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The Beginning Of The Revolutionary War

1554 words - 7 pages

The beginning of the Revolutionary war was dominated by the British offensive that secured victories in Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, and Long Island, causing a sense of urgency and a need for nationalism among Colonials. Throughout the colonies Tories or Loyalists chose to remain loyal to Britain while Patriots chose to revolt against “taxation without representation,” and more generally the overpowered British government. Connecticut, a provisional powerhouse that supplied much of the continental cause with supplies such as clothes and foodstuffs, proved to be predominately Anti-Tory as it passed laws that prevented Tories from holding any sort of public office. Consequently, the ...view middle of the document...

On this day, a diversionary force consisting of frigates on the Hudson river drew the attention of colonials while the ships carrying the main raiding party, led by Captain Henry Duncan, was delayed for two days by a strong headwind, 10 miles past Hell Gate . On April 25, Tryon invaded Cedar Point, a beach 8 miles west of Fairfield and 4 miles east of Norwalk, that he called “exceedingly unfavorable” because of the terrain . Upon arrival the troops quickly captured Bennet’s Rocks and Compo Hill, allowing them to safely March 20 miles to Danbury under the darkness of night at 11:00 P.M.
Patriots spotted the British while they were moving through Norwalk and immediately notified Major General David Wooster and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, both of whom were stationed in New Haven, who ordered the local militiamen to intercept the British in Fairfield. When Wooster, Arnold, and the militia arrived at Fairfield, they learned that Brigadier General Gold S. Silliman, the commander of Fairfield’s militia, had already moved his militiamen towards Redding, Connecticut to intercept the British on a possible escape route . Upon hearing this news, Wooster and Arnold quickly moved to Redding and ultimately Bethel, yet their wet gun powder made battle impossible, causing them to spend the night instead of invading the British in Danbury.
When the exhausted British soldiers reached Danbury at 5:00 P.M., 150 continental soldiers under Joseph Platt Cooke had been attempting to remove the supplies until the skirmishes began . Greatly outnumbering the Cooke’s troops, the British invasion caused the majority of the colonists to flee; however, 7 determined Patriot snipers stayed behind causing two companies of British soldiers to torch the position of the sharpshooters . Tryon established a temporary headquarters in Danbury, yet after hearing of significant resistance in Bethel, 3 miles away, he chose to set fire to all of the supplies including “nineteen dwelling houses, … Twenty-three stores and barns, … 3,000 barrels of pork, more than 1,000 barrels of flour, several hundred barrels of beef, 1,000 tents, 2,000 bushels of grain” and other valuables like rum, wine, rive, and army carriages. As the British then left Danbury, George Washington stated that “it is most devoutly to be wished, that their retreat could be cut off” , causing a “Fruitless pursuit of the Enemy” .
William Tryon and his force departed from Danbury on April 27 and marched on Ridgefield, Connecticut in an attempt to thwart the inevitable colonial attack. Anticipating this movement, General Wooster divided his men into two parties one of which, led by Generals Silliman and Arnold, would ride to Ridgefield and fortify town while the other party, led by General Wooster, would chase the British in order to give the men at Ridgefield more time to better their crude fortifications. Aided by local Patriots that destroyed a bridge to slow the British retreat, Wooster attacked the British...

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