New York And New Jersey Campaign

The New York and New Jersey campaign was a series of battles in the American Revolutionary War between British forces under General Sir William Howe and an American army under General George Washington.

Beginning with the landing on Staten Island on July 3, 1776, British forces gained control of New York City and drove the Americans across New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. Late in 1776, Washington launched a surprise counterstrike, an important morale boost for the Americans after an otherwise disastrous campaigning season.

Having withdrawn his army from Boston, General Howe now focused on capturing New York City. To defend the city, General Washington divided his 20,000 soldiers between Long Island and Manhattan. While British troops were assembling on Staten Island for the campaign, Washington had the newly issued Declaration of American Independence read to his men. No longer was there any possibility of compromise. On August 27, 1776, after landing about 22,000 men on Long Island, the British drove the Americans back to Brooklyn Heights in the largest battle of the entire Revolution. Howe then laid siege to fortifications there. In a feat considered by many historians to be one of his most impressive actions as Commander in Chief, Washington personally directed the withdrawal of his entire remaining army and all their supplies across the East River in one night without discovery by the British or losing a single man.