Saving the Battlefields Where America Was Forged

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William Howe (1729-1814) King's Colors Flag

General, Politician

William Howe

(Anne S.K. Brown Military History Collection at Brown University)

Having served the Crown with distinction in the Seven Years' War and the War of Austrian Succession, Howe was called upon to lead troops in the American colonies under the command of Thomas Gage.  However, following the costly victory at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Howe assumed command of the British forces in America from Gage, in 1775.  Howe led successful campaigns resulting in the capture of Philadelphia and New York, but as Commander in Chief of British forces in North America, he was seen as the primary culprit for the disaster in Saratoga.  For failing to come to the aid of Burgoyne, Howe resigned his post in order to avoid the embarrassment of being relieved of command.