Military costumes of the American Revolution with George Washington, British, Hessian, French, and Indians in a painting by John Benson Lossing, circa 1876. 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, 1780 - Battle of Young's House, New York
Troops: Continental Army 250; British 500.
Casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing): Continental Army 51 plus 76 captured; British 23.
Successful raid by British troops during their occupation of New York City against Continental outpost in Westchester County.
March 2-14, 1780 - Battle of Fort Charlotte, West Florida (Alabama)
Troops: Spain 1,300; British 304.
Casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing): Spain NA; British 11, remainder surrendered.
Remaining outpost in British province of West Florida guarding Mobile capable of being a threat to New Orleans is overwhelmed by Spanish troops, leaving British solely in control of Pensacola in the province.
March 29 to May 12, 1780 - Siege of Charleston, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army/Allies 5,466; British 13,050.
Casualties: Continental Army 240, remainder captured; British 258.
British southern strategy gains major victory after six weeks of siege against Continental and French forces. Continental forces surrender remaining troops, over five thousand, the largest surrender of American forces until Harper's Ferry in September 1862.
May 29, 1780 - Battle of Waxhaws, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 420; British 150.
Casualties: Continental Army 263, 53 captured; British 17.
British loyalists win battle against raw American troops despite lack of numbers, and engage in a massacre after the British commanding officer Tarleton is shot at during truce talks.
June 7, 1780 - Battle of Connecticutt Farms, New Jersey
Troops: Continental Army/Militia NA; British 6,000.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 196, 10 captured (campaign totals); British 307 (campaign totals).
Hessian General Wilhelm von Knyphausen attempts to reach the main Continental encampment at Morristown from the British garrison in New York City, but is met in battle prior to reaching. British success becomes strategic American victory when Knyphausen decides to withdraw.
June 20, 1780 - Battle of Ramsour's Mill, North Carolina
Troops: Continental Army 400; British 1,300.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 150; British/Loyalists 150.
Battle between militia and loyalists is won by Patriots, despite at a troop disadvantage. Action caused loss of morale for loyalist cause in the North Carolina region.
June 23, 1780 - Battle of Springfield, New Jersey
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 2,000; British 6,000.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 111, 10 captured (including June 7); British 307 (including June 7).
Second foray of British troops from the New York garrison to attack toward the Continental camp at Morristown becomes Patriot victory after British advance to Springfield. British burn the town, but decide to return to Staten Island after more Continental troops arrive. Effectively ended the British attempts to take New Jersey.
July 20-21, 1780 - Battle of Bull's Ferry, New Jersey
Troops: Continental Army 2,000; British 70.
Casualties: Continental Army 64; British 21.
Ineffective raid by General Anthony Wayne against British loyalists in New Jersey. One of last engagements of the Revolutionary War in northern colonies.
August 6, 1780 - Battle of Hanging Rock, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 800; British 1,400.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 53; British 200.
Battle in the campaign to harass British outposts after the fall of Charleston by General Thomas Sumter. Patriot victory.
August 8, 1780 - Battle of Piqua, Ohio
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 1,000; British/Shawnee Allies NA.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 71; British/Shawnee Allies 5.
Western theater action by General George Rogers Clark, with Daniel Boone, to destroy Shawnee villages. Only major action held in Ohio during American Revolution.
August 16, 1780 - Battle of Camden, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army 3,700; British 2,100.
Casualties: Continental Army 900, 1,000 captured; British 324.
Major British victory and humiliating defeat for Continental Army General Horatio Gates whose larger force was routed in only one hour as inexperienced militia, rushed into battle, could not fight effectively. Southern Continental Army now given to General Nathaniel Greene.
August 18, 1780 - Battle of Fishing Creek, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 800; British 160.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 150 plus 300 captured; British 16.
British forces ordered by Cornwallis to march from the victory at Camden and surprise the militia of General Sumter. It works when posted guards fail to raise the alarm and the attack on an unprepared camp leads to British victory.
October 7, 1780 - Battle of Kings Mountain, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 1,400; British 1,300.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 87; British 453, 668 captured.
Loyalist militia under British Major Patrick Ferguson, detached from the major British force under General Cornwallis, is defeated in a battle nine miles south of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, by Patriot militia while attempting to retreat. Outcome raised morale and caused Cornwallis to abandon his attempt to take North Carolina.
November 20, 1780 - Battle of Blackstock's Farm, South Carolina
Troops: Continental Army/Militia 1,000; British 500.
Casualties: Continental Army/Militia 7, 50 captured; British/Loyalists 51-167.
Cornwallis orders General Tarleton to chase the newly augmented militia under General Sumter, but suffers his first defeat as commander.
Note: Photo above: Siege of Charleston 1780, American Revolution painting by Alonzo Chappel. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons, Brown University. Casualty and troop strength numbers from Wikipedia Commons via various sources.