Portal:American Revolutionary War

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The American Revolutionary War Portal

Clockwise from top left: Battle of Bunker Hill, Death of Montgomery at Quebec, Battle of Cowpens, "Moonlight Battle"
The American Revolutionary War began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen united former British colonies on the North American continent, and ended in a global war between several European great powers. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution and intellectual American Enlightenment, whereby the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation. In 1775, revolutionaries gained control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up an alliance called the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. Petitions to the king to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in Congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion the following year. The Americans responded by formally declaring their independence as a new nation, the United States of America, claiming sovereignty and rejecting any allegiance to the British monarchy. In 1777 the Continentals captured a British army, leading to France entering the war on the side of the Americans in early 1778, and evening the military strength with Britain. Spain and the Dutch Republic – French allies – also went to war with Britain over the next two years.

Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.

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John Trumbull's 1786 painting, Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec
The Battle of Quebec was an attempt on December 31, 1775, by American colonial revolutionaries to capture the Canadian city of Quebec and enlist French Canadian support for the American Revolutionary War. The British commander, General Guy Carleton, could not get extensive help because the St. Lawrence River was frozen, and had to rely on the French-speaking militia of the city, who turned out in high numbers. Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery were the two primary colonial commanders in the assault, which failed. The battle was the climax of the revolutionaries' invasion of Canada and put an end to any hopes of French Canada rising in rebellion with the colonists. The battle didn't actually repulse the invasion; this occurred six months later with the arrival of 4,000 troops, who forced the Continentals to leave Quebec.


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Boston, 1775bsmall1.png
Credit: Durova
A 1777 map showing the British fortifications in the 1775 Siege of Boston.

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Chappel Montgomery full length.jpg
Richard Montgomery (December 2, 1738 – December 31, 1775) was an Irish-born soldier who first served in the British Army. He later became a brigadier-general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and he is most famous for leading the 1775 invasion of Canada.

Montgomery was born and raised in Ireland. In 1754, he enrolled at Trinity College, Dublin, and two years later joined the British army to fight in the French and Indian War. He steadily rose through the ranks, serving in North America and then the Caribbean. After the war he was stationed at Fort Detroit during Pontiac's Rebellion, following which he returned to Britain for health reasons. In 1773, Montgomery returned to the Thirteen Colonies, married Janet Livingston, and began farming.

When the American Revolutionary War broke out, Montgomery took up the Patriot cause, and was elected to the New York Provincial Congress in May 1775. In June 1775, he was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. After Philip Schuyler became too ill to lead the invasion of Canada, Montgomery took over. He captured Fort St. Johns and then Montreal in November 1775, and then advanced to Quebec City where he joined another force under the command of Benedict Arnold. On December 31, he led an attack on the city, but was killed during the battle. His body was found by the British, who gave it an honorable burial. His remains were moved to New York City in 1818.


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Drawing of the regimental uniform by Charles Lefferts
The 2nd Canadian Regiment, also known as Congress' Own or Hazen's Regiment, was authorized on January 20, 1776, and initially raised in the province of Quebec for service with the Continental Army under the command of Colonel Moses Hazen. All or part of the regiment saw action at the Staten Island, Brandywine, Germantown and the Siege of Yorktown. Most of its non-combat time was spent in and around New York City as part of the forces monitoring the British forces occupying that city. The regiment was disbanded on November 15, 1783 at West Point, New York.


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From the American Revolutionary War task force of the Military history WikiProject:

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Quebec in the American Revolution; many existing "<State> in/during the American Revolution" articles • Hercules Mulligan
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1780 Black Camp RebellionAlbemarle BarracksBattle of Lenud's FerryBattle of Wetzell's MillCarleton's RaidCortlandt SkinnerDaniel Waters (minuteman)Fort DaytonFort Independence (Vermont)HM galley PigotJohn Swift (general)King's Royal Regiment of New YorkMatthias OgdenSamuel Holden ParsonsVolunteers of Ireland
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Battles in {{ Campaignbox American Revolutionary War: Gulf Coast}} • Peter FranciscoAaron BurrCharles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess CornwallisContinental Army
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