January of 1782
January 11, 1782
French Commence Operations Against St.Kitts (St. Christopher), West Indies
French Admiral Comte Francois De Grasse, commanding a fleet of 29 ships-of-the-line and 6,000 soldiers, arrives at this island and disembarks his troops without opposition. De Grasse captures the town of Basseterre and drives out the British garrison of approximately 700 men. The British retreat to a fortified position at Brimstone Hill that is too strong to assault. At this point, the French force begins siege operations.
February of 1782
February 17 - June 20, 1782
The French and British Battle in the Indian Ocean
French Admiral Pierre Suffren de Saint-Tropez and British Admiral Sir Edward Hughes engage in four actions in the region. The French attack British possessions on the Indian coast and in Ceylon. Suffren captures the port of Trincomalee in Ceylon before returning to the Netherlands at the onset of peace negotiations. Napoleon had a high opinion of Suffren, commenting that he would have become France’s Lord Nelson, had he survived.
March of 1782
March 22, 1782
Battle of Little Mountain, Kentucky (Estill's Defeat)
This skirmish, occurring during Kentucky’s “Year of Blood,” was a fierce fight in the lightly settled territory, claimed at that time by Virginia. James Estill, a veteran Indian fighter, is somehow unaware of an Indian camp some half mile away. Estill’s band of 35 is attacked and defeated in a two-hour fight. A number of his men are killed and about 20 Indians are casualties.
April of 1782
April - October 1782
Captain Joshua Huddy, an artillery officer in the New Jersey militia, is captured on March 24, 1782, at Toms River, New Jersey by Loyalists and held on a prison ship in waters off New York City. Sir Henry Clinton turns him over to Loyalists, ostensibly for a prisoner exchange. The Loyalists hang Huddy in retaliation for the death of a Loyalist called Philip White. Washington decrees that a British officer meet the same fate and Captain Charles Asgill, who surrendered at Yorktown, is selected. Asgill’s mother travels to Paris and speaks with Charles Vergennes, the French Foreign Minister, who informs his king and queen. They write Washington, who turns the letter over to Congress. Congress votes to release the unfortunate Asgill, and Washington happily complies with the directive.
May of 1782
May - June 1782
Crawford's Sandusky Expedition
Colonel William Crawford, an experienced officer and a close friend of George Washington, is called out of retirement to lead an expedition into the Ohio country, which commences on May 25, 1782. On June 6, Crawford loses his supply train and has his command surrounded by hostile Indians. Over 250 Patriots die in the battle, including Crawford’s son and son-in-law. Wyandot Indians capture Crawford and take revenge on him for a previous, unrelated massacre. According to Dr. John Knight, who late escapes, Crawford is scalped and burned, taking two hours to die. Knight wanders for three weeks before eventually reaching Ft. Pitt and to tell his story.
June of 1782
June 20, 1782
Congress Adopts the Great Seal of the United States
After Camden, Ninety Six is the most important position in South Carolina. Rawdon’s message to abandon the place is intercepted by the Patriots. Ninety Six is manned by 550 Loyalists, commanded by Colonel John Cruger, and the main defenses are Fort Holmes and the Star Redoubt. The Loyalists have sufficient provisions but little artillery. A Loyalist manages to penetrate Patriot lines and informs them that Rawdon is on his way to succor the beleaguered Loyalists. The Patriots led by Greene are forced to commence an immediate assault. The Americans, unable to breech the defenses, are forced to retreat, and lose over 185 men killed and wounded while British losses are 75 killed and wounded.
July of 1782
July 11, 1782
The British Evacuate Savannah, Georgia
British Governor Sir James Wright, along with several civil officials and military officers, flees the city of Savannah and goes to Charleston. Another group consisting of British regulars led by General Alured Clarke proceeds to New York, while Colonel Thomas Brown leads a mixed group of rangers and Indians to St. Augustine, Florida. The remaining British soldiers are transported to the West Indies aboard the frigate HMS Zebra and the sloop of war HMS Vulture.
August of 1782
August 27, 1782
Skirmish at Combahee Ferry, South Carolina
Late in the war, a combined force of British regulars and Loyalists are attempting to obtain forage for Charleston. Upon discovering British intention, the Patriots dispatch a force commanded by Colonel John Laurens to interdict them. Unfortunately, Laurens and his men fall into a trap and are ambushed, resulting in the death of Laurens and one other American.
Sepetmber of 1782
September 3, 1782
Preliminary Peace Concluded in Paris
Peace negotiations commenced in 1780 but continue on until September 1782. There are nine articles, the most important of which recognizes the independence of the 13 colonies, along with free navigation of the Mississippi River, fishing rights off the Grand Banks, and the removal of British troops from American soil. It takes until January 14, 1784, for Congress to ratify this preliminary peace agreement.
September, 11 - 13, 1782
Siege of Ft. Henry (Wheeling), West Virginia
A force of 40 Loyalists and 250 Indians besieges a group of Americans. According to some sources, when the Patriots begin to run short of powder, Elizabeth Zane races outside the fort to fetch a keg of powder from a nearby cabin. She returns safely before the surprised Indians can react.
October of 1782
October 20, 1782
Battle of Cape Spartel (Morocco)
Spain’s primary objective upon entering the American Revolution was to regain Gibraltar from the British. The 46 ship-of–the-line Franco-Spanish squadron commanded by Admiral Cordoba vastly outnumbers the 35 ships-of-the line belonging to Admiral Sir Richard Howe. In the four-hour engagement, each side incurs over 600 casualties. However, the British retain possession of Gibraltar and manage to maintain control of the vital supply routes leading to the island.
November of 1782
November 4, 1782
Encounter at John's Ferry, South Carolina
In one of the last actions of the war, Captain William Wilmot of the 2nd Maryland Continentals leads a successful assault against a British foraging party but is killed in the process. Authorities differ on the exact date and location of this action, but it seems certain that was the affair in which Wilmot died.