The Birth and Government

of the

United States of America

The American Revolution

1775 to 1783

Page 7


May 12, 1780 - The British captured Charleston, South Carolina. It was a major defeat for America as over 5,000 American soldiers from the Southern Army were captured. Later that summer on August 16, the British under Gen. Charles Cornwallis scored a major victory over other Americans, again in South Carolina.

August to September 1780 - Benedict Arnold, newly appointed Commander of West Point was exposed as a spy working for Britain. Having been recently installed as its Commander, he intended to surrender West Point to the British. When his intentions were revealed, he fled to the British ship Vulture. Arnold, the most infamous traitor in American history, became a brigadier general in the British Army and fights Americans. Many believe Arnold betrayed George Washington because he was upset at not being promoted more rapidly.

October 7, 1780 - American forces captured 1000 men loyal to British Gen. Cornwallis. With this defeat, Cornwallis gave up his planned invasion of North Carolina.

October 14, 1780 - Gen. Nathaniael Greene, a favorite of Gen. George Washington, replaces Gen. Gates as commander of the Southern Army. Gen. Greene successfully eroded British troops under Gen. Cornwallis through a multi-colony chase.

January 17, 1781 - Gen. Daniel Morgan leads American troops to victory over British Gen. Tarleton at Pompton, New Jersey.

March 15, 1781 - An important victory for America is fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina. British Gen. Cornwallis evacuated his troops from the Carolinas, ending British control of that region. He regrouped in Wilmington, Delaware.

June 10, 1781 - The combined troops of the Marquis de Lafayette, Gen. Anthony Wayne and Baron von Steuben stood ready to confront the British under Gen. Cornwallis and the traitorous Benedict Arnold.

June 11, 1781 - Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, Henry Laurens are appointed to a Peace Commission to supplement John Adams in negotiating an end to the war with Britain.

August 1781 - British troops under Gen. Cornwallis ended their chase of Americans under Gen. Greene and arrived in Yorktown, Virginia. Gen. Washington decided to confront Gen. Cornwallis at Yorktown and coordinated the attack with French Admiral Count de Grasse, whose 29 ships and 3,000 soldiers had set anchor near Yorktown. On August 30, 1781 de Grasse landed soldiers near Yorktown and hooked them up with American troops under Lafayette. They formed a line preventing Cornwallis from retreating Yorktown by land.

September 1, 1781 - General Washington, Rochambeau and their troops arrived in Philadelphia.

September 5 - 8, 1781 - The French fleet under de Grasse repelled the British navy from Chesapeake Bay. The resulting blockade of the bay by the French fleet prevented British Gen. Cornwallis from retreating by sea.

September 6, 1781 - British troops under the Benedict Arnold burn and loot the port of New London, Connecticut.

September 14 - 24, 1781 - American troops under Washington and Rochambeau sailed aboard de Grasse’s ships for Yorktown. American troops amassed nearby waiting to attack British troops under Gen. Cornwallis.

September 28, 1781 - Gen. Washington, commanding an Allied army of 17,000 men, began to attack Yorktown. The French barraged the 9,000 British soldiers under Gen. Cornwallis with unrelenting cannon fire.

October 17, 1781 - British Gen. Cornwallis asked for a truce and worked out terms by which he shall surrender to Gen. Washington.

October 19, 1781 - In a decisive moment in the American Revolution, the British army under Gen. Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown as the British Army band plays the tune, “The World Turned Upside Down”. This surrender cemented final victory for the young United States of America that had declared its independence only five years before. Britain ended all hope of victory against American forces.

October 24, 1781 - British Gen. Clinton and his 7,000 soldiers retreated from Chesapeake Bay upon hearing of the surrender at Yorktown.

November - December, 1781 - Members of the Parliament in Britain called for an end to the financially disastrous war.

January 1, 1782 - Loyalists (Americans loyal to the British) began leaving America to settle in the northeast region of Canada.

January 5, 1782 - Britain begins withdrawing from North Carolina.

February 27, 1782 - Britain’s House of Commons voted against further war in America.

March 5, 1782 - British Parliament ordered the King to negotiate peace with the Unites States.

April 12, 1782 - Benjamin Franklin met with Britain’s Richard Oswald in Paris for peace talks.

April 19, 1782 - The Netherlands recognized the United States as an independent nation.

June 11, 1782 - Continuing the trend of withdrawal, the British evacuated Savannah, Georgia.

June 20, 1782 - Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States of America.

August 27, 1782 - One of the last fights in the American Revolution between American and British forces took place along the Combahee River with insignificant results.

November 10, 1782 - The final battle overall of the American Revolution took place as Americans retaliate against Loyalist Americans and their ally, the Shawnee Indians of the Ohio Territory. The British and the Americans loyal to Britain (Loyalists) had long allied itself with various native American tribes in battles against Americans fighting for independence.

NEXT PAGE - Victory and the Treaty of Paris



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