Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle of Monmouth
The Battle of Monmouth was an inconclusive battle of the American Revolutionary War fought on June 28, 1778. The main American Continental Army under George Washington attacked the rear of the British Army's column led by Sir Henry Clinton as they left Monmouth Court House (modern Freehold Borough, New Jersey).
American General Charles Lee led the advance and initiated the first attack on the column's rear. When the British turned to flank him, he ordered a general retreat, which soon became disorganized. Washington argued with Lee, then personally rallied the troops and repelled two counterattacks. On a very hot day, the battle was a standoff. Both sides lost as many men to sunstroke as to the enemy. Both sides retired at nightfall.
The battle was the last major engagement of the northern theatre, and the largest one-day battle of the war when measured in terms of participants. Lee was later court-martialed for his actions.
Molly Pitcher became famous for helping to work a cannon during the battle. She was a housewife who came to battle with her husband, William Hays. It was a common practice at that time. Molly's last name was not "Pitcher" but she earned this battlefield nickname because she brought water to many men at work. Finally her husband fell at battle, while doing the hottest job at the cannon. Molly took over and never stopped working it even when her skirt got torn from an enemy cannon ball.
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