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General Charles Cornwallis


Interesting Facts: General Charles Cornwallis served as Lieutenant General of North America under the command of General Sir Henry Clinton. Cornwallis and Clinton participated in the Siege of New York City, which eventually lead to New York falling to the British in August of 1776. After the Battle of Long Island and several other battles, where the Americans were defeated, General Cornwallis was ordered to chase after the retreating American forces lead by General George Washington. Cornwallis chased Washington across New Jersey until Washington crossed the Delaware into Pennsylvania, taking all the boats with them.
Political Motivation: General Cornwallis was a high-ranking officer in the British Army. His political motivation was to crush the American rebellion and keep the colonies under British control.

Events: Cornwallis and his troops met Washington’s Continental Army again outside of Princeton New Jersey at Assunpink Creek on January 2, 1777. This is known as “the second battle of Trenton.” After skirmishes, it was growing dark and Cornwallis thought he had the Continental Army trapped, so he decided to wait until morning to attack. He failed to send out adequate patrols to keep an eye on the Continental Army Camp. This result was that the Americans snuck away in the middle of the night and went on to a surprise attack of Princeton on January 3, 1777. In 1781 Cornwallis surrendered after the Battle of Yorktown that ended the American Revolutionary War. Later, General Charles Cornwallis was accused of “losing America.”


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