Skip links

The Revolutionary War Timeline and Facts

The American Revolution was a period in the history of the United States that lasted from 1775 to 1783. This war began as a civil war and ended as a global war. It was fought between Great Britain and 13 British colonies and 13 American settlements on the other side, all led by reluctant rebels fighting for independence.

What Famous People Were Part of the Revolutionary War?

What Battles Took Place During the Revolutionary War?

Timeline and Fun Facts of the Revolutionary War

4/5/1764: The Sugar Act

3/22/1765: The Stamp Act

5/29/1765: Patrick Henry’s “If This Be Treason” speech

10/7/1765-10/25/1765: The Stamp Act Congress

6/29/1767: Townshend Acts

3/5/1770: The Boston Massacre

12/16/1773: The Boston Tea Party

9/5/1774-10/26/1774: The First Continental Congress

4/18/1775: The Rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes

4/19/1775: The Battles of Lexington and Concord

5/10/1775: American forces take the British fort at Ticonderoga, New York.

5/10/1775: The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia

6/14/1775: The Continental Army is established by the Continental Congress.

6/15/1775George Washington is appointed to Commander-in-Cheif of the Continental Army.

6/17/1775: British troops win the Battle of Breed’s Hill, later known as Bunker Hill.

11/13/1775: Montgomery captures Montreal for Americans

12/30/1775Benedict Arnold’s failed attack on Quebec

1/15/1776: Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” punished

2/27/1776: Patriot triumph at Moore’s Creek, NC

3/3/1776: Continental fleet captures New Providence Island in the Bahamas

3/17/1776: The British evacuate Boston

6/7/1776: Richard Henry Lee proposes Independence

6/28/1776: British defense of Fort Moultrie, SC

7/4/1776: The United States declared its Independence from Britain (by approving the Declaration of Independence).

8/2/1776: Declaration of Independence signed. Who signed the Declaration of Independence?

8/27/1776-8/30/1776: British win the Battle of Long Island

9/6/1976: The first submarine, the Turtle, is used in Battle in New York Harbor.

9/15/1776: British occupy New York City

9/16/1776: British win the Battle of Harlem Heights

10/11/1776: Benedict Arnold defeated at Lake Champlain

10/28/1776: American retreat at the Battle of White Plains

11/16/1776: British capture Fort Washington, NY, and Fort Lee, NJ

12/26/1776: Washington Crosses the Delaware River and captures Trenton

1/3/1777: Washington wins the Battle of Princeton

1/6/1777-5/28/1777: Washington winters in Morristown, NJ

6/14/1777: Flag Resolution

7/5/1777: St. Clair surrenders Fort Ticonderoga to the British

7/27/1777: Lafayette arrives in Philadelphia

8/6/1777: Americans under Herkimer defeat the British under St. Leger at Fort Stanwix, in the Mohawk Valley in Oriskany, New York

8/16/1777: American Militia under General Stark triumph over Hessians at Bennington

8/25/1777: British General Howe lands at Head of Elk, Maryland

9/11/1777: British success at the Battle of Brandywine, PA

9/16/1777: Rain-out at the Battle of the Clouds, PA

9/19/1777: General Burgoyne checked by Americans under Gates at Freeman’s Farm, NY. American forces win the 1st Battle of Saratoga.

9/21/1777: Paoli Massacre, PA

9/26/1777: British under Howe occupy Philadelphia

10/4/1777: Americans were driven off at the Battle of Germantown

10/7/1777: Burgoyne loses second battle of Freeman’s Farm, NY (at Bemis Heights)

10/17/1777: Burgoyne surrenders to American General Gates at Saratoga, NY

10/22/1777: Hessian attack on Fort Mercer, NJ, repulsed

11/16/1777: British capture Fort Mifflin, PA

12/5/1777-12/7/1777: Americans repulse British at Whitemarsh, PA

12/7/1777: The 2nd Battle of Saratoga begins.

12/17/1777: American forces win the 2nd Battle of Saratoga.

12/19/1777-6/19/1778: The Winter at Valley Forge, PA

2/6/1778: The French Alliance

3/7/1778: British General William Howe replaced by Henry Clinton

5/4/1778: The Continental Congress ratifies the Treaty of Alliance with France.

5/20/1778: Battle of Barren Hill, PA

6/28/1778: Washington fights to a draw at Battle of Monmouth

7/4/1778: George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia, a French village near Detroit

7/9/1778: The Continental Congress approves the Articles of Confederation.

7/21/1778North Carolina to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

7/22/1778Pennsylvania to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

7/24/1778Georgia to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

8/8/1778: French and American forces besiege Newport, RI

12/29/1778: British occupy Savannah, GA

2/14/1779: Militia beat Tories at Kettle Creek, NC

2/25/1779: American George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes on the Wabash in the Western campaign

7/8/1779: Fairfield, CT, burned by British

7/11/1779: Norwalk, CT, burned by British

7/15-16/1779: American “Mad” Anthony Wayne captures Stony Point, NY

8/19/1779: Light Horse Harry Lee attacks Paulus Hook, NJ

9/23/1779: John Paul Jones, aboard the Bonhomme Richard, captures British man-of-war Serapis near the English coast

9/28/1779: The Tappan Massacre No Flint Grey kills 30 Americans by bayonet)

10/9/1779: American attempt to recapture Savannah, GA, fails

5/12/1780: British capture Charleston, SC

5/29/1780: British crush Americans at Waxhaw Creek, SC

6/20/1780: Patriots rout Tories at Ramseur’s Mill, NC

7/11/1780: French troops arrive at Newport, RI, to aid the American cause

8/6/1780: Patriots defeat Tories at Hanging Rock, SC

8/16/1780: British rout Americans at Camden, SC

9/25/1780: Benedict Arnold’s plans to cede West Point to the British discovered

10/7/1780: King’s Mountain, SC: battle lasted 65 minutes. American troops led by Isaac Shelby and John Sevier defeated Maj. Patrick Ferguson and one-third of General Cornwallis’ army.

10/14/1780: Washington names Nathanael Greene commander of the Southern Army

1/1/1781: Mutiny of unpaid Pennsylvania soldiers

1/17/1781: Patriot Morgan overwhelming defeated British Col. Tarleton at Cowpens, SC

3/2/1781: Articles of Confederation adopted

3/15/1781: British win costly victory at Guilford Courthouse, NC

4/25/1781: Greene defeated at Hobkirk’s Hill, SC

5/15/1781: Cornwallis clashed with Greene at Guilford Courthouse, NC

6/6/1781: Americans recapture Augusta, GA

6/18/1781: British hold off Americans at Ninety Six, SC

7/6/1781: Mad Anthony Wayne repulsed at Green Springs Farm, VA

9/8/1781: Greene defeated at Eutaw Springs, SC

9/15/1781: French fleet drove British naval force from the Chesapeake Bay

10/19/1781: Cornwallis surrounded on land and sea by Americans and French and surrendered at Yorktown, VA

3/20/1782: Lord North resigned as British Prime Minister

7/11/1782: British evacuated Savannah, GA

8/7/1782: Gen. George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart (for soldiers wounded in battle).

11/30/1782: British sign Articles of Peace

12/14/1782: British leave Charleston, SC

4/19/1783: Congress ratifies a preliminary peace treaty

9/3/1783: The Treaty of Paris 1783 was signed by Britain and the United States, officially ending the Revolutionary War as the United States is recognized as a sovereign nation.

11/25/1783: British troops leave New York

12/23/1783: Washington Resigns as Commander

9/17/1987: U.S. Constitution ratified

Who Commanded the Forces During the Revolutionary War?

Key American Leaders During the Revolutionary War

  • Major Loaomi Baldwin Commander of the Woburn militia at the bloody curve.
  • Colonel James BarrettCommander of provincials at the old North Bridge
  • Major John Buttrick Militia commander led provincials in Attack on old North Bridge
  • Captian Isaac Davis Militia captain commanding leading provincial minutemen on the attack on old North Bridge
  • General William Heath First General to take command of American forces against the British. He attempted to lead the Militia and Minutemen into an effective fighting force.
  • Captain Parker Led the Militia unit on Lexington Green and later helped attack the retreating column.
    Dr. Joseph Warren Commanded a militia attack on retreating British columns.

Key British Leaders During the Revolutionary War

  • General Gage Commander in Chief and Governor of Massachusetts
  • Captain Laurie Commanded the two companies at the Old North Bridge
  • Captain Parsons Led three companies to Barrett’s Farm
  • Lord Percy Led a relief column that rescued Smith
  • Major Pitcairn Marine Commander led troops into Lexington Green
  • Lt. Colonel Smith Led the British forces into the field to destroy the Concord Stores.
  • Lieutenant Sutherland British Lieutenant at Old North Bridge.

Outcomes of the Revolutionary War

  1. About 7,200 Americans died in battle during the Revolution. Another 10,000 died from disease or exposure, and about 8,500 died in British prisons.
  2. A quarter of the slaves in South Carolina and Georgia escaped from bondage during the Revolution. The Northern states outlawed slavery or adopted gradual emancipation plans.
  3. The states adopted written constitutions that guaranteed religious freedom, increased the legislature’s size and powers, made taxation more progressive, and reformed inheritance laws.

How long did the Battle of King’s Mountain last?

The Battle of King’s Mountain fought on Oct. 7, 1780, was a pivotal victory by American Patriot troops in the South during the American War of Independence (American Revolutionary War). In the battle, a group of Patriots loyal to the United States managed to defeat the British Loyalist army that had invaded to separate and beat the American colonies. It was a small battle, but an important one. In “The Winning of the West,” Theodore Roosevelt wrote of the Battle of King’s Mountain, “This brilliant victory marked the turning point of the American Revolution.”

In the summer of 1780, Loyalist Maj. Patrick Ferguson and his troops traveled through North and South Carolina gathering support for the British Loyalists, encountering minor skirmishes with Patriot groups along the way. The small battles mainly ended in victories for Ferguson’s men. In September, Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis invaded North Carolina to reach Virginia and ordered Ferguson to advance his troops to cover Cornwallis’ incoming army. Ferguson then sent a threatening, antagonizing message to the Patriot leaders, urging them to surrender.

In response, Patriot leaders gathered their men and marched toward Ferguson’s camp. Spies told Ferguson that the Patriots were on their way. Ferguson began marching toward North Carolina to have the additional protection of Cornwallis’ men. Realizing the Patriots were close behind, he and his 1,500 men stopped advancing and camped at King’s Mountain, near the border of North Carolina, and futilely requested reinforcements from Cornwallis.

King’s Mountain is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a very rocky and wooded area and towers 60 feet above the plain surrounding it. Ferguson thought the mountain was too steep for his enemies to climb without being shot down by his men. However, he miscalculated. The Patriot soldiers began to climb the hill at about 3 p.m. When Ferguson’s troops emerged to shoot them, they were attacked first by concealed Patriot sharpshooters, who, as frontiersmen, were skilled hunters and marksmen. Eventually, the Patriots succeeded in reaching the King’s Mountain summit.

During the battle, Ferguson was killed, and his second-in-command raised a white flag in surrender. However, it took a while for the Patriots to stop their men from shooting. The Battle of King’s Mountain lasted 65 minutes. In total, 225 Loyalists were killed, 163 wounded, and 716 were taken, prisoner. On the victorious side, 28 Patriots were killed, and 68 were injured. The prisoners were not treated well by the Patriots. They were not given medical help, and many were beaten and killed. The survivors were given a “trial” and those found guilty were hanged.

When Cornwallis heard the news of Ferguson’s defeat, he retreated from the Carolinas, a significant setback for His Majesty’s army. The Patriots, on the other hand, were re-energized after feeling deflated following several embarrassing defeats they had recently suffered in the South.

The Battle of King’s Mountain is considered a key victory in the South during America’s War of Independence. The battle disabled Cornwallis’ army and halted the British march into North Carolina. The Patriots were able to reorganize and fight with renewed vigor. About a year after the Battle of King’s Mountain, George Washington accepted Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown, Va.

In 1931, the United States Congress created the King’s Mountain National Military Park on the battle site. The park, whose exact location was a subject of debate for many years, is in Blacksburg, S.C., and marks the final resting place of Maj. Ferguson. The park and his gravesite are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.