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Karen Palumbo

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Blogs by Karen Palumbo

On This Day 8/12/1776
8/6/2010 1:31:02 PM

General George Washington anticipates Great Britain's strategy...


General George Washington writes to Major General Charles Lee that the Continental Army's situation had deteriorated due to an outbreak of smallpox and problems with dessertion.

General Washington feared that the superior British Navy might blockade New York, thus isolating New York City, New York from communications with other states.

General Washington was correct that the British intended to capture New York City, New York and gain control of the Hudson River, a victory that would divide the rebellious colonies in half.

British General William Howe's large Army landed on Long Island, New York, however ten days later than they had planned on August 22, 1776. Finally, on August 27, 1776 the Redcoats marched against the Patriot position at Brooklyn Heights, New York overcoming the Americans at Gowanus Pass and then outflanking the entire Continental Army.

The Americans suffered one thousand casualties to the British loss of only four hundred men during the fighting. After the victory, General Howe chose not to follow the advice of his subordinates and did not storm the Patriot redoubts at Brooklyn Heights, New York where he could have taken the Patriots military leadership prisoner and ended the rebellion.

General Washington ordered a retreat to Manhattan Island, New York by boat. The British could easily have prevented this retreat and captured most of the Patriot Officer Corps., including General Washington.

General William Howe and his brother, Admiral Richard Howe, however, still hoped to convince the Americans to rejoin the British empire in the wake of the humiliating defeat, instead of forcing the former colonies into submission after executing General Washington and his Officers as traitors.

Indeed, on September 11, 1776 Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and other congressional representatives reopened negotiations with General Howe and Admiral Howe on Staten Island, New York. The negotiations fell through when the British refused to accept American independence. The British captured New York City, New York on September 15, 1776 and it would remain in British hands until the end of the "American Revolution".



(K) (HST)




George Washington American Patriot, General
President - USA
Charles Lee American Major General
William Howe British General
Richard Howe British Admiral,
Brother to William
Benjamin Franklin American Patriot
John Adams American Patriot,
President - USA


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