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American History

Thursday, October 26th
Warm Up
The Answer is…

Today in History
1776 – Benjamin Franklin sails for France in order
to negotiate and secure an alliance in the American
War for Independence.
1881 – Shootout at OK Corral between the law-
enforcing Earp brothers and the cattle-rustling,
thieving and murdering McLaury and Clantons in
Tombstone, AZ.
Valley Forge
With Philadelphia in British control,
Washington set up the Continental
Army’s winter quarters 20 miles away in a
town called Valley Forge.
It was a harsh winter and the army had
very few supplies of food and necessities.
Valley Forge
By the end of the winter, the army had
lost 2,000 men to starvation, disease or
Most men had no shoes or enough
However, the men tried to encourage
morale and keep their spirits up.
Valley Forge
Baron von Stueben showed up in the
Spring of 1778 to help drill and train the
men to fight.
They learned how to march, follow
orders and stand in formation.
He also helped with hygiene and
sanitation to help prevent the spread of
Valley Forge
By the time Summer of 1778 arrived, the
men were more trained.
The news of the French alliance also
meant more supplies and support.
Washington felt the Continental Army
was ready to take on the British.
Washington organized an attack on the British
as they were leaving Philadelphia to head to
New York.
They attacked the British from behind and a
battle ensued.
In the New Jersey summer heat, more men
probably died from heat exhaustion than the
Molly Ludwig Hays had followed her
husband in the army and had earned the
nickname “Molly Pitcher” for bringing
water to American soldiers in battle.
When her husband was wounded at
Monmouth, she took over his post and
manned the cannon for the remainder of
the battle.
Eventually, the British called off the
battle and continued the march to New
Technically, the battle ended in a draw.
Hamilton: Right hand man
War in the West
George Rogers Clark led a group of
Kentucky volunteers in fighting against
the British in the west.
He and his 175 men seized the British
forts of Kaskaskia, Cahokia and
The British were able to recapture
War in the West
In February of 1779, Clark and his men
marched 150 miles to fight the British for
Food and supplies ran out and Clark had
to encourage and eventually threaten to
shoot the men to keep going.
War in the West
In order to trick the British into thinking
he had more men than he did, Clark had
his men approach at night carrying
several banner, march in a zig zag pattern
and run through the side streets.
The British were intimidated and
Fighting on the High Seas
Privateers – private vessels used by Congress and
armed to help attack British ships
John Paul Jones – attacked the British warship
Serapis in the North Sea in his ship the Bonhomee
Richard. When told by the British to surrender, he
replied, “I have not yet begun to fight.”
War in the South
For the early years of the war, the South
had been largely ignored as attempts by
the British were made to isolate New
England from the rest of the colonies.
Following the British defeat at Saratoga,
they began to focus their efforts on the
Southern colonies in 1778.
War in the South
Sir Henry Clinton invaded Georgia with
a fleet of regulars, Hessians and Loyalists
with the hopes of getting Loyalists in the
backcountry to join the British fight.
His hope was to sever the South from the
rest of the colonies.
War in the South
Savannah – fell to the British in
December 1778.
Charleston – worst Patriot defeat,
captured by British in May 1780.
Camden – General Gates retreated and
left his troops to be slaughtered.
War in the South
Bloody Tarleton
Also known as “The Butcher” for
his cruel treatment of American
At the Battle of Waxhaws, he
shot Americans who presented a
white flag of surrender.
Out of 350 American troops, 113
were killed and 150 severely
War in the South
Bloody Tarleton
After men were shot down, the British
walked through and bayoneted every
man who showed signs of life, even
digging men out from beneath others to
stab them.
War in the South
Swamp Surprises
A small band of 20 or so men and boys
kept the fight against the British going
by slipping out of swamps and sand
flats to attack outposts and supply lines.
They were a mix of white and black,
young and old and were very poorly
War in the South
Swamp Surprises
The group was lead by
Francis Marion, the
“Swamp Fox.”
Their hit-and-run attacks
kept the pressure on and
made Cornwallis
continually look over his
It also prevented British
troops from joining the
main force.
War in the South
“The Gamecock”
Thomas Sumter’s plantation
was burned by Tarleton in his
march across the south.
He gather a militia to attack
the British and raid their
supply lines.
He prevented the British from
being able to communicate.
War in the South
Kings Mountain
In 1780, Major Patrick Ferguson rode
through the Carolina backcountry
warning men that if they didn’t pledge
their loyalty to King George, he would
burn their home and fields and hang
their leaders.
War in the South
Kings Mountain
The Patriot frontiersmen killed
Ferguson and destroyed 80% of his
This victory strengthened the Patriot
resolve and boosted morale.
War in the South
As the American army was in winter
quarters during 1780, Congress
appointed a replacement for Horatio
At Washington’s suggestion, Nathanael
Greene was chosen.
Benedict Arnold
Arnold was a talented Patriot
general who had helped
American win key battles,
including Saratoga.
He felt passed over and that
he deserved a higher rank
and pay.
He began to sell secrets to
the British.
Benedict Arnold
In 1780, Washington offered to give him
command of a greater part of the
Continental Army, but Arnold instead
asked for the fort at West Point.
Unknown the Washington, Arnold had
agreed to turn West Point over to the
British for approx $4 million.
Benedict Arnold
Just before he could carry this out, a
British soldier was caught with papers
regarding the plot and Arnold had to flee
to the British.
He spent the rest of the war fighting for
the British before going to London after
it was over.
Benedict Arnold
Arnold was shunned from society in
London and died a lonely man.
Washington took Arnold’s betrayal
personally and had the captured British
soldier hanged.
War in the South
Greene took a small, poor and
discouraged army and turned them into
a fighting force that would defeat
He sent part of the Continental army
south with General Daniel Morgan,
hoping that Cornwallis would divide
his force and pursue them.
War in the South
Cornwallis sent Tarleton in pursuit of
the Continental Army.
On January 17, 1781, the two armies
met on a field for grazing cattle.
Morgan had the Americans fake a retreat
before stopping and repelling the British
War in the South
In less than an hour, the British
suffered 930 casualties to the
Americans’ 70.
The Americans also captured a great
deal of supplies, including 3 pieces of
artillery, 800 muskets, 100 horses, 35
wagons of baggage, ammunition and 60
black slaves.
War in the South
Britain’s leaders were discouraged at the
“America is once more not quite ready to be
conquered, although every now and then we
fancy it is. Tarleton is defeated, Lord
Cornwallis is checked, and Arnold not sure of
having betrayed his friends to much purpose.”
– Horace Walpole
War in the South
Cornwallis decided to march north to
Virginia, destroying Patriot supplies and
hanging leaders along the way.
On August 1, 1781 he set up his
headquarters at Yorktown, a small tobacco
port on the York River.
War in the South
Cornwallis began to gather troops,
numbering 7,200.
At the end of August, a French fleet arrived
with 3,000 troops to join the Continental
commander, the Marquis de Lafayette.
The French navy defeated the British fleet
and cut off Cornwallis’s access to the sea.
War in the South
Washington arrived with his
Continental army and as a result,
Cornwallis was outnumbered and
Washington had leaked false reports that
he would attack General Clinton in New
York to cover his march to Yorktown.
War in the South
On September 29, 1871, the
Continental army laid siege to the
British, which Cornwallis tried in vain
to break.
On October 17, 1981 Cornwallis
surrendered and two days later, 7,000
British troops laid down their arms.
Treaty of Paris, 1783
King George III at first wanted to fight
harder, then offered to abdicate.
Finally, caving to pressure from
Parliament and the people, accepted the
war was over.
Peace talks began in Paris with Benjamin
Franklin, John Jay and John Adams.
Treaty of Paris, 1783
The United States were recognized as
being independent and were granted all
land east of the Mississippi River, except
Treaty of Paris, 1783
The British troops left New York, the last
British stronghold, on November 25,
Before they left, the British nailed a
Union Jack to a flag pole and greased the
pole. An American solider was able to
climb up and replace the British flag with
the Stars and Stripes.