British Evacuation of Boston - Video

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As early as 1768, British troops were stationed in Boston to enforce tax acts. In 1773, in response to the Boston Tea Party and other acts of protest, about 4,000 British troops under the leadership of General Thomas Gage were sent to occupy the city of Boston. With the growing danger of colonist rebellion, British forces from Boston were sent to capture military supplies from the town of Concord. On April 19, 1775, colonial militia from the surrounding towns opposed the British troops in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. British troops were then attacked on their way back to Boston. This was the beginning of the siege of Boston.

Colonial militia set up a siege line surrounding Boston on three sides. Boston Harbor was still open to British ships. However, this limited the availability of fresh meat and other supplies to Boston. The militia decided to send a force to capture Fort Ticonderoga to get the 180 cannons and other weaponry. Through May, the British continued receiving reinforcements and reached a strength of about 6,000 men. General Gage tried to break the siege by sending troops to Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights. The colonists discovered this plan and fortified the hill. This resulted in the fierce Battle of Bunker Hill. Although the British eventually gained control of the heights, the colonists inflicted serious casualties to the British troops.

On July 3, George Washington arrived to take charge of the new Continental Army. Between November 1775 and February 1776 sledges were used to move the cannons captured at Fort Ticonderoga to help with the siege. Overnight on March 5, Washington moved the Ticonderoga cannons and several thousand men to occupy Dorchester Heights, overlooking Boston. This put both the troops in Boston and the British fleet in the harbor within range of the American guns. On March 8, a letter was sent to Washington, stating that the British would not destroy the Boston if they were allowed to peacefully depart. Over the next week, British troops and remaining loyalists were loaded onto the ships. On March 17, 120 ships with more than 11,000 soldiers and loyalists departed for England. Check out these videos to learn more about the British evacuation of Boston.






































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