cover of book

The Battles of Connecticut Farms and Springfield, 1780
by Edward G. Lengel
Westholme Publishing, 2020
Cloth: 978-1-59416-338-8 | eISBN: 978-1-59416-642-6

The Final Significant Clashes of the Revolutionary War in the North
By the spring of 1780, American fortunes were at a low point. Charleston, South Carolina, fell to British forces on May 12. At Morristown, New Jersey, George Washington’s army struggled to recover from the worst winter of the entire war. The national economy failing, his troops short of supplies and on the verge of mutiny, Washington prepared for an all-out assault on British-occupied New York City with the support of approaching French naval and land forces under General Rochambeau. The planned attack was a gamble born of desperation. Washington felt he had to risk it, or face certain defeat. In New York City, German General Wilhelm von Knyphausen sensed opportunity. Commanding there in the absence of British General Henry Clinton, who was on his way back from Charleston, Knyphausen hoped that a quick strike into New Jersey could deliver a staggering blow to Washington’s weakened army. The June 7–8 Battle of Connecticut Farms, however, found American militia and Continentals—mostly soldiers of General William Maxwell’s New Jersey Brigade—to be shockingly stalwart. In a series of sharp engagements, fought hard on both sides, the Americans convinced Knyphausen to turn back. Clinton, fresh from his victory in the South, tried again on June 23 to end the war. His advance into New Jersey, intended to draw Washington into the open and perhaps capture Morristown, culminated in the Battle of Springfield. Once again, though, Washington’s hardened soldiers, led by men like Colonel Israel Angell, Colonel Elias Dayton, and Major “Light Horse Harry” Lee, fought Clinton’s forces to a standstill.
            The Battles for Connecticut Farms and Springfield, 1780, by distinguished historian Edward G. Lengel, chronicles these two important battles that marked a turning of the tide in the Revolutionary War. Drawing on newly available primary sources, the author presents a fresh and engaging interpretation of these events, which exposed King George III’s declining military fortunes in North America even as they revealed the resilience of George Washington’s army.

The Small Battles Series: Military History as Local History
Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Series Editors
Small Battles 
offers a fresh and important new perspective on the story of America’s early conflicts. It was the small battles, not the clash of major armies, that truly defined the fighting during the colonial wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the hostilities on the frontiers. This is dramatic military history as seen through the prism of local history—history with a depth of detail, a feeling for place, people, and the impact of battle and its consequences that the story of major battles often cannot convey. The Small Battles Series focuses on America’s military conflicts at their most intimate and revealing level.
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