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The American Revolution

The American Revolution

Henry Clinton in The American Revolution

Sir Henry Clinton (c. 1738-1795) was a British general in the American Revolutionary War and a veteran of the French and Indian War. Clinton arrived in Boston in 1775, leading reinforcements for Governor Thomas Gage. He was second-in-command to General William Howe and quite well-connected. Clinton was also a savvy military strategist; his plan for the British takeover of New York (which included a night flanking movement on Brooklyn) succeeded in a dramatic fashion, routing American forces commanded by George Washington.

In 1778, General Clinton succeeded William Howe as supreme commander in America. On orders from London, Clinton evacuated Philadelphia and retreated to New York, nearly losing his army to Washington's forces along the way. Throughout his generalship, Clinton remained dissatisfied with denied requests for supplies from the English government, and tried to resign twice. He nonetheless remained in service, captured Charleston in 1780, and placed Gen. Cornwallis in charge of the Carolinas before returning to New York. Thinking that Washington was about to attack him, he remained in New York too long and failed to reinforce Cornwallis at Yorktown, where the Americans won the decisive victory that ended the war.

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