Surveys by Year: 1775
Declaration of Independence

On April 19, 1775, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in America Lt. General Thomas Gage ordered powder stores seized at Concord, Massachusetts, but Paul Revere, famed for his Midnight Ride and others spread the news in advance of the British. The result was that the Shot Heard 'Round the World was fired at Lexington, Massachusetts, where 700 British routed 70 militia on the town green. The British then continued onto Concord where the munitions were already safely hidden away. On their return march to Boston, the road was lined with minutemen who sniped at them. The siege of Boston began that same day as minutemen continued to gather around the city.

News of the event immediately began spreading, reaching Charleston, South Carolina by May 10, 1775. Also on May 10, 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys from Vermont along with Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, giving the rebellion a supply of munitions and cannons, which were hauled to Boston by Henry Knox in December.

On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Within a month they approved the formation of a Continental Army. On June 15, George Washington was officially approved to become Commander-in-Chief. Two days later, on June 17th, he was commissioned General and two Major Generals, Artemas Ward and Charles Lee were chosen. On the 19th, two more Major Generals were named and on the 22nd, eight Brigadier Generals were selected. Washington then left for Boston.

Meanwhile, on June 17, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought on Breed's Hill in Boston. In one night, the rebels had built fortifications on the hill, so British Commander-in-Chief in America, General Gage ordered Maj. General William Howe to drive the rebels off the hill. It took three assaults by the British to do so. Though they won the battle, they received a large number of casualties, almost one quarter of the assault force. In September, Gage was recalled to England and surrendered his command to Howe in October.

During the fall of 1775, General Washington tried to build a trained army outside of Boston. The British remained holed up in Boston. Across the colonies Patriots conducted raids and several royal governors fled to safety on British ships. Starting in September, Maj. General Richard Montgomery and Colonel Benedict Arnold conducted the Canadian Campaign of 1775, which culminated on December 31, 1775, in the Battle of Quebec, Canada, when they attacked under the cover of a snow storm, but were repelled by Maj. General Guy Carleton. Montgomery was killed and Arnold barely escaped with a few men.

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