The Early Days of the War

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the beginning of the Revolution after the British returned to America did not go well.

The beginning of the war did though, at least from an insurgency perspective- the battle of Lexinton and Concord (shot heard round the world) saw around 1000 troops trying to arrest some American revolutionaries. This insighted the American militias to lay siege to Boston in the battle of Bunker Hill. The British repulsed the revolutionaries but lost one sixth of their 6000 troop garrison in the process.

The Americans captured Montreal and George Washington in charge of the new continental army forced the British to retreat to Novia Scotia.

Democracy was in the air. But the British were going to send reinforcements and they were going to be angry.

There were philosophers, merchants and back country riflemen who formed a loose militia of ideas/self interest that was tasked with rebelling the most powerful, organized standing army and mercenaries in the world.

The continental congress decided to try and secure New York. Anyone who's been to NYC knows that there's the Hudson, the East River and the Atlantic Ocean all surrounding the city, so you can imagine that it wasn't real realistic to expect the rebel militia, being without a Navy, to prevent the British from landing.

Land they did on Staten Island (a few miles from where we now live in Bayridge, Brooklyn) without resistance. They set up camp, secured the island and organized immediately. 35,000 troops in all as well as the German Hessian mercenaries they hired touched down on the island.

Being such an experienced army, the British were well acquainted with the necessity of sanitation and managing the provisions/water supply- so they had little trouble in the first few months with the main problems that armies of the time had- dysentery, malaria, and other 'dirty' diseases.

The Americans set up their main camp in Brooklyn and not being equipped with the knowledge the British had, started very soon to suffer from various ailments that made a portion of the army ineffective for fighting.

The thing I didn't realize is that the Howe Brothers (one ran the army, the other the British Navy) made a bunch of attempts to win the 'hearts and minds' of the American people by trying to rally the loyalist, offer amnesty to the rebels etc. (sound familiar?)

He was not successful in this endeavor and the fighting started. There were many battles fought, but overall, it was a route of the American Revolutionaries and the British took over NYC nearly ending the revolution right there. The British also took Long Island and NJ in very short order.

Only George Washington's military experience and determination could keep the 'cause' alive.

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