they stood up

The colonial militiamen followed the British Army after Lexington - Concord towards Boston. The British were looking for cover in Boston. When the colonists got there, they built fortifications to the north, south, and west. The British were protected in the east by the navy.

The British, to aid in their defense, sent troops on the Charlestown peninsula across Boston Harbor to the north. On June 13, 1775 the colonists learned of the British plan. In response, Colonel Willian Prescott, with 1,200 troops went to Bunker Hill on the north end of the peninsula and Breed's Hill, closer to Boston. The colonial militiamen constructed fortifications on Breed's Hill. 

On June 17, the British, under General William Howe, with support of naval ships, attacked Breed's Hill. Two assaults were pushed back by the colonial militiamen. The third attack was successful.

The militiamen retreated over Bunker Hill to Cambridge. The British were still in Boston, but soon besieged. 

The result was a British tactical victory, but they learned the militiamen could fight well. The Americans had 450 casualties and the British had 1,054.

The Battle of Bunker Hill was used as the source for this post.


george washington and saint patrick's day

The winter of 1779 - 1780 was brutal around Morristown, New Jersey. We often think about Valley Forge and a brutal winter. That was two years before. Valley Forge was no cakewalk but the winter in Morristown was much worse. Approximately six feet of snow fell that winter making supply to the camp impossible at times. Men were housed in log huts bedded with straw. Keeping warm was a challenge.

Men went without food for days at a time. Moral had suffered terribly.

Washington wanted to boost the spirits of the men. He needed to. His army was coming apart at the seems.

The make-up of the Continental Army was about a quarter Irish or "Scotch-Irish". These men immigrated mainly from Ulster, the northern part of Ireland. They were mostly Presbyterians who left to come to America to avoid British oppression. They were more than willing to fight for independence from the British Crown. Generals who were born in Ireland or who had Irish parents commanded seven of the eleven brigades stationed at Morristown.
Support for the American cause was made clear by the citizens of Ulster. This was one way to "get back" at King George III.

In an effort to give at least some relief from the bad winter, Washington issued a general order on March 16, 1780. This order allowed that all work and detail parties cease for the day of March 17. The order also mentioned that no rioting take place and order was to be maintained.

The soldiers drank rum mostly. One Pennsylvania regiment enjoyed rum purchased by their commander. March 17 had a special place in Washington's heart. On March 17, 1776 the British evacuated Boston mostly because of the brutal winter and a smallpox outbreak. The British Army sailed to Nova Scotia.
Map of Morristown
Washington had done a good deed. There was still not much to do militarily at Morristown. The Continental Army was at a strategic point that Washington did not want to give up. The strategic location between Philadelphia and New York was where Washington wanted to be.

About 10,000 men were camped at Morristown. The conditions put the fighting force at 8,000 men. The demoralized state of the army did not go unnoticed by Washington. He had written to Congress about the scarcity of supplies. This did little good and Washington allowed his soldiers to forage the country to obtain food. New recruits were scarce as well.

Despite these hardships Washington stayed at Morristown to wait for better weather and good news. News did come from Marquis de Lafayette in May. Lafayette met Washington at Morristown to tell him that the French were sending a second fleet to assist the Americans.

Sources for this post: Morristown, NJ
                                   George Washington's St. Patrick's Day
                                   Washington's Encampment



dorchester heights

On March 4, 1776 British General William Howe received word of the American position overlooking Boston. He had to wonder if Boston was defensible.

What tipped the balance was American Brigadier General John Thomas. He had slipped 2,000 troops along with cannon and plenty of supplies into Dorchester Heights the night before. The Americans had enough time to dig trenches for the artillery.


Howe had no choice but to evacuate Boston. He sailed his army to Nova Scotia. Howe stayed there until March, when he moved to New York. He engaged Washington there to disrupt the Colonials, who marched away from New York as a result.

Dorchester Monument

The Dorchester Monument was erected in 1898. It is part of the Boston National Historic Park.

The post was the source of this post.


george washington facts

This President's Day I have found an interesting post on George Washington.

From here is post about 10 facts about George Washington. I am spotlighting some highlights from this post. 

Prior to Yorktown, the American military effort was facing destruction. In January 1781 Washington was very concerned. Money was short and the French had seen setbacks. In May of that year Washington's situation began to improve. France had given a gift to the American treasury and the French fleet drove off the relief expedition to aid Cornwallis at Yorktown. Good news indeed. With aid from the French at Yorktown, Washington laid siege on September 28, 1781.  

A consistent supply chain hindered Washington and he had issues with the Continental Congress on this particular matter.  Washington was focused on management and organization. He maintained the army throughout good times and bad. 

Supply problems were rife at Valley Forge. Bad roads hindered the supply chain. 

Washington was appointed as Commander of the Continental Army on June 14, 1775. This position lasted more than six years. Washington had not commanded a large army in the field before. However, Washington brought his organizational skills to the command. British Army formations were having difficulty going through much of the terrain. Washington used this to his advantage.

Washington developed risky plans to divert attention away from the British. Not all of his plans worked but he was able to allude destruction by the British. 

Studying Washington is fun and I've enjoyed digging in to learn more.