New recruits of the American Revolution being drilled in a fort painting by Stanley Massey Arthurs, 1910. Courtesy Library of Congress.
American Revolution Timeline - Major Battles
For seven years from 1775-1783, battles were waged around the eastern seaboard of the United States, a revolution among the citizens of America, the nascent United States of America, against the British Empire, colonies rising up against the tyranny of their oppressors and seeking freedom. Led by George Washington in battles fought from Quebec to New England to the Carolinas, it would be a war of liberty, of men fighting for their homeland, of a nation being born. Many of these battles have been shortchanged in the annuls of history; some unknown in the areas where they were fought, but at the end of a decade, a new nation would be hatched from the bravery of the men and women of the American Revolution. The battles listed below are considered the major battles of the American Revolution by the staff of americasbesthistory.com, some protected by National Park Service sites, state parks, and others still to be protected.
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- Battle Timeline
February 3, 1779 - Battle of Point Royal Island, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army 200; British 320.
Casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing): Continental Army 40 plus 7-12 captured; British 30.
Small battle after British capture of Savannah meant to consolidate gains in South Carolina became an American victory when British forces withdrew.
February 14, 1779 - Battle of Kettle Creek, Georgia
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 600-700; British 320-420.
Casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing): Continental Army 115-145, including captured; British 21-32.
Patriot militia defeat a Loyalist militia, proving that British allied forces could not hold the backcountry of Georgia during early days of the Southern strategy.
February 23-25, 1779 - Siege of Fort Vincennes (Sackville), Indiana
Troops: Continental Army 172; British 290, including Indian forces.
Casualties: Continental Army 0; British/Allies 20, 79 captured.
British surrender the fort and control of much of the Illinois territory after a daring winter march by forces of George Rogers Clark.
March 3, 1779 - Battle of Brier Creek, Georgia
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 1,100; British 900.
Casualties: Continental Army 150, 227 captured; British 16.
British decoy American militia forces and engage in a surprise attack in eastern Georgia, reversing the gains from the Battle of Kettle Creek, allowing the British to dominate the region and prepare for further action.
June 20, 1779 - Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 1,500; British 900.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 302; British 120.
As British retreat after an excursion from their base in Savannah, they are attacked by American forces at Stono Ferry. British vicitory after initial success by Patriot militia is thwarted and patriots are forced to withdraw.
June 24, 1779 - Siege of Gibraltar
Troops: France/Spain 13,749; British 5,382.
Casualties: France/Spain NA; British NA.
Opening day of the siege of Gibraltar that would last over three years, affecting the supply and attention of the British forces in the American Revolution. Spanish and French fleets attack the British by sea and forts are built on land as bases to attack the British by land.
July 5-14, 1779 - Tryon's Raid 1779, Connecticutt
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 1,000 (New Haven), NA (Fairfield), 50 (Norwalk); British 2,600.
Casualties: Continental Army 38, 12 captured (New Haven); British 148.
Soldiers on Royal Navy ships raid towns of New Haven, Fairfied, Norwalk with minimal militia resistance in attempt to draw Washington's main body of troops, watching British movement around New York City, into battle. Washington resisted.
July 16, 1779 - Battle of Stony Point, New York
Troops: Continental Army 1,500; British 750.
Casualties: Continental Army 98; British 78 plus 546 captured.
Select group of Continental Army troops under General Wayne attack a British outpost ten miles north of New York City. Huge victory for Americans and boost for morale, although fort was abandoned not long after capture. Wayne issued medal by Congress, one of few issued in the American Revolution.
June 18 to September 27, 1779 - Sullivan/Clinton Expedition
Troops: Continental Army 4,000; British/Allies NA.
Casualties: Continental Army 25 plus; British/Allies NA.
General Sullivan (from Easton, Pa.) and General Clinton (from Cooperstown, NY) are ordered by Washington to destroy Indian villages supporting British war efforts. Forty villages are destroyed in Susquehanna Valley of New York from base in Tioga.
July 24 to August 14, 1779 - Penobscot Expedition, Maine
Troops: Continental Army 1,000 plus 44 ships; British 700, 10 warships.
Casualties: Continental Army 474, including captured, all ships lost; British 60, 26 captured.
Worst defeat by American Navy until Pearl Harbor. Attempt by ground expeditionary force of American soldiers, including Paul Revere to retake coast of Maine from British who had siezed it one month earlier. Siege of Fort George fails when British fleet arrives from New York, causing the destruction of all American ships by capture or self-destruction. American troops forces to flee back to Boston on foot.
September 7, 1779 - Capture of Fort Bute, West Florida (Louisiana)
Troops: Spain 1,430; British 23.
Casualties: Spain 0; British 1, 16 captured.
Spain battles on side of American Revolution in their first action, capturing the British frontier outpost Fort Bute. Spain officially entered the war on the side of the Americans on May 8, 1779.
September 16 to October 20, 1779 - Siege of Savannah (Second Battle), Georgia
Troops: Continental Army/Allies 5,050, 42 ships; British 3,200.
Casualties: Continental Army/Allies 828, captured 120; British 155.
Attempt by Continental forces and French allies to retake Savannah after British takeover in 1778 fails during land assault. Siege abandoned.
Note: Photo above: Lithograph named Mrs. Murray's strategy in occupation of American cities by British redcoats during American Revolution. Year of 1779 saw British in control of New York City with Washington's main troops engaged in a wait and see approach to battle. Lithograph by E. Percy Moran, 1908. Courtesy Library of Congress. Casualty and troop strength numbers from Wikipedia Commons via various sources.