There are many things about the American Revolutionary War, that weren’t publicised very much, and it’s easy to see why. Here we list things you probably didn’t know about the war, and also information on some of it’s most significant battles. This is list of 10 secrets of the revolutionary war.
The Conway Cabal
Washington was a brilliant commander but he suffered humiliating defeats early on in the revolutionary war. This led to an impetuous, young officer named Conway getting ahead of himself, and trying to take advantage of the situation. There were mutterings between him and a few other people of replacing George Washington, with a general they preferred. However Washington and his supporters quickly caught wind of this and put a stop to it before it could really get off the ground. Conway resigned and other members of the cabal apologised for their role in it. Conway, however, kept muttering to other people about Washington’s inadequacies, until a Washington supporter put a stop to it once and for all, by putting a bullet in his cheek during a duel. Conway survived this injury, and on his death bed apologised for the whole debacle. This was the only challenge to Washington’s authority during the entire American Revolutionary War.
Washington’s Strange Favour For An Enemy
Normally generals are in such a fierce struggle to come out on top they don’t have time to consider trivial matters, however Washington was not the average general. After Washington had just suffered a crushing defeat against William Howe, and was attempting to recover, a unusual item was found in camp. A four legged, hairy beast, with a name tag that read, William Howe. Since General Howe’s dog had somehow made it to their camp, he decided to have it sent back to Howe, with a lovely letter explaining they had found his dog and wished to return it. At the time it was considered good manners to do this.
Molly Pitcher Didn’t Exist
Molly Pitcher is a famous, female cannoneer, who helped fight during the American Revolutionary War. According to legend she was an ordinary woman who would support the troops by carrying water. When her husband died while manning the cannon, she dropped her pitchers and took his place on the cannon. She fought bravely for the rest of the battle. However, she didn’t actually exist. Molly Pitcher was likely a nickname for women who carried pitchers of water to soldiers. There’s no proof a woman named Molly Pitcher ever fought during the American Revolutionary War.
Britain Almost Won In 1776
In 1776 the British defeated Washington at the Battle of Long Island. They then went on to capture New York City, and rode the momentum of victory, to chase down their enemies. It was one of the most important battles of the American revolutionary war, and almost ended it there. With Washington’s forces in disarray, the future of the revolution looked bleak, until Washington proved why he was in charge. However, without the supplies necessary to properly chase them down, Washington launched a surprise counter-attack, which raised morale. It’s thanks to this fantastic counter that the war was able to continue.
Siege Of Little York
This plot twisting battle helped turn the war around, it raised American morale, and inspired the French to keep fighting. Support for Britain fell as a result. It was was the last major land battle of the American revolutionary war. George Washington led 11,000 troops, alongside his French Allies, who were around 8000 strong, against a much less prepared British Army of 9,000 led by Cornwallis. Using clever methods of deception the revolutionaries managed to trick the British into thinking they were going to siege New York. From the West Indies, Degrasse sailed to Chesapeake Bay with money and supplies. He then sailed north with his warships and met Sir Thomas Graves in battle. Graves was backing up Cornwallis, and without Graves Cornwallis would have no real escape route. The French dominated Graves, leaving Cornwallis with no way of escaping by sea. The Siege of Little York resulted in Cornwallis’s ships being bombarded with an unholy bombardment of cannon fire, destroying his ships one after the other, until he finally surrendered on October 17 1781.
France Won The War
Before the French joined the battle Britain could dominate the colonies with it’s superior navy. Britain could land an army anywhere along the Atlantic coast, and supply lines were secure. This gave us a major advantage. However, because the French joined the war, Britain’s navy was no longer so superior. France agreed with the ideals of the American revolutionaries, and due to it’s bitter past with Britain, decided to join the colonies. France’s navy could work with the colonies to isolate British forces, and cut off their supplies, which is exactly what happened at the Siege of Little York. France’s contribution to the American revolutionary war was significant, and without them the war wouldn’t have been won.
The Battle Of Saratoga
This battle was one of the defining moments of the war. John Burgoyne led a large army into a battle he was sure he would win. He planned on meeting two large armies along the way who would reinforce him, but those armies never arrived. This left him facing much larger armies he couldn’t possibly defeat. Hundreds of his men were killed and thousands captured, eventually he was forced to surrender. This victory was significant because it gained them the assistance of foreign countries which helped them win in the end. The British forces strategic mistake was that they didn’t have the logistical capabilities to carry out their plan.
Elizabeth Monroe Saved Lafayette’s Wife
Elizabeth Monroe managed to save Marie Adrienne, Lafayette’s wife from execution. Adrienne had been imprisoned once extremist rebels had taken control and decided to kill or imprison the nobility, which included Lafayette and his family. A lot of his family members had already been executed at this point. Monroe was really popular in France, and she used this power to try and save Adrienne. Monroe travelled to her prison in carriage, and a large crowd began to gather and follow them. When she arrived, she hugged Lafayette’s wife in front of everyone.
The Spanish And Dutch Were Also Fighting
The Spanish joined the war in 1779, and this made it much easier for the Colonies. The combined strength of the Spanish and French forces managed to outnumber the British. Spain joined the war as an ally of France, partly because they wanted to exact revenge on England. However, do not be fooled, the Spanish were no supporters of the American Patriots. They disliked the idea of the US being independent, and feared that an independent US could one day capture their territory in South America. Spain and France, didn’t work well together; their generals argued, and then disease damaged their forces. The Dutch joined in 1780 but they were a weak nation who didn’t make much of a difference.
Desertion Was A Bigger Problem Than You Thought
Desertion became so widespread that Washington thought the entire Continental Army to desert. Soldiers would go weeks, sometimes months, without getting paid, and it’s hard to stay motivated for something as horrific as war, without even getting paid. It was a long, and bitter war against a more powerful enemy, so naturally some people felt it might have been hopeless. Half of Washington’s soldiers had already deserted before the end of 1776.