1776: A Year Of Many Battles Essay, Research Paper
1776 was a year that will change America forever. Many battles were fought and many achievements were made. Many men gave their lives to fight for what they believed in.
The Declaration of Independence
On July 4 the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its purpose was to declare freedom and independence to the 13 American Colonies. The writing of this document is mostly credited to
Thomas Jefferson. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were all signers, along with many others.
The Declaration of Independence serves as one of America’s most treasured symbols because it identifies the moment when
our nation was born. It announced the separation of the thirteen colonies from England and the need for independence.
Church bells rang out over Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 signaling that the Declaration of Independence was approved and officially adopted by the Continental Congress. A month earlier Congress had appointed a Committee of Five to draft a statement to the world presenting the colonies’ case for independence. The committee consisted of John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. The committee assigned Jefferson the task of writing the original document. After Franklin and Adams made minor alterations, the document was submitted to Congress.
The Crossing and Battle of Trenton
On Christmas Eve night Washington led his troops across the Delaware River on a surprise attack against the Hessian regiments and a troop of British soldiers stationed outside of Trenton. At six o?clock the troops marched nine miles north of Trenton. The 2,700 men began to cross through the harsh winter weather. The soldiers finally landed on the Jersey Bank on December 26 at three o?clock in the morning. The march began again about an hour later. Two miles beyond their landing Washington separated his army into two groups. General Greene accompanied by Washington was assigned 1,200 men and ten fieldpieces. Greene proceeded down the Pennington Road while General Sullivan and his 1,500 men marched down the River Road. When the two groups met again at Trenton they were able to take down the Hessians who were up all night celebrating.
With in an hour, the battle was over, 22 Hessians were dead, 98 were wounded and almost a thousand were being held prisoner. Nine hundred and eighteen prisoners, six brass cannons, forty horses, one thousand stands or arms and fifteen colors were captured. Only four Americans were wounded.
The Battle of Long Island
August 26 was the beginning of the Battle of Long Island. It began in the morning hours when the Americans fired on a few British soldiers. George Washington sent part of his small army to defend Brooklyn Heights, on Long Island. A few hours later 200-300 British Troops attacked the American?s. These attacks began the battle. The Americans were waiting to be attacked but the British had walked right passed them without even being detected. The Hessians, who were on the British side, managed to attack the Americans along with the British.
The Americans were defeated but fought well considering the unfair amount of troops on the British Side. An estimated 10,000 Americans were involved in the battle and 22,000 British and Hessians. 312 Americans were killed and 1,407 were wounded or captured while only 56 British troops were killed and 273 wounded or captured.
Battle of Moore?s Creek Bridge
The Tory council of war decided to attack at dawn on February 27, 1776. Lieutenant Colonel Donald McLeod took active command. At 1:00 A.M., they set out. Although they numbered 1,600, they had only 500 firearms. When they reached the bridge, they found empty entrenchments. The Rebels had withdrawn to the other side of the bridge.
An advance party found half of the bridge planks had been removed and the two stringers had been greased. But Lt. Colonel McLeod would not be denied. An eighty-man assault force armed with broadswords was assembled under the command of Captain John Campbell. The assault force followed McLeod down one stringer and Campbell down the other to the beat of drums and the Scottish war pipes.
The Rebels held their fire until Campbell and McLeod crossed the creek and then they let loose with their two cannon and musket fire. No one was left standing on the bridge. Campbell and McLeod were killed immediately. Some Tories fell into the creek and drown. Their companions who had watched their quick defeat immediately retreated. Thirty Tories were counted dead, while the Rebels had only two casualties, one who later died of his wounds. 850 Tories were captured, including General MacDonald.
The Battle of Fort Sullivan
On June 4, the British arrived outside Charleston Harbor. They now had to navigate over the bar that surrounded the harbor. It made the harbor inaccessible during low tide and accessible at high tide only through five channels. After sounding the channels and making other preparations, the smaller ships and warships moved to Five-Fathom Hole on June 7. Five-Fathom Hole was thirty feet deep and out of range of Fort Sullivan.
Between June 9 and 15, General Clinton put his troops ashore on Long Island, which was north of Sullivan’s Island, while the fort was on the island’s southern tip. Clinton then found it difficult to cross The Breach from Long Island onto Sullivan’s Island. The British had incorrect intelligence of a shallow ford, when in truth the shallowest channel was seven feet deep. But Clinton stubbornly spent several days searching for the elusive ford. When they finally tried crossing in boats, American riflemen and gunners held them off.
While General Clinton continued his fruitless search, the last two British warships, the Bristol and the Experiment, had to have their guns removed to lighten the boats enough to clear the bar. On June 26, the British were ready, having finally moved and refitted all their ships at Five-Fathom Hole. On June 27, they attempted to set sail, but contrary winds halted their movement. They now waited for favorable winds. At 10:30 A.M. on June 28, the winds were favorable and Commodore Parker moved into position to bombard Fort Sullivan. The bomb ship, Thunder, initially anchored too far away and quickly disabled itself when too much powder was used to compensate for the distance. The recoil damaged the ship and left it silent. Meanwhile, the Americans expended roughly one-seventh the amount of powder that the British did, but the slow and steady American fire was quite accurate. The Bristol, Commodore Parker’s flagship, was disabled. By 9:30 P.M., all firing ceased. At 11:30 P.M. the British ships withdrew to Five-Fathom Hole. The next morning the Actaeon was set afire and abandoned.