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Battles of the American Revolution - 1779

Great Britain changed its strategy after France entered the Revolutionary War and rather than attacking in the North, they concentrated on conquering the colonies from the South. British leaders believed that most Southerners supported the king. Although the British failed to find as much loyalist support as they expected, they defeated the Americans in several important battles. The patriots were forced onto the defensive in the South but they attacked successfully in the West and at sea.

Fighting in the West broke out because land-hungry colonists crossed the Appalachian Mountains and settled on Indian territory. During the Revolutionary War, Indians raided white settlements in the wilderness with British encouragement. In 1778, Virginia had sent militiamen, led by Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark, to strike back at the British. Clark captured several settlements in what are now southern Illinois and southern Indiana. The British recaptured the settlement at Vincennes in Indiana but Clark and his men fought their way back to Vincennes across flooded countryside and took its British and Indian defenders by surprise in February 1779.

The first stage of Britain's Southern strategy called for the capture of a major Southern port, such as Charleston, S.C., or Savannah, Ga., which Britain could then use as a base for rallying Southern loyalists and for launching further military campaigns. After its army moved on, the British expected loyalists to keep control of the conquered areas. Britain assumed it could more easily retake the North after overcoming resistance in the South.

Britain's Southern campaign had opened late in 1778 when, on December 29, a large British force sailed from New York City and easily captured Savannah. Within a few months, the British controlled all Georgia.

Congress named Major General Benjamin Lincoln commander of the Southern Department of the Continental Army. In October 1779, Lincoln and Admiral d'Estaing failed to drive the British from Savannah. Afterward, d'Estaing returned to France, and Lincoln retreated to Charleston. A joint operation by French and American forces had again ended in failure, and Georgia remained in British hands.

Time Line for 1779
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Sunbury, GA January 6-9, 1779
Fort Morris, GA January 9, 1779
Beaufort, SC February 3, 1779
Port Royal Island, SC February 3, 1779
Fort Cars, GA February 10, 1779
Cherokee Ford, SC February 14, 1779
Kettle Creek, GA February 14, 1779
Vincinnes, IN February 23, 1779
Lt. Col. George Rogers Clark recaptures Vincinnes.
Horseneck, CT February 26, 1779
Brier Creek, GA March 3, 1779
West Greenwich, CT March 26, 1779
Onondagas, NY April 20, 1779
Middletown, NJ April 27, 1779
Nelson, Fort, VA May 9, 1779
Norfolk, VA May 9, 1779
Charlestown Neck, SC May 11, 1779
Coosawhatchie, SC May 11-13, 1779
Siege of Charleston, SC May 11-13, 1779
Fort Fayette, NY June 1, 1779
Stony Point, NY June 1 and July 16, 1779
Verplanck's Point, NY June 1, 1779
Stono Ferry, SC June 20, 1779
Hickory Hill, GA June 28, 1779
Bedford, NY July 2, 1779
Poundridge, NY July 2, 1779
New Haven, CT July 5, 1779
Fairfield, CT July 8, 1779
Jersey City, NJ July 18, 1779
Greenwich, CT July 19, 1779
Minisink, NY July 22, 1779
Morrisania, NY August 5, 1779
Paulus Hook, NJ August 19, 1779
Weehawken, NJ August 19, 1779
Newtown, NY August 29, 1779
Elmira, NY August 29, 1779
Chemung, NY August 29, 1779
Tarrytown, NY August 30, 1779
Lloyd's Neck, NY September 5, 1779
Geneseo, NY September 14, 1779
Siege of Savannah, GA September 23 - October 18, 1779
Jefferd's Neck, NY November 7, 1779
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