American Revolution Timeline

June 18, 1778 – Fearing a blockade by French ships, British General Henry Clinton withdraws his troops from Philadelphia and marches across New Jersey toward New York City. Americans then re-occupy Philadelphia.

June 19, 1778 – General George Washington sends troops from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to intercept General Henry Clinton.

June 27-28, 1778 – The Battle of Monmouth occurs in New Jersey as Washington’s troops and General Henry Clinton’s troops fight to a standoff.

July 2, 1778 – Congress returns once again to Philadelphia.

July 3, 1778 – British Loyalists and Indians massacre American settlers in the Wyoming Valley of northern Pennsylvania.

July 4, 1778 – Kaskaskia, Illinois is captured by Colonel George Rogers Clark.

July 8, 1778 – General George Washington sets up headquarters at West Point, New York.

July 10, 1778 – France declares war against Britain.

September 14, 1778 – Benjamin Franklin is appointed to be the American diplomatic representative in France.

August 8, 1778 – American land forces and French ships attempt to conduct a combined siege against Newport, Rhode Island. But bad weather and delays of the land troops result in failure. The weather-damaged French fleet then sails to Boston for repairs.

December 29, 1778 – The British begin a major southern campaign with the capture of Savannah, Georgia, followed a month later with the capture of Augusta.


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 joint 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.

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 outpost.

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 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.

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