Revolutionary War Timeline


The Revolutionary War wasn't fought only in the summer of 1776.  It lasted several years and at several points it appeared as though the Americans may have been defeated. 

Below is a condensed history of key events and battles that took place before, during, and immediately after the American Revolution.

March 5, 1770 - New England is rocked by the Boston Massacre.  Five civilians are killed by British troops after an aggressive colonial mob confronts the troops.  Five British soldiers are indicted and tried for murder.  Represented by John Adams, they are cleared.

December 16, 1773 - Tensions between Great Britain and the American Colonies boil over as Americans protest excessive taxes in the Boston Tea Party.

April 19, 1775 - Battles of Lexington and Concord. The original 'shot heard round the world' takes place at Concord.

April 19, 1775 - March 17, 1776 - Siege of Boston

June 17, 1775 - The British suffer 228 casualties but win the Battle of Bunker Hill.

December 31, 1775 - The Americans fail in an attempt to capture Quebec in the Battle of Quebec.  The loss shows a lack of support from Quebec citizens to force British troops out.  Another attempt is considered in 1780 but declined by General Washington.

March 2, 1776 - Battle of Nassau

August 27, 1776 - Battle of Long Island (also known as The Battle of Brooklyn)

September 15, 1776 - Landing at Kip's Bay

September 16, 1776 - Although greatly outnumbered, General Washington claims his first victory over the British in the Battle of Harlem Heights.

October 28, 1776 - Battle of White Plains

November 16, 1776 - 2,900 American troops are captured or killed at the Battle of Fort Washington.

November 19, 1776 - Only days after Fort Washington falls to British and German forces, the Americans are forced to retreat to Pennsylvania and New Jersey after the Battle of Fort Lee.

December 26, 1776 - General George Washington leads his troops across the Delaware River on Christmas Night and surprises the Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton.

January 2, 1777 - Second Battle of Trenton

January 3, 1777 - Battle of Princeton

August 22, 1777 - Battle of Staten Island

September 11, 1777 - British forces win a decisive victory at the Battle of Brandywine. The Continental Army is forced to retreat and Philadelphia is captured two weeks later after being left unprotected.

October 4, 1777 - With part of the British army left occupying Philadelphia, General Washington attempts a brilliant attack on advancing British forces before dawn at the Battle of Germantown. General Howe's troops are able to hold off the American attack.

June 28, 1778 - The Continental Army rallies under the command of General Washington in Battle of Monmouth, ending in a standoff with the British.

July 3, 1778 - Wyoming Massacre

December 29, 1778 - Capture of Savannah

July 16, 1779 - Battle of Stony Point

September 16 October 18, 1779 - Siege of Savannah

March 29 May 12, 1780 - Siege of Charleston

June 20, 1780 - Battle of Ramseur's Mill

September 3, 1783 - The Treaty of Paris is signed, formally ending the American Revolution and recognizing the United States as a sovereign nation.