This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
for 4 yearsi. What started as a Patriot rebellion to the tax laws passed by Britain was now advanced into a full-fledged war. The Americans wanted independence, and the Crown wanted ownership. Through countless skirmishes and battles across the colonies, Britain had lost just as many men as America. But the redcoats weren‟t worried about losing, according to Anne Todd, “King George III was not worried about the continental army.” (Todd, 18). After back and forth battles in the north, Sir Henry Clinton ordered his army to travel to the south, in hope of new energy to gain control over the war. On the other side of the war, the Patriots were not so confident. They were scarce on supply, and many of soldiers weren‟t getting paid on time. Some soldiers were dying of starvation, some were running away; even out of the soldiers and Patriots that were still fighting, many were short on guns and ammunition. The war wasn‟t looking so good for George Washington, and the army was at its weakest, but Washington ordered his army to push into the south to keep fighting. On May 29th, 1780, the continental army faced their first battle in the south. Many thought this would be the turn-around point in the war for the Americans because the British came armed with mostly untrained loyalists, but the aftermath was not American-favored. iiOver half of the Patriots were on the ground, dead or wounded, and the American General Abraham Buford was among them, personally slayed by General Banastre Tarleton, also known as „Bloody Ban‟. “He fought like the Tasmanian devil.”(The War Heads South), says a historian from a documentary on the massacre. Tarleton rode off into to the backcountry after a full out slaughter. Continental confidence was almost completely gone, after the Patriots had arguably one the worst losses at the Battle of Waxhawsiii.
With the recent victory, the British rulers wanted to keep it going, so they passed a proclamation that said any one in America that is not fully loyal to the Crown, will be treated as Patriots. This frustrated many of the loyalists, giving them second thoughts. “…if you‟re going to push someone off of the fence, you ought to be pretty certain which side of the fence they‟re going to fall on.” (The War Heads South). Many loyalists‟ become eager for more freedom, and joined the Patriots sideiv. The delegates were well aware of what happened, and sent General Horatio Gates down to the Carolinas to command the army. George Washington insisted that Gates was not the man for the job, but the delegates overruled him. Britain also sent a new commander into the south; General Charles Cornwallis. He had been in Europe after his wife passed away, so he set sail across the Atlantic eager to fight. Gates‟ first battle in the south came on August 16th, 1780. He was met by Cornwallis and his redcoats at a place called Camden. Horatio Gates was confident, and rushed into the battle without much of a plan. Cornwallis fought more conservatively, and sent the continentals retreating very quickly. Gates fled the scene on his horse in embarrassment, and rode so fast and so far, no one saw him again. In the north, Washington had to send someone else to command the war. He could now send he wanted to in the first place, General Nathaniel Greene. Greene was younger, and had fresher ideas as to how to take over the war. As he headed south, he picked up General Daniel Morgan along the way to help him command. The two Generals located the remaining Patriots, and gathered their army to re plan, in what is present day Charlotte. Washington was well aware that Tarleton and had settled in Charleston, South Carolina, and that the Crown had sent General Charles Cornwallis overseas to help Tarleton in the war, so he ordered Morgan and Greene to split up from Charlotte and head two different directions into South Carolina. Daniel Morgan
headed south west, while Nathaniel Greene went south east. Ironically, Tarleton and Cornwallis did the same thing, with Tarleton heading straight towards Daniel Morgan. Most of the patriots and continental soldiers in Morgan‟s regiments were scared to fight after such a brutal loss at Waxhaws, followed by the embarrassing loss at Camden. Little did they know, they were headed right for Bloody Ban and the redcoats. On the other hand, Daniel Morgan was confident that he had the plan for success. Morgan and Tarleton finally ran into each other on January 17th, 1781, at a field called Cowpens. Morgan only had 600 men, and over half were untrained Patriot militia, but he used strategy to defeat Tarleton and his men (The War Heads South). Tarleton fled and met back up with Cornwallis, while Morgan and his men caught up with Greene to continue. Because of back injuries, Greene let Morgan go home for the rest of the war from his home in Virginia. Now Nathaniel Greene was on his own, to outsmart the two British commanders in the Carolina backcountry. The continental army had just won their first battle in years, but with a shortage of pay, the regiments were still on the verge of revolt. George Washington saw hope, but was frustrated with the lack of effort within his army. He sent orders to all Commanders to shoot any soldiers who tried to protest. In the eyes of a historian, “Within the revolution, a rebellion grows.” (The End Game). The only way that Washington can bounce back off of the victory at Cowpens, is if he gets reinforcements and supplies for his army. The only means of contacting France for supplies is through letter, which took months back and forth. Meanwhile, Nathaniel Greene and Cornwallis are still in a cat and mouse chase. Greene keeps moving to wear down the British and make time to get reinforcements. His army is faster, and is able to lead Cornwallis from South Carolina, all the way through North Carolina, into Virginia. After 200 miles of travel, Cornwallis gives up, and stops to rethink his plan. In March of 1781, France finally decides to send supplies, and French reinforcements. (The End Game).
After Greene is resupplied and ready to fight, he crosses back into North Carolina, to seek out Cornwallis and his army. He sets up his army at Guilford Courthouse, and on March 15th, the redcoats arrived and a battle began. Twice as many British died, but Cornwallis gets the victory only because Greene retreated to save as many of his men as he could for future battles. He figured he had done enough damage to the British army, and now they might think they have control and get a little over confident. Henry Clinton, who was staying in New York, orders Cornwallis to stop attacking and setup in Yorktown. He thought that the Americans would attack again shortly, so he planned for Cornwallis to set up at Yorktown with a more defensive strategy. Washington was aware, so he plans to resupply his army, and then surround Yorktown with his army alongside the French reinforcements. On September 28th, 1781, Washington‟s army began to setup around Yorktown from the east, while the French sent fleets to the Yorktown River; there were a total of 3,100 Patriots, 8,000 continental soldiers, and 7,800 French reinforcements. The British were completely outnumbered, but Cornwallis had set up so many lines of defense mechanisms, it took weeks for Washington‟s army to close in on the redcoats. Finally on October 17th, they got close enough to make an attack on the main headquarters of Cornwallis‟ location. Cornwallis‟ army could not hold up, but he would not surrender himself. Charles Cornwallis was too embarrassed to formally surrender to George Washington, and fled the scene to leave his army to surrender. George Washington and his army had won the battle at Yorktown, which would be the last battle of the war for liberty in America. It would take a couple years for Washington to force all of the remaining Loyalists and British out of Wilmington and Charleston, but according to Matthew Moten, “In August (1782), Washington learned that Britain was prepared to grant America independence.”(Moten, 31)
Works Cited Grainger, John. The Battle of Yorktown, 1781: a reassessment. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005. Moten, Col. Matthew. Between War and Peace. New York. Free Press, 2011. "The End Game." The Revolution. The History Channel. Television, 2006. "The War Heads South." The Revolution. The History Channel. Television, 2006.
Todd, Anne. The Revolutionary War. Mankato, Minn. Capstone Books, 2001.
This is where I choose to begin my concept, because the first 4 years of the war had long gaps between action, and there wasn’t much influence on the outcome of the war. This is the point in the war when both sides realize it is time for someone to take control, and both armies are eager to end the war, leading to all of the action that makes up the period of my event. ii This is when I will introduce the main character of my concept, a Patriot and survivor from the Waxhaw massacre. iii Sets the tone for my concept, allowing room for suspense among the audience. iv Gives the audience some positive information on the American’s, to keep their interest
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.