June of 1778, General Washington is planning to attack General Sir Henry Clinton and his troops as they march from Philadelphia to New York. Washington sent 5,000 men with Major General Charles Lee to attack the British rear guard. Lee is forced to retreat, but Washington is ready for the British with the main army. In the end the both sides had claimed victory. Near Monmouth County Courthouse, the battle was fought on June 28, 1778. The weather was so hot on the day of the battle that many soldiers suffered from heat stroke.
Many of Washington’s officers favored his plans to attack General Clinton, but Major General Lee was against it. Lee felt that after their alliance with the French, that they shouldn’t attack the British unless they have overwhelming superiority. Washington decided to send 4,000 men to attack Clintons rear guard, Lee turned down command of the force. After Washington raised the amount of men to 5,000, Lee demanded to be given command. Lee was given strict orders to hold a meeting to determine the plan of attack with his officers.
During the meeting, Lee told the officers to be alert for orders during the battle instead of planning it out. When they encountered the British, Lee quickly lost control. After this the British moved to flank Lee’s men, when Lee saw this he ordered a retreat. Washington had been bringing the main army up when he saw Lee’s forces retreating. Washington located Lee and dismissed him after not receiving a satisfactory answer as to what had happened. Washington rallied Lee’s men and held off the British just long enough to set positions in the west. After fighting till sometime in the late afternoon, the British retreated.
Washington hoped to pursue but his men were exhausted from fighting all day in the heat. The Battle of Monmouth was the last major battle fought in the north during the war. After the battle the British had held up in New York and focused on the southern colonies. Lee requested a court martial to prove his innocence from any wrong doings after the battle. Washington then filed formal charges against Lee, where he was found guilty and suspended. During the Battle a woman who was bringing water to American artillery men is said to of taken over firing for her husband when he had fallen.
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