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Battles of the American Revolution - 1777

General Washington followed his success at Trenton with another on January 3, 1777, when, again crossing the Delaware, he outmarched General Charles Cornwallis, and approaching from the rear defeated three British regiments and three companies of light cavalry at Princeton, New Jersey. Washington then moved his troops northward to winter headquarters near Morristown and began to rebuild his army. The victories at Trenton and Princeton revived patriot hopes. Washington's forces had almost been destroyed but he had kept going and regained most of New Jersey. In spite of superior strength, the British had again failed to defeat the rebels.

While the closing successes of 1776 had inspirited the Americans, it was undeniable that the campaign had gone heavily against them. Having raised a permanent force called the Continental Army, they had awaited further operations of the enemy. Following up the occupation of New York, General William Howe proceeded in 1777 to capture Philadelphia. Complete success again crowned his movements. Taking his army by sea from New York to the head of the Chesapeake, he marched up into Pennsylvania, where General Washington had taken position to watch him, and on September 26 entered the city. The Americans attempted to check the advance of the British at Brandywine River, where an action occurred on the 11th resulting in their defeat; and on October 4, Washington directed a well-planned attack upon the enemy's camp at Germantown on the outskirts of the city, but failed.

Howe's victorious progress in Pennsylvania was neutralized by disasters farther north. Indeed his whole expedition to seize "the enemy's capital" was nothing less that an abandonment of an expedition from the north with which he was expected to co-operate. Sir Henry Clinton, whom he had left at New York, protested against this folly to the last. Lord George Germain in England was only in part to blame. General John Burgoyne marched from Canada in June 1777, with a strong expeditionary force, to occupy Albany, New York, and put himself in touch with Howe who was expected to come up the Hudson River. Driving the Americans under General Arthur St. Clair out of Fort Ticonderoga, and making his way through the deep woods with difficulty, he reached the Hudson at Fort Edward on July 30. General Philip Schuyler (father-in-law of Alexander Hamilton), commanding the Americans in that area, retreated to Stillwater, 30 miles above Albany, barricading the roads and impeding Burgoyne's progress. Unjustified dissatisfaction with his conduct led congress to replace Schuyler by General Horatio Gates.

On August 13, Burgoyne dispatched a force to Bennington, Vermont, under the German colonel, Friedrich Baum, to capture stores and assert authority. On the 16th Baum was attacked by General John Stark with the militia from the surrounding country, and was overwhelmed. Colonel Breymann, marching to his relief, was also routed. The misfortune cost the British 1,000 men. Equally unfortunate was the fate of an expedition sent under Colonel Barry St. Leger to co-operate with Burgoyne by the way of the Mohawk Valley. On August 16 he was met at Oriskany by General Nicholas Herkimer and forced to retreat. Despite these disasters Burgoyne pushed south to Stillwater, where he was defeated by Gates's improvised army of continentals and militia in two battles on September 10 (Freeman's Farm) and on October 7 (Bemis's Height). (Battles of Saratoga). On the 17th he was forced to surrender. This disaster was followed by the alliance between America and France in 1778, and later by the addition of Spain and Holland to England's enemies -- events of far-reaching importance.

Washington's army of about 10,000 soldiers spent the winter camped at Valley Forge, about 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Many of the troops lacked shoes and other clothing. They also suffered from a severe shortage of food. By spring 1778, nearly a fourth of the soldiers had died of malnutrition, exposure to the cold, and such diseases as smallpox and typhoid fever. Many soldiers deserted because of the horrid conditions.

Time Line for 1777
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Assumpsick Bridge, NJ January 2, 1777
Trenton, NJ January 2, 1777
Clean-up skirmish on the way to Princeton.
Princeton, NJ January 3, 1777
Washington wins in another surprise attack.
Fogland Ferry, RI January 10, 1777
King's Bridge, NY January 17, 1777
Somerset Courthouse, NJ January 20, 1777
Millstone, NJ January 22 and June 17, 1777
West Farms, NY January 25, 1777
Augusta, GA January 29, 1777
Fort McIntosh, GA February 2-4, 1777
Punk Hill, NJ March 8, 1777
Amboy, NJ March 8, 1777
Westchester County, NY March 16, 1777
Ward's House, NY March 16, 1777
Peekskill, NY March 22, 1777
Sagg Harbor, NY March 23, 1777
Highlands, NY March 24, 1777
Bound Brook, NJ April 13, 1777
Woodbridge, NJ April 19, 1777
Danbury Raid, CT April 25-27, 1777
Ridgefield, CT April 27, 1777
Crompo Hill, CT April 28, 1777
Piscataway, NJ May 8, 1777
Amelia Island, FL May 18, 1777
Crown Point, NY June 16, 1777
Ticonderoga, NY July 6, 1777
Burgoyne leaves 1000 man garrison as St. Clair withdraws.
Hubbardton, VT July 7, 1777
Skenesborough, NY July 7, 1777
Fort Anne, NY July 8, 1777
Dutch Island, RI August 2, 1777
Moses Kill, NY August 2, 1777
Fort Schuyler, NY August 4-22, 1777
American Gen. Nicholas Herkimer ambushed by
British Lt. Col. Barry St. Leger
Fort Stanwix, NY August 4-22, 1777
Benedict Arnold prevails after ambush at Fort Schuyler.
Oriskany, NY August 6-22, 1777
British Lt. Col. Barry St. Leger's ambush works
but Benedict Arnold prevails.
Bennington, VT August 16, 1777
British foraging party soundly defeated.
Staten Island, NY August 21-22, 1777
Fort Henry, VA September 1, 1777
Wheeling, VA September 1, 1777
Iron Hill, DE September 3, 1777
Brandywine, PA September 11, 1777
Chadd's Ford, PA September 11, 1777
Lake George, NY September 18, 1777
Bemis Heights, NY September 19, 1777
Freeman's Farm, NY September 19, 1777
Sillwater, NY September 19 and October 7, 1777
Paoli, PA September 20, 1777
Diamond Island, NY September 23, 1777
Philadelphia, PA Occupied September 26, 1777 to June 18, 1778
Germantown, PA October 4, 1777
Washington fails to break Howe's defenses at Philadelphia.
Fort Clinton, NY October 6, 1777
Saratoga, NY October 7-17, 1777
Burgoyne surrenders
Esopus, NY October 13, 1777
Kingston, NY October 13, 1777
Red Bank, NJ October 22, 1777
Fort Mercer, NJ October 22, 1777
Fort Mifflin, PA October 23 and November 10-15, 1777
Whitemarsh, PA December 5-8, 1777
Chestnut Hill, PA December 6, 1777
Edge Hill, PA December 7, 1777
Long Island, NY December 10, 1777
Gulphs Mill, PA December 11, 1777
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