Fort Lee, NJ | Oct 20, 1776
Gen. William Howe ordered Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis to capture Fort Lee removing the Continental Army’s defenses along the Lower Hudson River. On November 20, 1776, Cornwallis’ force crossed the Hudson River and landed north of Fort Lee. Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene heard of the approaching British army. Unable to withstand such an invasion, Greene ordered the abandonment of Fort Lee.
The quick action at Fort Lee, although not truly decisive, marked a new period for the American army. The capture and retreat from Fort Lee started the brutal march through New Jersey and a destructive cat and mouse game between the British and the Americans. Through extraordinary leadership the army survived and fought decisively one month later at Trenton and Princeton. Fort Washington and Lee mark true low points for the cause, but were followed by new signs of hope for the Revolution.