Fighting the war

Fighting the war - successful attack on Princeton on...

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Fighting the war.  The main theaters of fighting shifted during the course of the war from New England  (1775–76) to the middle states (1776–78) to the southern states (1778–82). In the spring  of 1776, the British left Boston and moved their military headquarters to New York City,  where they had the advantages of an excellent harbor, ample food supplies, and Loyalist  support. George Washington also moved his forces south but was defeated in major  engagements on Long Island and Manhattan. He retreated from New York in the fall,  convinced he needed to adopt more innovative tactics. During the eighteenth century,  armies usually retired to winter quarters and resumed their campaigns in the spring. On  Christmas in 1776, however, the Americans surprised the Hessian garrison at Trenton by  crossing the Delaware River in a daring night raid. This victory was quickly followed by a 
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Unformatted text preview: successful attack on Princeton on January 3. Both battles were important in raising American morale. Another major victory occurred in October 1777 at Saratoga in upper New York state. Taking advantage of a series of blunders, the Continental Army defeated the British forces under General Burgoyne, which included significant numbers of Loyalists and Indians, and took more than five thousand prisoners. Burgoyne and American General Horatio Gates agreed that the British troops would lay down their arms and return to England, pledging not to serve in the war again, but this compact was never implemented. The true significance of the Battle of Saratoga is that France was persuaded to become an ally of the Americans....
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