1775 – 1783 Revolutionary War

Chronology of Events

Regular type= Crown victory. Bold type= Rebel victory.
Italic type= non-confrontational event or non-decisive battle.

Prelude to War

1760 to 1775

1760 King George III ascends to the throne of England.
1763 Treaty signed between England and France ending the French and Indian War. Canada and the continent east of the Mississippi River added to Great Britain’s growing empire.
1765 Parliament passes The Stamp Act as a means to pay for British troops on the American frontier. Colonists violently protest the measure.
1766 March 18. Stamp Act repealed, but on the same day parliament passes the Declaratory Act asserting its right to make laws binding on the colonies.
1768 October. British troops arrive in Boston to enforce customs laws.
1770 March. Four workers shot by British troops stationed in Boston. Patriots label the killings “The Boston Massacre.”
1773 December. Massachusetts patriots dressed as Mohawk Indians protest the British Tea Act by dumping crates of tea into Boston Harbor.
1774 January. The Privy Council reprimands Benjamin Franklin in London for leaking letters damaging to the Royal Governor of Massachusetts. September. First Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia.

The War Begins


April 19 Battles of Lexington & Concord
Shots fired at Lexington and Concord. “Minute Men” force British troops back to Boston.
May 10 Greene captures Ft. Ticonderoga
June 17 British take Breeds (Bunker) Hill
July 3 George Washington takes command
Nov. 13 Montgomery occupies Montreal
Dec. 9 Skirmish at Great Bridge, Virginia
Dec. 31 Americans lose attack on Quebec


January Thomas Paine’s Common Sense published. Becomes an instant best seller and pushes the colonies closer to independence.
Mar. 17 British evacuate Boston
June 21 Siege of Charleston, South Carolina
June 28 Sullivan’s Island repels invasion
July 4 Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence ratified by the Congress.
July A huge British force arrives in New York harbor bent on crushing the rebellion.
Aug. 27 Continentals defeated at Long Island
Sept. 16 Battle of Harlem Heights, New York
Oct. 28 Battle of White Plains, New York
Nov. 16 British capture Fort Washington
Nov. 20 Fort Lee abandoned to British
Dec. 26 Washington’s victory at Trenton
Washington crosses the Delaware River and captures a Hessian force at Trenton, New Jersey
December In desperate need of financing and arms, Congress sends Benjamin Franklin to France to urge the French to ally with America.


Jan. 3 Battle of Princeton
July 5 Continental Army evacuates Ticonderoga
A British force led by John Burgoyne takes Fort Ticonderoga in a devastating loss to the Americans. The Marquis de Lafayette arrives in America.
Aug. 6 Battle of Oriskany, New York
Aug. 16 Germans defeated at Bennington
Sept. 11 Washington’s Army is routed at Brandywine, Pennsylvania
Sept. 19 Burgoyne defeated at Freeman’s Farm, New York
Sept. 21 British surprise Continentals in a night attack near Paoli Tavern
Sept. 26 General Howe seizes Philadelphia
Oct. 4 Washington defeated at Germantown
Oct. 7 Burgoyne’s advance stopped at Bemis Heights
Oct. 17 Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga
Nov. 8 British evacuate Ticonderoga
Nov. 15 Continentals evacuate Fort Mifflin
Dec. 19 Washington encamps at Valley Forge


Feb. 6 France joins the war effort by signing treaty of American alliance
June 28 Battle of Monmouth
July 4 George Rogers Clark captures Kaskaskia
Aug. 29 Battle of Rhode Island
Dec. 29 British occupy Savanna, Georgia


Feb. 24 George Rogers Clark recaptures Vincennes
May 8 Spain enters the war on the side of America
July 15 Continentals take Stony Point,
Oct. 9 French and Americans stopped at Savanna


May 12 Charleston, South Carolina finally taken after long siege
July 11 French troops arrive in Newport, Rhode Island
Aug. 16 Americans defeated at {ln:Camden}, South Carolina
Sept. 25 Benedict Arnold defects to the British
Oct. 7 British defeated at {ln:Kings Mountain}


Jan. 1 The Pennsylvania line mutinies
Jan. 17 Daniel Morgan defeats the British at (ln:Cowpens}
Mar. 15 Battle of {ln:Guilford Courthouse}
April 25 Greene pushed back at Hobkirk’s Hill
July 29 Loyalist victory at Deep River, North Carolina
Sept. 5 French fleet takes Chesapeake Bay
Sept. .8 British hold Eutaw Springs, S. Carolina
Sept. 26 {ln:Siege of Yorktown} begins
Oct .19 Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown
A miraculous convergence of American and French forces traps Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. He surrenders his British army.


June 4 Crawford defeated at Sandusky
July 11 Savannah evacuated by British
Aug. 19 Americans defeated at Blue Licks
Nov. 30 Preliminary peace treaty signed in Paris
Dec. 14 British evacuate Charleston


April 3 Loyalists and militia battle at Tuckertown, NJ
April 19 Congress declares end of hostilities
Sept. 3 Final peace treaty signed in Paris
Nov. 25 British evacuate New York
Dec. 23 George Washington retires from command