The Beginning of a Revolution

By sadasko
  • The Battle of Lexington

    The Battle of Lexington
    General Thomas Gage, military governor of Massachusetts from Britain, learned that American colonists stored weapons in Concord, and was also aware of Samuel Adams and John Hancock's offending presence in Lexington (Middlesex County, MA). Because the Boston Tea Party happened when Gage returned to America as Massachusetts's governor, Gage's purpose was clear - dowse rebellion. So when Gage learned of the treason, his punishment was severe. He would attempt to crush the colonists' rebel...
  • The Battle of Lexington, Continued

    The Battle of Lexington, Continued
    ...efforts - training militiamen for war and gathering munition - with nothing short of an iron fist. He sent his men to Concord.
    However, at Lexington, Gage's 700 men were met with a gathering of 77 Patriot minutemen led by Captain Parker. It was not necessary for the British to fight the colonists - they posed no impediment and neither Hancock nor Adams were present - but Smith, arrogant and having the understanding that rebellion was nothing short of treason, pursued an engagement...
  • The Battle of Lexington, Continued

    The Battle of Lexington, Continued
    No one knows who fired the first shot in the battle. But it was the shot heard 'round the world, marking the beginning of a grieving fight for independence. Unfortunately, the Americans were beaten by sheer number. Eight died, with ten wounded. One Brit was wounded. Despite the loss, however, the Americans had stood their ground.
    Picture: The colonists are toward the left in the multicolored outfits, with the British in red coats on horses surrounding them. Lexington homes stand in the back.
  • The Battle of Concord

    The Battle of Concord
    After Lexington, the Brits continued on their march to Concord (Middlesex County, MA) to destroy the weapons there, ignoring Adams and Hancock to pursue their main goal. Concord's militia, however, was alerted of the British's march by Samuel Prescott, who rode with Revere and Dawes. When the Concord militia saw the 700 British approaching, they retreated to a hill outside town. By the time the Concord men were forced to fight, assuming their homes had been torched, they were 400 in number...
  • The Battle of Concord, Continued

    The Battle of Concord, Continued
    The Americans pursued the British to Concord. The British left the city when the weapons apparently there were missing. The Americans pelted them with shots along the road to Boston. The British were irate over these tactics, yet were ultimately defeated by them when surrounded in Boston, to their chagrin. The British lost 73 men. The Americans lost 49. Concord began the Revolution. Colonists were forced to choose sides.
    Picture: Rebels ready to fight the British. The British wear tall hats.
  • Period: to

    The Spark of Independence

    The gauntlet of battles situated on this timeline create the first phase of the Revolutionary War, the massive struggle between the British colonies in America and their mother country, England itself.
  • The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

    The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga
    After Lexington and Concord, Samuel Adams determined that the British would eventually attempt to cut New England off from the rest of the colonies. Knowing the best way to do this would be to send an army south from Canada, Adams surveyed the Canadian population to wager how many Canadians would support their cause. Many supported the British because of the Quebec Act of 1774. Instead of delivering a risky head-on strike, rebels deemed Fort Ticonderoga (Ticonderoga, NY) a good place to...
  • The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga, Continued

    The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga, Continued
    strike the British. It was at a great point between lakes, was lightly defended, and held artillery the colonists needed. So (despite a dispute between them), Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, with 400 men and the Green Mountain boys, led a surprise attack on Ticonderoga. With the 42 defenders unexpecting (no word about any battles had arrived), they surrenderred. The Patriots received supplies and controlled the invasion route from Canada.
    Picture: A British sentry surprised at the invasion.
  • The Battle of Bunker Hill

    The Battle of Bunker Hill
    To occupy Boston, the British wanted control of the hills on the Charlestown peninsula. Two days before the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Americans learned of their plan to capture Charlestown and decided to act first. Under Samuel Prescott, 1200 colonist soldiers built fortifications on Breed's Hill (Bunker Hill was the original choice, but Breed's Hill was closer to Boston). On the morning of the battle, William Howe, enraged, waited for the tide to rise to press westward along the Charlestown...
  • Battle of Bunker Hill Continued

    Battle of Bunker Hill Continued
    peninsula to overtake the Americans at Breed's. The Americans gathered around 4000 men. While the Americans fought well, confusion and lack of strong leadership weakened them. When Howe and his men reached the hill, the Americans retreated to Cambridge. While the British won, they suffered casualties (1024 out of 2200). The colonists, only losing 400-600 men, were invigorated by their skill.
    Picture: Map of Breed's Hill. Its position in Charlestown allowed the colonists to defend Boston easily.
  • The Battle of Longue-Pointe

    The Battle of Longue-Pointe
    For the same reasons as Quebec, the Americans wanted to capture Montreal, Canada. The lightly defended Longue-Pointe (in Montreal) was Ethan Allen's prime target. Upon reaching St. Lawrence River, Allen attacked, expecting backup. It never came, and the British to cut off Allen's escape route and capture the force. Fearing another attack on Montreal, General Carleton would refuse to assist in the Siege of Fort St. Jean.
    Picture: Battle of Longue-Pointe. The Americans are blue, the British red.
  • The Siege of Fort St. Jean

    The Siege of Fort St. Jean
    Fort St. Jean (St. Jean, Quebec) guarded the entrance to Quebec, an area the colonists wanted to block the invasion route from Canada and enlist Canadian aid. An American force of 1500 (later added to) stood against a force of 750 British. After a siege, Fort St. Jean surrendered due to lack of supplies and failed backup. The surrender forced General Carleton (Brit) to rush to Quebec and the Americans gained territory.
    Picture: Fort St. Jean on the Richelieu River, c. 1750. Probably inacurrate.
  • The Battle of Quebec

    The Battle of Quebec
    The Battle of Quebec was the result of the colonists' need to gain experience. The Americans hoped to capture Quebec to drive the British from Canada (preventing risk of invasion and freeing the area) and enlist French Canadian help. Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery led 1200 men to Quebec. A five-month siege took place after the initial battle, through which Montgomery died, Arnold was wounded, and over 400 men were captured. The Americans lost 48 men; the British 5. The Brits were...
  • The Battle of Quebec, Continued

    The Battle of Quebec, Continued
    aware of invasion plans for a long time, and so were prepared when the Americans arrived. Due to bad weather and the British's impeccable preparation and superior 1800 men, the Americans were forced home, exhausted and demoralized, in May of 1776, when British troops arrived from England. The battle was a huge loss, and American morale fell.
    Picture: Montgomery (center) dies. Colonists (surrounding) watch in horror. Had enlistments not been due to expire soon, things may have been different.
  • The Siege of Boston

    The Siege of Boston
    For a long time - since April of the previous year - the colonists had surrounded British troops in Boston, MA to keep them from spreading elsewhere and also to eventually drive them out. Boston was on a peninsula at the time, so if in danger, the British (led by Gage, then Howe) would have nowhere to retreat and would be forced back to England. Also, the Brits couldn't receive supplies from the countryside. When Washington claimed Dorchester Heights, he was finally willing to break the long...
  • The Siege of Boston, Continued

    The Siege of Boston, Continued
    stalemate between the Americans and the British inside Boston. With the cannon from Fort Ticonderoga and the hills' heights around Boston, Washington finally attacked. A storm kept the British from assaulting Dorchester Heights, and they opted to leave Boston. After tricking colonists into giving them supplies, 9000 British troops left Boston for England. The Americans rejoiced! Their spirit was boosted.
    Picture: Henry Knox brings cannons from Ticonderoga to Boston via the "noble train" of oxen.