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The Battle of Long Island

In this 1776 Revolutionary War battle, the British Army successfully moved against the American Continental Army led by George Washington. The battle was part of a British campaign to seize control of New York and thereby isolate New England from the rest of the colonies. Washington's defeat could have led to the surrender of his entire force, but his ingenuity instead allowed him to escape and continue the fight.


Staten Island Peace Conference

A brief 1776 conference held in the hope of bringing an end to the Revolutionary War. It was held days after the British captured Long Island.


Nathan Hale

A soldier who was captured and hanged by the British, his last words were "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."


Battle of Valcour Island

(Oct. 1776) A Revolutionary War battle considered to be the first one for the American Navy. It took place in Valcour Bay and was a victory for the British.


Battle of Fort Washington

(Nov. 1776) A battle in which the British took control of New York and eastern New Jersey, sending Washington's troops into Pennsylvania. One of the worst Patriot defeats of George Washington at the hands of William Howe.


Battle of Fort Cumberland

(Nov. 1776) A failed attempt by an American militia to get Nova Scotia to rebel.


Battle of Iron Works Hill

(Dec. 1776) America lost its base in Bordentown, New Jersey; but it set the stage for Washington's victory after his troops crossed the Delaware.


George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River

George Washington lead a column of Continental Army troops across the icy Delaware River.


Battle of Trenton

(Dec. 1776) A dramatic victory in which Americans captured Trenton after a losing streak. It boosted morale among the soldiers and bolstered the hopes of the American people.


Battle of the Assunpink Creek

(Jan. 1777) A battle in which Washington defeated Cornwallis and caused the British to withdraw from most of New Jersey.


Battle of Princeton

(Jan. 1777) Washington's successful last major battle for control of New Jersey. It caused army recruitment numbers to rapidly increase.


Vermont Republic

A republic which was created during the Revolutionary War in which Vermont declared independence from New York. While some wanted complete independence, most wanted to be a part of the United States which they eventually were.


Battle of Ridgefield

(Apr. 1777) A successful British victory in which they captured Ridgefield, Connecticut, galvanized Patriot support in Connecticut.


Siege of Fort Ticonderoga

(July 1777) An American loss of a fort which was thought to be impenetrable, causing an uproar in the states.


Battle of Hubbardton

(July 1777) A battle which took place following the siege of Fort Ticonderoga in which the British lost enough troops to stop pursuing the Continental Army.


Marquis de Lafayette

An important Frenchman who fought for the Continental Army and forged an important bond between America and France.


Second Continental Congress

From 1775 to 1781, this convention of delegates managed the colonial war effort and created the Articles of Confederation to submit to the states for ratification.


Siege of Fort Stanwix

(Aug. 1777) A battle in which Iroquois Indians halfheartedly fought on behalf of the Canadian-British. First US Flag flown at this American victorious battle.


Battle of Oriskany

(Aug. 1777) One of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War in which the Oneidas fought with the Americans against the Iroquois who fought with Britain. For the Iroquois nations, the battle marked the beginning of a civil war and its known as "the place of great sadness." Weakly a loyalist victory.


Battle of Bennington

(Aug. 1777) A decisive victory for the rebels; they caused a heavy amount of British casualties under General John Burgoyne, caused the Indians to abandon them, and encouraged the French to aide them.


Battle of Brandywine

(Sept. 1777) A battle in which the British captured Philadelphia, the American capital at the time.


Battles of Saratoga

(Sept. & Oct. 1777) A turning point in the Revolutionary War which conclusively decided the fate of John Burgoyne's army. France entered the war for the rebels and Spain also began aiding them.


Captain James Cook

A British explorer who was attacked and killed in a confrontation with Hawaiians during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific in 1779.


Treaty of Alliance

(1778) An alliance formed between France and the U.S. during the Revolutionary War which promised mutual protection against the British.


Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben

George Washington's gay chief of staff who trained the Continental Army.


Battle of Wyoming

(July 1778) A battle between Loyalists (accompanied by Iroquois) who slaughtered Patriots in the Wyoming region of Pennsylvania.


Cherry Valley massacre

(Nov. 1778) Has been called one of the most horrific massacres of the war. The British, and the Iroquois and Senecas, tired of being villainized, slaughtered numerous Patriot soldiers as well as non-combatants.


Siege of Fort Vincennes

(Feb. 1779) A Patriot victory causing the British to abandon Illinois, stopping Indian raids of Patriot settlements.


Penobscot Expedition

(July-August 1779) One of the worst naval defeats in American history, against the British.


Siege of Savannah

(Sept.-Oct. 1779) A battle in which numerous Haitian troops aided the Patriots, in a failed attempt to recapture Savannah from the British.