The battle against the heat

The army of British and German troops against American Continental troops and militia.
The British wore red coats and headgear of bearskin caps, leather caps or tricorne hats depending on whether the troops were grenadiers, light infantry or battalion company men. The German infantry wore blue coats and retained the Prussian style grenadier mitre with brass front plate. The Americans dressed as best they could. Increasingly as the war progressed regular infantry regiments of the Continental Army wore blue uniform coats but the militia continued in rough clothing. Both sides were armed with muskets and guns. Many of the American militia, particularly the Pennsylvanians carried long, rifled weapons. In May of 1778, The British commander, General Clinton in Philadelphia, sent 3000 troops to protect Florida by sea. Then On June 18, the British began to evacuate Philadelphia, crossing New Jersey to go to New York City. They had 11,000 troops, a thousand loyalists and a baggage train 12 miles long. Gen. George Washington chose this location to attack the British troops, who were retreating from Philadelphia to New York City. Gen. Charles Lee launched the assault but without warning ordered a retreat. The British, under Henry Clinton, immediately counterattacked, and only the arrival of Washington and Baron von Steuben prevented an American rout. Steuben reformed Lee's disordered troops and led them back to battle, but the British forces escaped during the night

The movement of the British disrupts Lee's plan to isolate and destroy the rear guard, and threatens the right flank. Lee sends Lafayette towards the right to support it. As they do, the British open on the Americans with cannon. Lee sends some of his men into the village of Monmouth to avoid the fire.

On the left, the flank units see what seems to be a retreat in the center as Lee's men take cover, and at the same time Oswald artillery unit in the area moves to the rear when they run out of ammunition. The flank units on the left move back, since they have no orders. They fail to inform Lee of their movements or send word for orders, all though they do ask some of his aides if they have orders for them.Seeing his left fall back, Lee orders the right to also withdraw as well, and a sometimes confused retreat begins. The entire advance corp is now falling back. Lee makes no orders, has no rear guard, no one understands why they retreat. Lafayette sends for Washington to come forward. Lee thinks he is saving the advance corp by moving out of harms way.

General Nathanael Greene on nearby Combs Hill to enfilade the British line, requiring Cornwallis to withdraw. Washington tried to hit the exhausted British rear guard but darkness forced the end of the engagement. Both armies held the field, but the British commanding General Clinton withdrew undetected at midnight to resume his army's march to New York City. While Cornwallis protected the main British column from any further American attack, Washington had fought his opponent to a standstill after a pitched and prolonged engagement; the first time that Washington's army had achieved such a result. The battle demonstrated the growing effectiveness of the Continental Army after its six month encampment at Valley Forge, where constant drilling under officers such as General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben and General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette greatly improved army discipline and morale. The battle improved the military reputations of Washington, Lafayette and Anthony Wayne but ended the career of Charles Lee, who would face court martial at Englishtown for his failures on the day. According to some accounts, an American soldier's wife, Mary Hays, brought water to thirsty soldiers in the June heat, and became one of several women associated with the legend of Molly Pitcher.




1. Who was the winner in the battle of monmouth?
2. Who were the generals?
3. Who were the americans fighting against?