Major Battles of the American Revolution

A sprawling driving tour of many of the Revolution's pivotal battlefields, starting at Lexington and Concord and winding southward. The itinerary is geographical and meant to be driver-friendly, not chronological. Still needs a few sites that are missing from Clio, but for now it's the most epic and comprehensive Revolutionary tour on here!

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The Lexington Battle Green
Properly referred to as Lexington Common, the Lexington Battle Green is the historical site where the first shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired on April 19, 1775. The battleground now operates as a historical, public park attracting locals and tourists alike. The park is also home to a handful of statues and monuments such as the statue of Captain John Parker, leader of the Lexington militia, a bronze plaque marking the location of Old Belfry, and the Revolutionary Monument, marking the grave of seven of the eight militiamen killed in the battle.
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The Battles of Lexington and Concord
The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American War for Independence. Major John Pitcairn was attempting to seize rebel arms at Concord, but was blocked by American Militiamen at Lexington. After a brief standoff, fire was exchanged between the groups, resulting in a small skirmish. The Rebels broke, and the British advanced to Concord, where they were defeated by militia. This first exchange of fire signaled the start of a Revolution.
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Battle of Bennington Monument
The tallest structure in Vermont commemorates the Battle of Bennington, a battle that lead to the turning point in the Revolutionary War. Today, visitors may ride an elevator to the top of the Bennington Monument for panoramic views of the valleys and rolling hills of Vermont, Massachusetts and New York.
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Battle of Bemis Heights, (Second Battle of Saratoga) October 7, 1777
The Battle of Saratoga consisted of two major battles between colonists and imperial forces during the American Revolution. After a generally unsuccessful year, the Continental Army needed a meaningful victory and it was at this location that colonial forces captured an entire British army. The victory boosted morale and led to an alliance with France.
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Saratoga National Historical Park
Saratoga National Historical Park commemorates one of the most important battles that served as a turning point in the American Revolution.
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Saratoga Monument
The Saratoga Monument commemorates the victory of the American rebels over the British at Saratoga in 1777. The first major American victory, the battle convinced Britain's European rivals that the rebellion could provide an opportunity to wrest control of British possessions in the "New World" which allowed the rebels to secure foreign recognition and assistance. Construction of the Saratoga Monument began in 1877 thanks to local residents who wanted to commemorate the centennial of the British surrender. They formed the Saratoga Monument Association over the next five years, they raised funds and constructed the monument in phases. The actual location of the British surrender was not on this hill, but rather a mile east and slightly north.
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Hubbardton Battlefield and Museum
Hubbardton Battlefield and Museum is located in Castleton, Vermont off of U.S. Route 4. Hubbardton was the only battlefield in Vermont during the Revolutionary War. The battlefield has a half-a-mile walking trail surrounding it. The museum has an exhibit with artifacts from the Revolutionary War. Phases of the battle are shown by a three dimensional map. Reenactments are done around July 7th each summer.
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Fort Ticonderoga
Fort Ticonderoga was created by the French between 1755 and 1759 and originally named For Carillon. It was created to cover the portage between Lake George and Lake Champlain making it a very strategic position in the French and Indian war. It was also used during the American Revolution and is considered the location of "America's first victory" after Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured the fort. The munitions that were taken from the fort were moved to Dorchester Heights which helped to lead to the British evacuating Boston in 1776. The Fort Switched hands again in 1777 after British General Burgoyne placed cannons on Mount Defiance overlooking Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence forcing an American retreat off the hill.
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Fort Stanwix National Monument
First erected by British General John Stanwix between 1758 and 1762, Fort Stanwix is best known as the location where colonial rebels withstood a British offensive in 1777. The fort was later used as the base for several battles in the area and was destroyed by a fire in 1781. The National Park Service built the current fort as a historic site in the 1970s and offers a variety of programs as well as exhibits in the visitor's center.
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Battle of Stony Point
This is the site of the Battle of Stony Point which took place during the American War of Independence. Taking place July 16th, 1779 an American force lead by Anthony Wayne launched a surprise night assault on a British outpost north of New York City. This was a decisive victory for the Americans allowing them to gain control of a major river crossing along the Hudson.
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Battle of Pell's Point
Also known as the Battle of Pelham, the Battle of Pell's Point was fought on October 18th, 1776 between American and British/Hessian forces in what is now The Bronx in New York City. The battle was important as it led to George Washington's retreat from New Jersey into Pennsylvania.
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Battle of Harlem Heights Plaque at Columbia University
The Battle of Harlem Heights was a minor engagement that took place during the early phases of the Revolutionary War. Following their rapid defeat and panicked retreat from Long Island, this successful rearguard action helped slow the British advance and offered a critical morale boost to American troops. On September 16, 1776, General George Washington led the outnumbered Americans against the advancing British forces under General Sir William Howe. The battle was the first American victory of the New York Campaign. The victory was only temporary, as Washington's troops were still vastly outnumbered and forced to continue their retreat. The battle also resulted in the death of one of Washington's most competent officers, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Knowlton. Despite these setbacks, the battle served as a boon to American morale and allowed the bulk of Washington's army to evade capture so they could continue their war for independence.
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Paulus Hook Park and the Battle of Paulus Hook
This park was part of the original plan for the city and appears in the 1804 Mangin Map of Paulus Hook. Today it is home to a large obelisk that commemorates the Battle of Paulus Hook. After achieving victory at Stony Point, Major Henry Lee convinced General George Washington to attack Paulus Hook. The Battle of Paulus Hook took place during the American Revolution on August 19, 1779, and ended in an American victory. The American victories at Stony Point and Paulus Hook played a role in changing Sir Henry Clinton's plans in the New York region as he began to look towards the southern campaign the following year. The battle resulted in 2 killed, three wounded, and seven captured on the American side, while the British endured 30 killed and injured, and 159 captured.
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Battle of Monmouth
After the bitter winter that the Continental Army suffered at Valley Forge, they faced the British army that was retreating from Philadelphia back to New York near Monmouth Courthouse in New Jersey. The battle was fought in extreme heat that caused many combatants on both size to fall due to the extreme heat. General Lee was sent in first by Washington to begin the attack, however Lee failed in the attack and was forced to retreat. Upon General Washington seeing his attack failing he rode forward himself and led the troops in a counter attack.
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Princeton Battle Monument
Located in the Princeton Battlefield State Park in Princeton, New Jersey, the Princeton Battle Monument commemorates the January 3, 1777, Battle of Princeton that took place during the American Revolutionary War. The monument shows General George Washington representing his defeat over the British forces during this battle. The monument also commemorates the death of General Hugh Mercer, a close friend of Washington’s who lost his life as a result of lethal wounds received during the Battle of Princeton.
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Princeton Battlefield State Park
The Princeton Battlefield State Park is a tract of land in Princeton, NJ where the Revolutionary War Battle of Princeton took place. The Battlefield memorial is the centerpiece of the site. It consists of the facade of an impressive mansion that used to dominate the landscape. The Greek-style columns are quite mesmerizing. Behind the facade in a wooded clearing, the actual memorial to the battle lies. It is a massive stone circle inscribed with a dedication to the soldiers who lost their lives in the battle. Surrounding the memorial is a beautiful set of fields that are always used by the locals.
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Trenton Battle Monument
Dedicated in 1893, this monument commemorates the American victory in the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776. The battle served as critical turning point in the war as the British had routed the Continental army in previous engagements and many of the Continental enlistments were scheduled to end at the beginning of the new year. General George Washington was desperate for a victory that would encourage the troops to sign on again and to bring in new enlistments to keep the army alive. For this reason, on Christmas night General Washington decided to attack a Hessian encampment across the Delaware River in Trenton. Using small boats, Washington and his army crossed the nearly frozen Delaware River during the night. The plucky American force was able to completely surprise the experienced Hessian mercenaries, providing a critical victory that prevented soldiers and political leaders alike to continue supporting the revolution.
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Paoli Battlefield Historical Park or site of the Paoli Massacre
The Paoli Battlefield Historical Park is home to the Battle of Paoli Monument. The Battle of Paoli took place in September of 1777 after the Battles of the Clouds and Brandywine. The battle happened as the Colonial troops tried to get behind the British supply lines but were severely counterattacked. In one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War, the Paoli Massacre killed at least 53 Colonial Soldiers. The Historical Park is in remembrance of the battle.
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Brandywine Battlefield Park
A National Historic Landmark, Brandywine Battlefield Park is the site of the largest land battle of the Revolutionary War. The battle took place for eleven hours on September 11, 1777-the longest single-day battle in the war. In the days leading up to the battle Howe's men had advanced through the Chesapeake and landed at Elk, Maryland with his sight set upon the new nation's capital of Philadelphia. General George Washington anticipated this move and was determined to stop Howe from reaching Philadelphia. However, the British anticipated Washington's plan and were able to overwhelm his flank and force the Americans from the field. Fortunately for the Americans, the valiant fight at Brandywine left the British army unable to pursue Washington's army and the British settled for Philadelphia as their prize. Despite the loss of their capital, the American army was still in the field and Washington and his fellow officers and men continued the war. The 52 acres that have been preserved are the location where Washington's Continental Army camped and prepared for the British offensive. The park offers many programs and tours, including Washington's Headquarters, a tour through the park museum, and a film about the battle and its significance within the larger war. The park also offers driving tours that highlight how the battle unfolded.
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Battle of Brandywine
The Battle of Brandywine, which took place on September 11, 1777, was a major engagement during the American Revolutionary War. The Continental Army, under General George Washington, attempted to stop the British advance on Philadelphia. The Continental Congress was stationed there, which made it a prime target and the British thought they could end the war by capturing it. The British were marching from the Chesapeake under the command of General William Howe. Washington's main force was stationed at Chad's Forde halfway to Philadelphia. As the battle unfolded, the American's were flanked by Howe which broke the stalemate that appeared be taking place. The British won the battle and the road to Philadelphia was wide open. However, it was not a total victory as the majority of Washington's forces were able to escape.
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Yorktown Battlefield
Yorktown is the site of the last battle of the American Revolution. At this location, General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington after being trapped between the American army and the French Navy. The surrender ended the war and signaled the beginning of America's independence from England.
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church and the Burning of Norfolk
St, Paul's Church was built in 1739 and is the only structure in Norfolk remaining that predates the destruction of the city during the American Revolution. During the British bombardment on New Year's Day in 1776, a cannonball fired by the British Fleet struck the church and is still lodged in the southeastern wall. After British attacks were repulsed, Patriot forces destroyed the rest of the city rather than allow it to fall in enemy hands.
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Battle of the Chesapeake
The Battle of Chesapeake occurred on September 5th, 1781 between the British led Rear Admiral Thomas Graves and the French led Read Admiral Francois Joseph Paul. While the Battle seemed to end in a stalemate, it was an incredible strategic victory for the Americans. By holding the British fleets in Chesapeake they were unable to reinforce Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis in Yorktown. Cornwallis was taken in Yorktown and the Revolutionary War was ended soon after.
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Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
The Guilford Courthouse National Military Park commemorates and memorializes the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, which took place on the site in March of 1781. Twenty-eight monuments within the park honor Revolutionary soldiers, statesmen, heroes, and heroines. The National Park Service now maintains the battlefield, preserving it as a national military park. Visitors can tour the site and visit the educational center which provides interpretive literature on the battle, figures involves, and repercussions of that day.
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Nathanael Greene Monument, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Dedicated on July 3, 1915, this 27-foott tall monument honors Nathanael Green, a Major General in the American Revolution. The monument consists of two statues, one with Nathanael Greene on a stallion and a second statue of Athena with a shield and laurels. The monument originally contained cannons on either side, however, those have been removed.
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Cowpens National Battlefield
The Battle of Cowpens (January 17, 1781) was a decisive victory by a Continental Army force, led by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, over a British force commanded by Colonel Banastre Tarleton. It was the culmination of a series of battles in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War. The victory emboldened those supporting the patriot cause and forced the British to abandoned the Carolinas; the British then turned their attention to Virginia. The war would ultimately end at the Battle of Yorktown in October of 1781.
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King's Mountain National Military Park
This park is a historical site of an important battle in the American Revolutionary War.
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Battle of Hanging Rock Historic Site
Named after a large boulder, the Battle of Hanging Rock Historic Site is the site a battle between British and American forces during the Revolutionary War in July and August 1780. The site was once a British outpost, one of many the British established to try to maintain control of South Carolina. This outpost was strategically important as it was situated between the towns of Camden and Charlotte. A historical marker commemorates the battle and the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. During the Civil War, General Sherman's men camped here for two days.
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Battle of Hobkirk Hill
The Battle of Hobkirk Hill was fought on April 25, 1781. This battle was fought during the American Revolution, with Major General Nathanael Greene and Lord Rawdon commanding the Americans and the British, respectively. Although outnumbered 1,551 to 900, Rawdon led the British to victory, contributing to the death of Captain William Beatty and the wounding of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Ford. The Americans' defeated resulted in 19 killed, 113 wounded, 89 captured, and 50 missing, while the British suffered 39 killed, 210 wounded, and 12 missing.
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Camden Battlefield and Revolutionary War Site
On August 16, 1780, an American army under General Horatio Gates was routed by a British army half its size led by Lord Charles Cornwalis at the battle of Camden.
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Battle of Camden
American forces under General Horatio Gates faced a larger force of British soldiers under the leadership of General Charles Cornwallis at this location on August 16, 1780. Many of Gates' troops had not yet been trained, leading to a rout of Gates' force and a major defeat of the Continental Army. The British victory affirmed their control of the Carolinas.
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Battle of Eutaw Springs
The battle of Eutaw Springs in South Carolina was the last major American Revolution engagement in South Carolina. The battle occurred on September 8, 1781 when British troops under Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Stewart met American troops under General Nathanael Greene on the battlefield. During the battle, the American forces decimated the British ranks which forced the British to retreat to Charleston. The battle happened one month before Commander Cornwallis surrendered to the American army at Yorktown, VA. Today, the battleground is maintained by the Santee-Cooper Authority as a park. Major John Marjoribanks, a well-known British leader from the battle, is buried in a cemetery at the park, which is accessible to visitors.
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Siege of Charleston Historical Marker
Three years after a failed attempt to capture Charleston, South Carolina in 1776, Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton began making plans to invade the Southern colonies. In February of 1780, Clinton managed to land a small diversionary force in Georgia before sailing with the bulk of his forces to Edisto Inlet, approximately 30 miles south of Charleston. With the help of Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton's attack on Brigadier General Isaac Huger's men on April 14, Clinton's forces had trapped the Americans. On April 21, Major General Benjamin Lincoln met with Clinton and offered to evacuate the city under the agreement that his men were allowed to depart. Clinton refused Lincoln's request and began firing artillery until Lincoln's surrender on May 11.
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Battlefield Park and the Siege of Savannah
This memorial park consists of reconstructed earthworks and numerous signs and programs that allow visitors to experience the history of the American Revolution in the South. On December 29, 1778, British forces, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell, captured Savannah as part of a strategy to regain control of Georgia with the support of the loyalists who lived there. The following year in 1779, French and American forces combined to attempt to take back the city in a battle called the Siege of Savannah, which is also known as the Second Battle of Savannah. Due to poor planning, miscommunication, and a lack of patience, the siege failed, leaving Savannah in British control until July of 1782. An interesting feature of the battle was the contingent of 500 men from what was once a French colony and now the country of Haiti. Some of these soldiers were men of color and some were former slaves. The contingent was one of the largest foreign forces to participate in the war.
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Battle of Kettle Creek
The Battle of Kettle Creek was fought on February 14, 1779. Near this historical marker, American forces led by Colonel Andrew Pickens assaulted British Loyalists that had been camping along Kettle Creek. British Colonel John Boyd attempted to rally his men and retaliate against the Americans after repulsing the initial attack. Plagued by swampy terrain, however, these efforts were stymied. Boyd was mortally wounded as the American force eventually drove the Loyalists out of the area. The American rebels lost only 9 men in addition to 23 men who sustained injuries. The Loyalists lost an estimated 40-70 men in addition to seventy-five of their soldiers who were captured by the Americans.

This tour was created by Kyle Warmack on 10/26/17 .

This tour has been taken 118 times within the past year.

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