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Join the Revolution A chronological journey through the history of the Revolutionary War.

Join the Revolution A chronological journey through the history of the Revolutionary War.
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Join the Revolution A chronological journey through the history of the Revolutionary War.






Episode 066: The British Take Bunker Hill

After ferrying thousands of regulars across Boston Harbor, General William Howe begins his attack on Bunker and Breed's Hills late afternoon on the afternoon of June 17, 1775. The regulars launch three bloody assaults to dislodge the provincial troops before the British break the American lines. The provincials retreat only after running out of ammunition. They lose nearly 450 soldiers, including General Joseph Warren. The British take more than twice that number in casualties, far...


Episode 065: The Provincials Occupy Bunker Hill

When the Provincials get word that the British plan to occupy the no man's land at Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights, they send Massachusetts and Connecticut militia to build defenses on Bunker Hill. The soldiers instead build the defenses on Breed's Hill, a smaller hill just next to Bunker Hill. The British take most of the following day moving regulars across Boston Harbor to attack the defenses with overwhelming force. The provincials use the extra time to reinforce and extend their...


Episode 064: The Second Continental Congress Begins

In May 1775, the Second Continental Congress begins after the war has already started. Delegates must play catchup. They have to decide whether they will support the war and what their goals are. Delegates agree to send one more petition to the King in hopes of pulling out a peace deal. Most delegates though, realize this is pointless. Congress supports the war. The only debate is whether victory means full independence, or simply a better guarantee of colonial rights. Congress creates a...


Episode 063 Buzzard's Bay and Machias

With the British army sitting in Boston, the navy needs to provide supplies and prevent supplies from reaching the Provincials. An attempt to capture a ship at Buzzard's Bay fails as locals overtake the small British task force and take them prisoner. Similarly, when the British send a ship to protect two merchant vessels providing firewood for Boston, locals again capure the ships. They kill several of the British and take the rest prisoner. Visit my site at


Episode 062: The Three Headed Cerberus in Boston

Even before word of Lexington and Concord reached London, the Ministry decided they would need to up their game in the colonies. They did not send Gen. Gage all of the reinforcements he wanted, but they did send some soldiers and marines for the start of the 1775 fighting season. Along with them, the Ministry sent three new Major Generals to support Gage, traveling together aboard the HMS Cerberus. All three men, William Howe, Henry Clinton, and John Burgoyne would go on to play larger roles...


Episode 061: The Battle of Chelsea Creek

In the first weeks of the Siege of Boston in 1775, the Provincial Army appears to be more of a disorganized mob than an army. Men do not obey officers. Units from one colony would not obey orders from another. No real chain of command exists. Further, the lack of uniforms, supplies, ammunition, and other logistical problems created their own problems. Soldiers on both sides begin to die from disease. The only real fighting at this time is over islands in Boston Harbor that contain food and...


Episode 060: Securing Lake Champlain

Following Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen's capture of Fort Ticonderoga, Arnold seizes several ships and attacks Fort St. Jean in Quebec. With the captured ships, he forms his own navy on Lake Champlain. The British nearly capture Allen as he attempts to follow Arnold's raid and secure the fort. As word of the men's exploits get back to officials in New England and Philadelphia, more moderate politicians replace both officers out of fear that their actions will prevent politicians...


Episode 059: Taking Fort Ticonderoga

Benedict Arnold develops a plan to capture Fort Ticonderoga in New York in order to get cannon for Boston. Before leaving for Massachusetts, he tells several men in his home colony of Connecticut about his plan. These Connecticut men organize a force with Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, who live only a few miles from the fort. Arnold, unaware of this plan, gets approval from the Massachusetts army to raise a force in Western Massachusetts to attack the fort. Upon learning...


Episode 058: Slavery and Liberty

For most of the colonial period, slavery is surprisingly uncontroversial. As the American Revolution begins, colonists start to question the institution of slavery In the north broad acceptance of slavery evaporates quickly after Patriots demand that all men are born basic rights to liberty. Even in the north, slavery would not end for many more years though. In the south, where slave are much more critical to the economy, colonists prove unwilling to bend on the issue. Many in the deep...


Episode 057: Regulars and Provincials

As the Siege of Boston opens in 1775, this episode takes a look at the command structure and life as a British Regular, and compares that to the Provincial army of militiamen around Boston. Visit my site at for more text, pictures, maps, and sources on this topic.


Episode 056: The Shot Heard 'Round the World

The Seige of Boston begins as soon as the regulars retreat back to Boston following the battles at Lexington and Concord. The New England Provinicial army springs up overnight from minutemen and militia units throughout New England. In the days that follow, Patriots and regulars record their accounts of the battles. The Patriots rush their accounts across the continent and over to London, spreading their version of events first. Word of the fighting encourages Patriots across the continent...


Episode 055: British Retreat from Lexington and Concord

By the afternoon of April 19, 1775, having completed his search and destroy mission to Concord. Lt. Col. Smith finds himself facing a twenty mile gauntlet back to Boston. Thousands of angry militia stand ready to attack. His men are exhausted and running low on ammunition. His column barely makes it back to Lexington, where Lord Percy's relief column saves them from surrender. The combined force then faces its own running battle before finally returning to the safety of Charlestown. The...


Episode 054: British Advance on Lexington and Concord

On the evening of April 18, 1775, Lt. Col. Smith leaves Boston via Charlestown. His goal is to seize and destroy munitions in Concord. Delays prevent his force from leaving Charlestown before Paul Revere and other riders alert the countryside. At around dawn on April 19, the regulars confront a group of militia on Lexington Green. The regulars at Lexington are an advance company led by a young Lieutenant. They fire on the militia before the main column arrives. When Col. Smith...


Episode 053: Paul Revere Rides

As Gen. Gage prepares to deploy a brigade of regulars to Concord, the Patriots activate their warning system. Joseph Warren deploys William Dawes and Paul Revere to alert countryside. The riders alert the militia and reach Lexington, while avoiding British patrols. They warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock at Lexington before continuing their ride. On the road to Concord, a British patrol captures Revere. Dawes gets thrown from his horse during his escape. But a third rider, Samuel Prescott,...


Episode 052: Salem Alarm & Hearts and Minds

In February 1775, Gage attempts to grab a cache of Patriot cannon in Salem. Col. Alexander Leslie leads a regiment of regulars on what is supposed to be a surprise sail up the coast and a fast dash to Salem to grab the guns. Alert patriots run ahead of the soldiers and remove the weapons before the regulars arrive. After a brief standoff, the regulars return to Boston empty handed. A few weeks later, Boston commemorates the 5th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. Interaction with soldiers...


Episode 051: The Portsmouth Alarm

By the end of 1774 Britain had banned all munitions imports to the colonies. After fearing that the British Navy might seize munitions at Fort William and Mary in New Hampshire. Paul Revere rides from Boston to alert the local militia. The militia attack the fort the following day. There is an exchange of gunfire, but no one is killed. The militia quickly capture the small garrison, remove the gunpowder, and then release their prisoners to take control of the fort again. The following day,...


Episode 050: Britain Prepares for War

In late 1774, Prime Minister North calls for early elections. This results in a solid majority in favor of getting tough on the colonies. In reaction to the First Continental Congress' call for economic boycotts, Parliament bans all colonial trade with any country other the Britain. It also passes the "Conciliatory Proposition," allowing colonies to raise taxes in whatever form they like, as long as they come up with as much money as Parliament wants. The Ministry informs Gen. Gage...


Episode 049: The Provinicial Congress of Massachusetts

Gen. Gage retreats with his regulars into Boston in the summer of 1774. Patriots take control of all of the rest of Massachusetts. They form their own government, independent of royal authority. The Provincial Congress organizes a militia army, develops minutemen as a rapid reaction force, and names generals, led by Artemas Ward, for its independent army. The Congress also organizes logistics and creates a civilian Committee of Safety to run its military. One of the Committee members,...


Episode 048: The First Continental Congress

Parliament closed the Port of Boston following the Boston Tea Party. In response, colonial leaders met in Philadelphia in a "Grand Congress." Tories supported the Congress as a way of putting off local talk of boycotts. They hoped emotions would cool after a few months. The Patriots hoped to use the Congress to enact a continent-wide boycott and present a united front in opposition to Parliament. The summer of 1774, brought news of more of London's Coercive Acts. When Congress...


Episode 047: The Suffolk Resolves

Gov. Gage decides he does not have a large enough army to control the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The armed colonists who confronted his regulars in the summer of 1774 are too numerous. Gage barricades his army in Boston and sends frantic letters to London calling for reinforcements. With that, royal authority over the colony is limited to Boston itself. Patriots control everything else. The Suffolk Meeting under Joseph Warren produces a series of resolves on how to handle the current crisis....