American Revolution Timeline


Major General William Moultrie

Major General William Moultrie

February 3, 1779 – Major General Moultrie defeated British detachment at Port Royal Island, South Carolina.

February 14, 1779 – At Kettle Creek, Georgia, Andrew Pickens and Elijah Clarke and their Georgia and Carolina militia defeated North Carolina Loyalist militia who were traveling to Augusta to join the British forces.

February 24, 1779 – Loyalists and Indians recaptured Vincennes, Indiana but, George Rogers Clark forced them to retreat.

March 3, 1779 – British Lieutenant Colonel Augustine Prevost defeated Americans under General John Ashe at Brier Creek, Georgia.

April 1-30, 1779 – In retaliation for Indian raids on colonial settlements, American troops from North Carolina and Virginia attack Chickamauga Indian villages in Tennessee.

May 10, 1779 – British troops burn Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia.

May 11-13, 1779 – In Charleston, South Carolina Major General Augustine Prevost had to break his siege as American forces under Major General Benjamin Lincoln approached.

British General Henry Clinton

British General Henry Clinton

June 1, 1779 – British General Henry Clinton takes 6,000 men up the Hudson River toward West Point, New York.

June 16, 1779 – Spain declares war on England, but does not make an alliance with the American Revolutionary forces.

June 20, 1779 – At Stono River, South Carolina Major General Benjamin Lincoln engaged a British rear guard. The indecisive battle resulted in many casualties.

July 10, 1779 – Naval ships from Massachusetts are destroyed by the British while attempting to take the Loyalist stronghold of Castine, Maine.

July 5-11, 1779 – Loyalists raid coastal towns in Connecticut, burning Fairfield, Norwalk, and ships in New Haven harbor.

July 16, 1779 – At Stony Point, New York, Americans attacked with bayonets only resulting in extensive British casualties.

July-August 1779 – American attempt to dislodge British along the Penobscot River in Maine failed.

August 13, 1779 – At Paulus Hook, New Jersey, the Americans make a successful surprise attack on British outposts.

August 14, 1779 – A peace plan is approved by Congress which stipulates independence, complete British evacuation of America and free navigation on the Mississippi River.

August 28, 1779 – After two terrible massacres, American forces moved into the Indian territory of New York and burned villages. Iroquois and Seneca power was diminished although they remained hostile.

August 29, 1779 – At Elmira, New York American forces defeat the combined Indian and Loyalist forces at Elmira, New York. Following the victory, American troops head northwest and destroy nearly 40 Cayuga and Seneca Indian villages in retaliation for the campaign of terror against American settlers.

September 16-Oct 19, 1779 – American Army under Major General Benjamin Lincoln failed to dislodge British from Savannah, Georgia.

"I have not yet begun to fight!" - John Paul Jones, painting by  Charles J. Andres.

“I have not yet begun to fight!” – John Paul Jones, painting by  Charles J. Andres.

September 23, 1779 – Off the coast of England, John Paul Jones fights a desperate battle with a British frigate. When the British demand his surrender, Jones responds, “I have not yet begun to fight!” Jones then captures the frigate before his own ship sinks.

September 27, 1779 – John Adams is appointed by Congress to negotiate peace with England.

November 11, 1778 – At Cherry Valley, New York, Loyalists and Indians massacre over 40 American settlers.

December 26, 1779 – British General Henry Clinton sets sail from New York with 8,000 men and heads for Charleston, South Carolina, arriving there on February 1, 1780.

Winter 1779-1780 – Morristown, New Jersey sheltered the main encampments of the American Continental Army and served as the winter quarters of its commander-in-chief, General George Washington.


April 8, 1780 – At Charleston, South Carolina, the British attack begins as warships sail past the cannons of Fort Moultrie and enter Charleston harbor. General George Washington sends reinforcements.

Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton

April 14, 1780 – Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton scattered American militia at Monck’s Corner, South Carolina.

May 6, 1780 – The British capture Fort Moultrie at Charleston, South Carolina.

May 6, 1780 – Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton dispersed American cavalry at Lenud’s Ferry, South Carolina.

May 12, 1780 – The worst American defeat of the Revolutionary War occurs as the British capture Charleston, South Carolina and the entire southern American Army along with four ships and a military arsenal. British losses are only 225.

May 25, 1780 – After a severe winter, General George Washington faces a serious threat of mutiny at his winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey. Two Continental regiments conduct an armed march through the camp and demand immediate payment of salary, which is overdue by five months, and full rations. Troops from Pennsylvania put down the rebellion and two of the leaders of the protest were hanged.

May 29, 1780 – Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton and his Loyalist Legion bayoneted 113 Continental soldiers of Colonel Buford’s Virginia unit at Waxhaws, South Carolina. Known as Buford’s Massacre.

June 5, 1780 – Lord Charles Cornwallis assumes command of the British Army in the South.

June 11, 1780 – A new Massachusetts constitution is endorsed asserting “all men are born free and equal,” which includes black slaves.

July 11, 1780 – Six Thousand French soldiers under Count de Rochambeau arrive at Newport, Rhode Island. They will remain there for nearly a year, blockaded by the British fleet.

June 13, 1780 – General Horatio Gates is commissioned by Congress to command the Southern Army.

June 20, 1780 – At Ramsour’s Mill, North Carolina, Patriot forces defeated Loyalist forces, ultimately resulting in loss of Loyalist support in the colony.

June 23, 1780 – American forces defeat the British in the Battle of Springfield, New Jersey.

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