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Battle of Fort Washington

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Surnames/tags: 1776 American_Revolution
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Battle of Fort Washington

The Battle of Fort Washington was fought in New York on November 16, 1776 during the American Revolutionary War between the United States and Great Britain. It was a decisive British victory that gained the surrender of the entire garrison of Fort Washington.

After defeating the Continental Army under Commander-in-Chief General George Washington at the Battle of White Plains, the British Army forces under the command of Lieutenant General William Howe planned to capture Fort Washington, the last American stronghold on Manhattan. General Washington issued a discretionary order to General Nathanael Greene to abandon the fort and remove its garrison of 3,000 men to New Jersey. Colonel Robert Magaw, commanding the fort, declined to abandon it as he believed it could be defended from the British. Howe's forces attacked the fort before Washington reached it to assess the situation.

Howe launched his attack on November 16. He led an assault from three sides: the north, east and south. Tides in the Harlem River prevented some troops from landing and delayed attack. When the British moved against the defenses, the southern and western American defenses fell quickly. Patriot forces on the north side offered stiff resistance to the Hessian attack, but they too were eventually overwhelmed. With the fort surrounded by land and sea, Colonel Magaw chose to surrender. A total of 59 Americans were killed and 2,837 were taken as prisoners of war.

After this defeat, most of Washington's army was chased across New Jersey and into Pennsylvania, and the British consolidated their control of New York and eastern New Jersey. (1)

Battle of New York

Part of the American Revolutionary War

Date: November 16, 1776
Location: Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York
Result: Decisive British victory
Belligerents: United States, Great Britain, Hesse Hesse-Kassel

Commanders and leaders

United States

George Washington
Robert Magaw
Nathanael Greene
Strength: 3,000
Casualties and losses: 59 killed, 96 wounded, 2,837 captured

Kingdom of Great Britain

William Howe
Hugh Percy


Wilhelm von Knyphausen
Strength: 8,000
Casualties and losses: 84 killed, 374 wounded


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