American Revolution: Major Events 1782-84

27 February: British House of Commons, after receiving news of surrender at Yorktown, urged King George III to end war with America.

7-8 March: American militia attacked Indian settlement at Gnadenhuetten, Ohio, killing 100 or more men, women, and children, many of them in cold blood, touching off new and vicious wave of Indian warfare in the Ohio-Kentucky area.

9-12 April: In major naval battle off of Saintes Passage in West Indies, British fleet of 37 ships defeated French fleet of 33, British capturing Admiral de Grasse and his flagship and four other French ships.

12 April: After fall of wartime North Ministry on 20 March, representative of succeeding Rockingham Ministry began informal peace talks with Benjamin Franklin in Paris.

19 April: The Netherlands recognized independence of United States.

8 May: Spanish force from Havana captured New Providence (Nassau), Bahamas, its British garrison of over 600, and all of Bahamas occupied by British.

4-5 June: In two-day skirmish three miles northeast of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, patriot militia force of about 500 appeared to be winning over 300 rangers and Indians when reinforcements for latter arrived. Casualties were light in skirmishing and withdrawal of patriots, but 10 of latter, including leader Major
William Crawford, were captured and killed by Indians.

11 July: British evacuated Savannah, Georgia, after occupying it for two and one-half years.

13 July: Hannastown, Pennsylvania, burnt by Indians. Last action of Revolution in Pennsylvania.

7 August: General George Washington established Badge of Military Merit (or Purple Heart) as award for “singular meritorious action.” Three awards to Revolutionary War soldiers were made.

19 August: Force of 180 frontiersmen pursuing party 9f 240 loyalist and Indian raiders caught up with them at Blue Lick (Blue Lick Springs, on Licking River), Kentucky. Patriots were routed after impetuous attack with loss of 70 killed and captured.

27 August: Continental Army operations against British regular loyalist force at ferry over Combahee River, South Carolina (40 miles southwest of Charleston), is chiefly notably for loss, among two Americans killed, of Colonel Henry Laurens, gifted son of President of Continental Congress and Washington’s aide-decamp 1779-81.

11-13 September: In what has been described at last “battle” of American Revolution, Fort Henry, Virginia, with stood 3-day attack by 250 Indians and 40 loyalists. (Presumably Indians along Great Miami in Ohio would have contended that Clark’s raid two months later was last.)

13-14 September: After 4-year siege, Spanish and French forces assaulted Gibraltar without success, paving way toward early negotiated peace between Great Britain and Bourbon allies.

27 September: Formal peace negotiations between American and British commissioners began in Paris.

4 November: Americans drove off British foraging party in vicinity of Johns Island, South Carolina, and Captain William Wilmot of 2nd Maryland Continentals was killed in what is said to be last bloodshed of Continental Army in war.

10 November: George Rogers Clark led 1,050 mounted riflemen out of Kentucky north to Indian settlement at Chillicothe (modern Piqua), Ohio. Indians escaped with no more than 20 casualties, but Kentuckians burned Chillicothe and five neighboring towns and destroyed Indian food stores.

30 November: The United States and Great Britain signed preliminary treaty of peace, recognizing American independence, and providing that cessation of hostilities would occur when Britain and France signed similar preliminaries.

14 Decembe1′: British troops evacuated Charleston, South Carolina, taking with them 3,800 loyalists and 5,000 Negro slaves. Evacuation completed British withdrawal from southern United States.

24 December: French army of Rochambeau, after moving from Virginia to Rhode Island in fall of 1782, embarked from Boston, Massachusetts, for home.

20 January: Great Britain, France, and Spain signed preliminary articles of peace, and in doing so established military armistice both among themselves and between Great Britain and United States.

4 February: Great Britain proclaimed cessation of hostilities with United States.

15 February: Portugal recognized American independence.

10-15 March: Officers of Continental Army at its Newburgh, New York, headquarters on 10 and 12 March issued addresses complaining of Congress’ failure to honor its promise of pensions, and of other grievances. On 15 March Washington quelled this unrest in masterly response that illustrated his outstanding leadership.

24 March: Spain recognized American independence.

11 April: Congress of United States proclaimed cessation of hostilities

15 April: Congress of United States ratified preliminary treaty of peace signed 30 November 1782.

18 April: General Washington ordered that cessation of hostilities between United States and Great Britain should be publicly proclaimed at noon on following day to every regiment and corps of Continental Army at and around Newburgh headquarters.

26 May: Congress ordered General Washington to furlough all Continental troops enlisted for duration of war, and subsequently (11 June) authorized Secretary at War to furlough troops of middle states not already released. Later, on 3 November 1783, Congress ordered discharge of all furloughed troops.

17 June: Pennsylvania troops at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, mutinied, then marched on Philadelphia and persuaded its garrison to join them in demonstrations before Congress to obtain back pay and settlement of other grievances before they would accept furloughs. Congress fled to Princeton, New Jersey, and Washington sent 1,500 troops to Pennsylvania to suppress outbreak.

3 September: Definitive treaties of peace signed by Great Britain, United States, France, Spain, and The Netherlands.

24 September: Congress authorized General Washington to discharge “such parts of the Federal Army now in service as he shall deem proper and expedient.”

2 October: Washington issued last general order to Continental Army.

25 November: British completed their troop evacuation of New York City. Before troop evacuation about 7,000 loyalists had left New York for Maritime Provinces, Canada, and Great Britain.

3 December: General Washington ordered reduction of infantry of Continental Army to strength of 500 rank and file, and of artillery to minimum strength needed to guard stores at West Point and elsewhere.

4 December: Withdrawal of last British troops from Staten Island and Long Island ended British occupation of Atlantic coast of new United States.

4 December: General Washington delivered farewell address to his officers at Fraunces’ Tavern in New York City.

23 December: General Washington tendered his resignation as Commander in Chief of American Army to Congress meeting in Annapolis, Maryland.

4 January: By this date Continental Army had been reorganized into infantry regiment numbering 500 privates, 64 noncommissioned officers, and 30 commissioned officers, and artillery corps of about 100.

14 January: Congress ratified definitive treaty of peace of 3 September 1783 between United States and Great Britain, thereby formally ending War of the American Revolution


SOURRCE: War of the American Revolution; BY: Robert W. Coakley & Stetson Conn (United States Army Center of Military History)
CONTRIBUTOR: Frances Thompson


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