HY 2000 Unit II Assessment

Question 1

48 out of 50 points

  Discuss Nathanael Greene’s southern campaign. Why do some historians view Greene as being second only to Washington in importance in winning the war? Your response must be a minimum of 500 words.      
  Selected Answer: Nathanael Greene, one of Washington’s best subordinates, became quartermaster general and miraculously improved the logistical system. As quartermaster, Greene was highly regarded by Washington and eventually became a general. General Nathanael Greene fought numerous of battles during the revolution with General George Washington such as Battle of Trenton, the Battle of Germantown, and many more battles. During the year of 1780, General George Washington appointed General Horatio Gates to command a new southern army that was composed of 1,400 Continentals, that was reinforced by militiamen. During the month of August, General Gates proceeded into South Carolina with 1,400 Continentals, where he then met Cornwallis’ advancing army at Camden. This Battle at Camden was brutal for the continental southern army, when Cornwallis initiated his attacked, the militiamen cowered, threw down their weapons, and fled. The outnumbered Continentals at first fought valiantly but were overwhelmed. In just three months, two American armies had plummeted into nothing. Upon General Washington’s request congress replaced General Horatio Gates with General Greene, who was appointed to take Grates’ place to command the southern army. General Greene found the difficulties to command this army to infinitely exceed what he had apprehended after all they have endured before he was appointed into command, but also, he skillfully coordinated rebel maraudings with the activities of his army, which slowly grew larger and stronger. General Greene was especially heartened by the arrival of Daniel Morgan, who had commanded the rifle corps that had fought so well against Burgoyne. General Greene was an unconventional strategic leader who would take grave risks that yielded him great dividends. He assumed command in December 1780 and divided his outnumbered army between himself and Morgan, inviting defeat in detail. Cornwallis split his own army, sending Tarleton directly after Morgan while he took a circuitous route to cut off Morgan’s retreat. Morgan stopped retreating at Cowpens. Shrewdly deploying his mixed force of Continentals, cavalry, and militiamen, he inflicted a crushing defeat on the British, and 90 percent of Tarleton’s 1,100 men became casualties or prisoners. General Greene’s campaign was to continue southward and reclaim the Carolinas and Georgia, where 8,000 enemy troops under the command of Francis Lord Rawdon remained in scattered garrisons. Rawdon had just claimed another victory for the British before Greene confronted him at Hobkirk’s Hill. Rawdon had been too distracted by the American’s main army that he had not realized guerrillas were picking off isolated British posts. In early September of 1780, Greene fought against Alexander Stewart, who had succeeded Rawdon, at Eutaw Springs. This battle lasted three hours and dealt constant blows back and forth. Eutaw Springs would also be the last battle General Greene would fight. Under Gates’ command the militia had failed at Camden in the eyes of everyone, but now they had redeemed themselves under Greene and Morgan. Although the British had technically won the battles at Guilford Courthouse and Hobkirk’s Hill, the number of casualties the suffered were irreplaceable. General Greene could not claim a single victory history says that Morgan, commander of the rifle corps, deserves all credit for Cowpens however, General Greene and the partisans had reconquered all the of south except for Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. Greene’s operation rank with Washington’s performance at Trenton and Princeton as the war’s most brilliant campaigns. Millet, A.R., Maslowski, P., & Feis, W.B. (2012). For the common defense: a military history of the United States from 1607 to 2012 (3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.       

Question 2

45 out of 50 points

  How were the American colonies (United States) able to defeat Great Britain in the War for Independence? Be sure to identify the innovations and tactics used by the colonial army and militia. How did the leadership of George Washington contribute to this victory? Your response must be a minimum of 500 words.      
  Selected Answer: American War of Independence (1775-1783), First point, to be made was, the crisis represented a clash between a mature colonial society and a mother country anxious to assert parental authority. Britain had previously never exercised much direct control over the colonies. Prospering under this “salutary neglect,” the colonies enjoyed de facto independence and developed a remarkable degree of self-reliance. Colonial aspirations thus collided with England’s desire to enforce subordination and diminish colonial autonomy. Second point, to be made was, the Revolution began in 1765, not 1775. The events of 1765-1775 marked the first phase in a colonial war of national liberation. Only a handful of colonists advocated outright independence in 1765, but they vigorously championed their cause and slowly gained adherents over the next decade. By September of 1774, Congress recommended that the colonies begin military preparations, and many of them stockpiled supplies and undertook militia training with a long-absent seriousness. On April 19, 1775, was the first time the British had experienced the damage that an armed and angry populace employing irregular tactics could inflict on a conventional military organization, this was the battle of Lexington and Concord which only lasted for less than five minutes but resulted in 8 Americans that were killed in action and 10 Americans that were wounded during the battle. The Revolution was no European dynastic squabble, but a war involving an ideological question that affected the population far more than did the kingly quarrels of the age of limited warfare. Large numbers of colonists ardently believed freedom was the issue, not only for themselves but for generations yet unborn. To win the war, England had to occupy vast expanses of territory, a task beyond its military resources because of logistical problems and manpower shortages. The war began as a balance of military weakness and, ensuring a long conflict despite optimistic expectations by both sides that the war would be short. The Revolution created the dual army which consisted of the militia which was combination of reserve citizen-soldiers and also the continental army which was created by Congress. Greeting enemy forces with small-scale warfare and maintaining internal security were only two of the militia’s functions. Militiamen patrolled against slave insurrections, fought Indians, repelled seaborne raiding parties, garrisoned forts, guarded prisoners of war, collected intelligence, rallied the war-weary, transported supplies, and battled the British foragers. In mid-June 1775, Congress adopted the besieging throng and then voted to raise ten companies of riflemen from Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to give the army a more ‘continental’ flavor. Having formed an army, Congress selected George Washington to command it. Washington played an active role in Virginia’s evolution from resistance to revolution, and he attended both the First and Second Continental Congresses in February 1778, France, convinced by Saratoga that America could win the war, signed a Treaty of Alliance. France had been providing covert aid, but America could now anticipate far greater assistance. In 1779 Spain also declared war on England, and in 1780 so did the Dutch. Thus a colonial rebellion had expanded into a world war, a development that was essential to the American cause. Millet, A.R., Maslowski, P., & Feis, W.B. (2012). For the common defense: a military history of the United States from 1607 to 2012 (3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.       

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