Yorktown - 1781
General Lord Cornwallis' defeat and surrender at Yorktown seemed to mark the end of British attempts to reconquer the Southern Colonies for George Washington and the Generals of the Continental army. In Parliament it seemed that the War had better to come to a close, however, with the British in a better position with their holding of New York, Savannah and Charleston. The King pleaded with Parliament as operations were to now change, no more armies were to be sent to North America. Prime Minister Charles Watson-Wentworth supported a new strategy which would ensure considerable low money and troops being sent to North America.
Siege of New York - 1781
The fall of the British army in the Southern Colonies, now meant that all that remained for the Continentals and French was taking strongly defended New York from Sir Henry Clinton. Although the order from London was clear, to keep fighting many, of his fellow commanders pushed for surrender, Clinton however refused to give up his stronghold and quickly mobilised all British and loyalist military forces in defence of a Franco-American attack by General Washington.
New British Strategy in North America - 1781
General Henry Clinton, a now lone General in the war against the Colonies after the surrender of Lord Charles Cornwallis, received new orders from London. Having a meeting with his most senior officers, General Clinton had no choice but execute the new plans of strategy and tactical operations which were designed to be harsh and brutal but now necessary if Britain wanted to continue the war. Destroying Rebel ports, towns along the east-coast, inspiring and regulating Loyalist forces into waging a massive guerrilla war. Strongly aiding and supplying Native American allies in their fight against the Colonials, promising them return of lost land.
Massive effort and concentration was now being put into the Loyalists, especially in the Southern Colonies, where civil war still raged. Fresh regiments of Loyalist militia were raised and now the focal point in continuing the War, in New York, Quebec, South Carolina and even Virginia loyalists were rallied in support of the crown. In time, these militias were to become highly organised, uniformed armies under the leadership of Loyalist Generals. The British began to also focus particularly on defectors and deserters from the Continental Army, those who no longer fought for the cause of independence or simply were not being paid good wages.
British General Benedict Arnold
The hero: turncoat Benedict Arnold had already taken an aggressive role in Virginia against the Americans with his "American Legion". He made himself a powerful figure in continuing the war by holding meetings with British commanders, talks and plans on future operations and frequent travels to London, meeting King George. General Clinton ordered Arnold to continue his brutal guerrilla operations in order to make examples of the rebels. Positioning his forces in Virginia for the remainder of 1781, Arnold's army wreaked havoc against Rebel forces - both army and civilians alike.
Support from the Canadian Colonies
Canada, already giving firm support to the crown, suddenly erupted in mass support in 1781 whereby even French Canadians offered their services to the British regular army and militias due to strong effort and recruitment made by the British army. In Quebec alone, 2000 troops were raised and sent to New York to be trained and equipped.
In late 1781 a large body of defections from the Continental army were made, perhaps inspired by the defection of Benedict Arnold, however most probably from low pay, starvation and overall harsh conditions forced many units and militiamen to revolt and escape to British outposts. This was unbearable to General Washington, the Continental army and Congress. New rules and regulations were made by Continental Generals, harsh executions and punishments were to be enforced to ensure there would be minimal chance of defecting.
Siege of Charleston - 1781
The failure of capturing New York from the British resorted the Americans to continue their efforts in the South by driving out the last British occupied strongholds. Attacks were launched against Charleston, with French help. However, after two months of frontal attacks, the Franco-American force had failed to take the city and retreated back into North Carolina.
Continental Naval Officer "John Paul Jones" among others had already conducted raids on Britain herself, taking the war to the mother country. However, now serious efforts were planned to strike major operations in Britain, with greater funding and support from France and Spain. Leading larger ships into the Irish Sea and attacking Royal Navy ships, ports and coastal towns, killing large numbers of British had to be executed in response to the harsh warfare now being waged in the newly born "United States" by British troops and loyalists. In response the Royal Navy made its primary importance to capture and kill John Paul Jones in 1782.
British Invasion of Virginia - 1782
Having regained confidence and the ability to wage a successful campaign in America, the British now planned to invade Virginia, forces in the North and in the South the British now hoped to strike a third front right into Virgina. with the help of British General Benedict Arnold who had been waging guerrilla war against Virginian militia and continental regulars for months after the battle of Yorktown. Sir Henry Clinton organised an expedition of 10,000 soldiers from New York, under the command of loyalist leader "General Jeffery Amherst" directly landing on the Virginia beaches. The Continental Army did not expect that the British would try to re-start the Virginia campaign, despite an intense guerrilla war still being waged by Benedict Arnold. General Nathanael Greene was once again tasked at driving the British from the Southern States. The unprepared US forces gave minor resistance to British troops until they reached Richmond, heavily fortifying the state's capital. The British regulars laid siege to the city for four days, the Americans had expected to hold the city for a lot longer however, the continued encirclement and heavy bombardment forced the Americans into submission. The city unconditionally surrendered and were forced to lay down their arms. Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, arrived late in the battle with his loyalist guerrillas, nevertheless he was awarded for bravery. General Jeffery, although from New York, was appointed royal governor of Virginia. Now as they had tried earlier in 1781 the British were to make a permanent foothold in Virginia as a base for further operations in a renewed campaign of the South.
Arrival of British General Jeffery Amherst - 1782
Hero of the French and Indian war, leading the British forces to victory against the French, General Jeffery Amherst had been the first choice after General William Howe resigned in 1777. However, his insistence that in order to crush the rebellion it would need a massive number of troops, was deemed too much for the government and thus was not sent and instead General Clinton was (OTL). However, now with situations becoming more serious, the King requested that Amherst be sent to the Colonies in another attempt to restore British rule.
Defeat at Richmond, Amherst retreats south
Constantly harassed by Virginian militia, and blockaded Amherst had difficulty maintaining lines of communication. The Patriots quickly mobilised and began to besiege Richmond making daily attacks, with fear from a Northern invasion and constant guerrilla attacks General Amherst decided to retreat South in hopes of linking up with British forces in South Carolina following a similar pattern of that of Cornwallis. Leading his forces through North Carolina, the British have several minor engagments with militia, and were successful recruiting loyalists as they continued their journey into British controlled South Carolina.
Southern Campaign - 1782
Loyalists of Georgia and South Carolina had continued their campaigns against major Continental supply lines to the North. The Patriots then sent a force to crush Loyalist positions, resulting in a key battle in South Carolina, ending in a defeat for the Rebels. The British had continued their defensive war against the Rebels, hoping to wear them out in a war of attrition.
Prussia Intervention - 1783
King George III held long conversations with Fredrick the Great over sending 10, 000 of his finest troops to the continent of North America. In 1783 finally giving in the King of Prussia sent a fleet of 10, 000 troops to New York in service to Sir Henry Clinton. These men were then dispatched to the Southern Colonies, aiding greatly to the defensive war being waged by the British army.