Continued from Part 2

The Battle for Manhattan

Now in Manhattan, General Washington’s army was faced with a truly unwinnable situation. Previously, he had been fighting a running battle, but now the words of General Lee, the commander he dispatched to do reconnaissance for the battle of New York, must have hit him sharply. The geography of the island made it indefensible for General Washington. Escaping on ships was not possible due to British dominance of the seas. If General Howe’s forces landed in Westchester County to the north or captured King’s Bridge, then the Patriots would be trapped on Manhattan (Johnson, 226) where they would be wiped out or forced to surrender. General Washington needed to find a way out before they were surrounded.

For a few weeks, British and American forces stared each other down from across the East River until General Washington gave the order for a complete evacuation, first moving up to Harlem Heights (Schecter, 178). The invasion of Manhattan kicked off on the 14th of September with 3,500 Americans still on the island when the British landed in Kips Bay (Schecter, 181).