 19:04, 12 April 2008 (UTC))

Judging from your partisan opinions, my guess is you are an ultra-patriotic, hardcore American who believes that every battle in which the British suffered more casualties and because of a few AMERICAN websites calling it an American victory it makes it so. Since neither side held the ground, there is a draw. If the British suffered heavier casualties, that warrants World War 2 an Axis victory, the War of Independence and 1812 a British victory etc. Casualties is not a ground for victory. It was clearly a draw, as neither side held the ground, that just can't seem to go through that thick blinded patriotic naive skull of yours. A psychological victory yes, but not a tactical or strategic one. I have given you that it is a psychological victory, and altered it to be so. Now, are you going to waste your life arguing or are you going to do something amazing and leave this be? (Trip Johnson (talk) 21:37, 12 April 2008 (UTC))

Hmmm maybe I'm wrong but isn't British Battles(and maybe the others, i'll have to look again) a British site? As I have said before,(and you convienently left out) that suffering heavier casulties generally, not always, means a victory. I would be willing to bet that more than half of the time when a side suffers heavier casulties, they lost the battle. And once again, I will have to tell you that I am not a native born American.....yes I do live in America now(I'd also be willing to bet that your not American), but I was not born here nor did I go to school here. If it was "clearly" a draw why do 3 others here seem to agree with me when you seem to be alone in a corner? Look at the other pages in other languages. They claim an American victory. You, as I have said before, are too stubborn to accept anything else and there is no way I will be able to change your mind. I am not the only one you seem to have a problem with, I have looked through your past versions of your talk page and found you have had other disagreements escalate into ridiculous arguments such as this one has. You need to stop your babelling nonsense and go edit something you know about. (Red4tribe (talk) 00:50, 13 April 2008 (UTC))

Have you two considered that if there are conflicting opinions about it (As you get in history) perhaps trying to find clarity in a one line answer in an infobox is a bad idea? It seems that with all the references both sides are gathering, there is potential for a section looking at the different (cited) reasons for the various claimed results. Why would the Americans claim it is a victory? What do sources say was the import of the troops standing? Why would the British be happy to take a few more casualties? Because New York is important? Is there a cite somewhere that says New York was an important British stronghold (Hint: Yes there are plenty)? Providing you can source the reasons (that is very important in these kinds of paragraphs, it has to be others reasons, not your own) it could make for an interesting read on a page about a small skirmish. If that was the case, you could just replace the infobox result with 'Disputed (See this section for details)'. Avoids the argument and gets you two working together towards what could be a very interesting paragraph providing the sources are there, and you two do seem to be proving there are indeed sources that claim victories for various sides for various reasons. Narson (talk) 10:02, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Despite my following of the request of listing references, I listed 5 which either implies or clearly states the battle as a draw, they continue to be ignored and the battle result edited, so I clearly think that my sources are being deliberately ignored just to suit an American victory. I have changed the result to "American and British withdrawal" to state that both sides withdrew, and "American Psychological victory" as well as "overall indecisive". This result should be fitting for both sides, including you red, as the result box does not now need to be flooded with thousands of references, all the same references I might add. This should be fitting now, so please, leave it alone and let's end this godforsaken edit war. (Trip Johnson (talk) 10:51, 13 April 2008 (UTC))
Well, Red, I am glad we have finally reached a consensus here on the Battle of Harlem Heights, but I can foresee future engagements on the result grounds of White Plains, which you keep editing to an American victory, when it was clearly not, as the Americans withdrew, leaving Fort Washington open to an attack, the Battle of Trenton which you keep editing to a Decisive engagement, when it wasn't, it was Resounding at the best, and the Battle of Princeton which you keep editing to a solid American victory. Many, including administrators may consider these edits as vandalism, so we should leave these as the following:
Battle of Harlem Heights: American withdrawal, American psychological victory
Battle of White Plains: British tactical victory, American withdrawal
Battle of Trenton: Resounding American victory
Battle of Princeton: Tactically Indecisive, American strategic victory.
I hope that you can agree, and that these result statements be left alone. (Trip Johnson (talk) 15:01, 13 April 2008 (UTC))


An American Victory[edit]

This was obviously a huge moral victory for the Americans after the collapse at New York, it also stalled the British advance into the Hudson Valley. The British also had more deaths and wounded. (SaudiArabia44 (talk) 19:12, 4 May 2008 (UTC))

While I am reluctant to wade back into this fray until I am sure Trip Johnson has left the building, and while I appreciate your input into this, Saudi, I think that it should be pointed out that all of our opinions are essentially moot. This entire debate should not be consensus-building of our own personal opinions of the outcome of this battle; the debate should be a building of consensus from references. What is published? What do significant historians say? That is what I pointed out way above, and something valuable I learned from Kevin Myers. You and I aren't here to analyze the data and formulate a conclusion. Tan | 39 19:19, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh I'm so sorry for disagreeing with your opinions Tan. I didn't realise I had to follow the false information around here. You want to know why I'm difficult to work with? Because I'm not a sheep thats why. I don't follow other opinions, If I don't like them. So, again, sorry for not agreeing with your opinions, but hey, deal with it. I think this could be done to be left as it is. If you don't like to work with me, fine. I aint going to lose sleep over it. That is no justification for talking about me wherever you please and trying to bait me into an argument, to try and get me banned. And for god's sake casualties is NOT a grounds for victory. Saying the Americans won this battle because they suffered less casualties is like saying Germany won both World Wars because they suffered less losses in both wars. (Trip Johnson (talk) 20:07, 6 May 2008 (UTC))
I'm afraid the usage of websites to resolve this has provided an inaccurate result. An exhaustive query of books available online found 19 in favor of "American Victory", and 2 in favor of "British Victory", discounting a few essays, genealogies, and dictionaries. As these 21 sources each have drawn from 5-8 sources on the New York campaign, it is fairly clear at this point that the idea of a British victory is along the lines of WP:FRINGE. If another editor is able to produce an equal amount of reliable sources (Not "Myrevolutionywar.com" etc.), I would support changing the outcome to draw. Until then, it is unnecessary to mention the victory was psychological in the infobox, that is for the text of the article to accomplish. MrPrada (talk) 03:25, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Per your latest change, Trip Johnson, can you show where this consensus is? Reading this admittedly exhaustive argument here, it seems that you were the one making the claim of "American withdrawal, American psychological victory" and wouldn't accept any other answer. It appears that all the other editors (including me) basically just gave up arguing with you. Is this the consensus you are claiming? Tan | 39 18:45, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd personally like to recommend that Trip Johnson VERY CAREFULLY read WP:CIVIL, especially the section on "Engaging in incivility." This recent edit summary is completely inappropriate, and I think an apology to MrPrada is in order. Alphageekpa (talk) 23:39, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
No it isn't, so if you wish to delete my account, go ahead. I couldn't care less. I would rather spend more time in real life than argue with a bunch of total thickheads who claim to be mature editors. So do it, because to be frank, I don't give a damn. I think what this place needs is a total wash over, because whenever I disagree with an admin's opinions I get reported for vandalism. Its just biased favouritism for wanting to downplay British victories / draws in this war. I provide sources, they get removed, but do the admins do anything about it? No of course they don't because they're too damn lazy to do anything about it. But when its me doing something the admins are gloating their authority around, pretending to sound mature by giving me "formal warnings". And if you people here can't see that, then you're more ignorant than I took you for.(Trip Johnson (talk) 13:47, 18 May 2008 (UTC))

Coming here for the first time, and reading some of the history of this discussion, I tend to agree that the various significant published viewpoints (the measure in WP:NPOV) characterize this battle as an "american victory". I don't find significant use of the term "american psychological victory" at all, or similar qualified representations. I do see some use of "tactical draw" to qualify the immediate result. I suspect those are viewing the battle independent of the larger situation. In a narrow point of view, the battle surely was a minor victory at best and a stalemate by immediate measures and also a verification that the american army was no match for the british overall. but from the larger perspective, it seems characterized as a victory. Since the infobox "result" entry is merely a place to summarize — and the article is the place to qualify in great detail what the tactical outcome was compared to the strategic — I think the result should be "american victory" in line with the larger context summation in sources. But the article should and does go into the greater detail and the result as per the individual battle and any other views. In terms of additional citations, I find american / u.s. victory used in these papers as well:

  • Hood, Clifton. (2004) An Unusable Past: Urban Elites, New York City's Evacuation Day, and the Transformations of Memory Culture Journal of Social History - Volume 37, Number 4, Summer 2004, pp. 883-913
  • Keller, Allan (1971) THE BATTLE FOR NEW YORK American History Illustrated 1971 6(4): 4-11, 44-49 14p.

also, I found that US President James Monroe was "appointed a lieutenant in the Third Virginia Regiment and participated in numerous engagements; severely wounded in the Battle of Harlem Heights" from the source: U.S. Congress, Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1949 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950), p.1576. Would anyone like to add that notable mention in both this article and his article? - Owlmonkey (talk) 19:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm... can't find any other citations backing up the wounded note, perhaps that directory from 1950 really meant Battle of Trenton when he took a bullet in the shoulder? Not finding second citations to back it up. there do seem to be other citations though implying that harlem heights was monroe's first command and perhaps first major combat action in the third virginia regiment. So there might be something worth mentioning in there with more research. - Owlmonkey (talk) 01:22, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Monroe (a lieutenant at the time) was wounded in the (first) Battle of Trenton, per David McCullough in 1776. This is sort of confirmed by Middlekauf in Washington's Crossing; he "served with distinction" at the Battle of Harlem Heights and White Plains but was still on active duty in November 1776, etc. In fact, Monroe is one of the prominent figures in Leutze's Crossing the Delaware! I agree this should go in the article, though. As all the recent drama in this arena seems to have died down, I plan to finish my contributions to the Landing at Kip's Bay article soon - and this one was the next (chrono)logical article to work on. If you or some other editor hasn't added Monroe's participation by then, I'll put it in. Tan | 39 03:25, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't mean to hate on consensus or anything, or get another huge debate going, but reading that the Americans withdrew was a huge surprise, as everything else in the article says the Americans won. Did the British pursue the withdrawing Americans and retake the ground they had lost? Regardless of definition, withdrawing cannot be considered a true tactical victory. The article says "This instead infuriated the Americans who galvanized to hold their ground. " in the intro, when in reality, to my understanding, they didn't ultimately hold their ground. However insignificant in the whole scheme of things it seems, the fact that the Americans withdrew should be mentionned in the intro. Just my thoughts. M.Nelson (talk) 21:01, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, technically the Americans did hold their ground. The Americans held their own against the initial British attack, so they held their ground against the first wave. The British withdrew as the Americans had the high ground, and the Americans only withdrew when Cornwallis advanced up with a much larger number of troops than could be fought by Washington. This is where the big debacle comes in over the result; was it a draw because there wasn't really any clear victor, or was it a British victory because the Americans withdrew or was it an American victory because the British attack into New York was blunted? (RockDrummerQ (talk) 21:16, 22 September 2009 (UTC))

The battle was a Draw, the British found themselves attacked on 3 sides and began their retreat. Under persistent attack, the British retreated to a field in the Hollow Way. The fighting continued for an hour until the imminent arrival of more British forces caused Washington to call his troops back. The number of troops grew to nearly 5,000 on each side as the British were pushed back. Washington called off the attack after 6 hours because the Americans were not ready for a general engagement with the full British army. Nothing Strategic or Tactical was gained out of this skirmish so therefore can be called indecisive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Davido488 (talkcontribs) 23:33, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, your POV on the battle does not really compare to that of an historian like Edward Lengel. He, in the book(I have it) specifically says it was an American victory. I have other books that concur with what he says. The source says it was an American victory and thus, it should be left as such.-Kieran4 (talk) 00:15, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

I know you're an American patriot, but I'm sorry patriotism cannot get in the way of historical facts, and the facts are that the Virginia Militia retreated back to Washington at the end of the day, there was no Benefit on either side thus leaving it indecisive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Davido488 (talkcontribs) 13:00, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

I hope you're not serious. I have not interest in making this article anything other than accurate. The source says it was an American victory. Do not revert it unless you find multiple sources contradicting it. I have many, many sources which cite it as an American Victory. If you don't have any sources, you have no argument.-Kieran4 (talk) 22:10, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

Hi, I lined this article up for GA review earlier this evening, but was called away from the computer before I had quite finished the review and now see that the article has been passed by someone else. Although I respect their review, I did have some comments on the article that the editors may find helpful.

  • "British troops made a tactical error by sounding a fox hunt bugle call while in pursuit, meant to insult the Continentals, who were in orderly retreat. This instead infuriated the Americans who galvanized to hold their ground. After flanking the British attackers, the Americans slowly pushed the British back. After the British fled, Washington had his troops end the chase. The battle went a long way to restoring the confidence of the Continental Army after suffering several defeats." - a number of problems here: 1) state at the start of the sentence when the British made the error (e.g. early or late in the battle). 2) "meant" isn't quite right in the context, I think "intended" would be better 3) "who galvanized": at the very least it should be "who were galvanized", although I'm not convinced by the word galvanized here (perhaps "turned and held their ground" is a better way of putting it) 4) There is no mention in the article at all of the British fleeing, withdrawn is a much better word to use (unless they actually did flee, in which case it should be clearly stated in the article) 5) "a long way" is a bit colloquial, perhaps "helped" or "aided"
  • "After a month without any . . ." do you mean after the battle? If so, say so.
  • "defeats, at White Plains and Fort Washington. After these two defeats," - try to vary the words used, in this example, the "defeats" appear too close to one another. This problem recurrs throughout the article.
  • I'd like to see a little more background at the start of the background section: how old was the war at this point and who, if any one was winning at this stage. I know the British objective is mentioned in the lead, but conisider repeating it in greater detail in this section.
  • "flee at the sight of the enemy, and even with Washington's arrival on the scene they refused to obey orders and continued to flee." - try "fall back" instead of one of the "flees"
  • "retreat. The retreat" - make one of the "retreats" a "withdrawal"
  • "2nd and 3rd Battalions" - of what? you haven't named the regiment that fought Knowlton.
  • "too far away" - you mean "far enough away"
  • Although OK for GA, the writing of the battle is a little simplistic: who made the crucial decisions at each stage (i.e. the attack on the British on the hilltop?), How many seperate attacks were made on the positions the British withdrew to and what happened in them (its says the British "held out" on the hill, but against what?), under what weather conditions was the battle fought? etc.
  • "buckwheat Field." - misplaced capital
  • I mean no offence, but the sentence that ends "the troops gave a loud "hurra" and left the field in good order." reads a lot like the work of a rebel propagandist - who says so and where exactly?
  • Aftermath seems very incomplete: how is the battle commemorated today and how has it been commemorated since? Memorials, events renactments etc. What is the battlefield like today? How was the defeat received in Britain? How in America outside the army?

Although this is quite a long list, it would not all have been essential in my GA review. There are however some quite serious problems that should be addressed very soon. In summary, a decent article but not a "Good" one quite yet in my opinion. That said, I respect the review and have no plans to challenge it, these suggestions are given solely for the future improvement of the article.--Jackyd101 (talk) 23:44, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Info boxes, and wastes of time[edit]

For years Narson and I have worked on the War of 1812 and tried to get as much straight as we could. Far too much time has been taken up by a one liner in an info box. Folks very little can be ascertained by an info box, the War of 1812 is perhaps one of the best points where 3 nations had major changes in outlooks to one another, major alliances formed where none existed before, and Modern Canada arose from the ashes of that war, yet all anyone wants to talk about is an outcome in an info box... Perhaps we all need to grow up a little and start seeking to really improve the articles and the citations and give the public the beauty of knowledge this project has always promised to be.Tirronan (talk) 04:26, 27 August 2009 (UTC)


How can this be an American victory if....[edit]

The battle of Monmouth is a 'long term American victory'? They were both rear-guard actions, the British fought a successful rear guard at Monmouth, Washington fought a successful rear-guard here. The Americans evenutally took the ground at Monmouth, the British took the ground here. So either the result on the Monmouth page is wrong, or this page is wrong. Ben200 (talk) 16:35, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

=[edit]

A fair point. The action at Harlem Heights was a check to the British advance up Manhattan. It didn't prevent the British occupation of New York (for the next six years or so) and it didn't stop Washington from abandoning Manhattan and withdrawing towards White Plains. Nor, clearly, did it destroy Washington's army as an effective force or bring about the capitulation of the Continental Congress. Those are examples of the possible fruits if either side had been able had been to claim victory. Instead, the action was INCONCLUSIVE.

The American troops may have enjoyed a boost to their moral after successfully withstanding an attack by crack British infantry- which they already done at Brooklyn (their generals had let them down there)- and indeed they had exploited the enemy's over-confidence and forced them to make a tactical withdrawal- but on the other hand the Americans had lost a popular and effective battlefield commander in Knowlton which should also be factored into the moral calculation.

Britain managed to construct a moral victory out of the evacuation at Dunkirk - and are doing so still- but it nevertheless it followed a complete and utter defeat- and before anyone gets upset, there the parallel with Harlem Heights ends (although arguably Long Island/Brooklyn was Dunkirk in microcosm). JF42 (talk) 21:09, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

ILLUSTRATION[edit]

Is there no better illustration available than this wildly anachronistic print showing the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment wearing Crimean War-era uniforms from the mid-C19th? Their headgear is also on the wrong way round.JF42 (talk) 09:05, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
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