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  Experience The Revolution  
     
  Experience the Revolution through its key events. Many of the places mentioned in this section can be visited today.  
  Navigation: Lead-in to War, (1763 - 1774)Navigation: Independence Declared, (1775 - 1777)Navigation: War in the North, (1777 - 1778)Navigation: Southern Campaigns, (1780 - 1781)Navigation: Aftermath, (1782 - 1787)

 
   
War breaks out
April 19, 1775
The first shots of the Revolutionary War are fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. The news of the bloodshed rockets along the eastern seaboard, and thousands of volunteers converge on Cambridge, Mass. These are the beginnings of the Continental Army.
Visit The Park: Minute Man National Historical Park
   
British form an alliance with patriots' slaves
November 1775
The British governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, issues a proclamation offering freedom to any slaves of rebellious Americans who are able to enter British lines. Throughout the course of the war, tens of thousands of African Americans will seek their freedom by supporting the British. A smaller number will fight on the patriot (pro-independence) side, despite policies that discourage their enlistment.
   
Americans hold their own at the Battle of Bunker Hill
June 17, 1775
In the first major action of the war, inexperienced colonial soldiers hold off hardened British veterans for more than two hours at Breed's Hill. Although eventually forced to abandon their position, including the high ground of Bunker Hill overlooking Boston, the patriots show that they are not intimidated by the long lines of red-coated infantrymen. Of the 2,200 British seeing action, more than 1,000 end up dead or wounded.
Visit The Park: Boston National Historical Park
   
Loyalists defeated at Moores Creek
February 27, 1776
A force of loyalists (Americans who want to remain British subjects), most of them of Scots descent, is defeated by a patriot army at the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge. This setback will largely quiet loyalist activity in the Carolinas for three years.
Visit The Park: Moores Creek National Battlefield
   
South Carolinians repel British attempt to take Charleston
June 28, 1776
A British invasion force mounts an all-day attack on a patriot force on Sullivanís Island. The invaders are unable to land their troops on the island, and the tricky waters of Charleston Harbor frustrate the British navy. The fleet retires in defeat, and South Carolina will remain untouched by the enemy for three more years.
Visit The Park: Fort Moultrie National Monument
   
America declares its independence
July 1776
The Declaration of Independence is adopted by the Second Continental Congress. Following a decade of agitation over taxes and a year of war, representatives make the break with Britain. King George III isn't willing to let his subjects go without a fight, and loyalist sentiment remains strong in many areas. Americans' primary allegiance is to their states; nationalism will grow slowly.
Visit The Park: Independence National Historical Park
   
Washington crosses the Delaware
December 1776 - January 1777
In a bold move, Washington moves his troops into New Jersey on Christmas night. The patriots then surprise a force of German troops fighting for Britain at Trenton on December 26. They achieve a similar victory over British troops at Princeton on January 3, reviving hopes that the war just might be winnable. The army then encamps for the winter at Morristown, New Jersey.
Visit The Park: Morristown National Historical Park
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