Researching the American Revolution

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Robert Howe


Major General Robert Howe, hailing from North Carolina, was a prominent military leader and a key figure during the American Revolutionary War. Born in 1732, Howe began his military career as a member of the colonial militia, demonstrating his dedication to the cause of American independence. In 1775, he was commissioned as a colonel in the Continental Army and played a crucial role in the 1775 defense of Charleston, South Carolina. Howe’s strategic skills and leadership were further recognized, and he was subsequently promoted to the rank of major general in 1777.

Throughout the war, General Howe led his troops in several important battles, including the Battle of Savannah and the Invasion of Florida . He also served as a trusted advisor to General George Washington and played a significant role in the planning and execution of military operations. Beyond his military career, Howe was involved in politics and served as a delegate to the Confederation Congress. He later was later elected to the North Carolina Assembly but died on the way to his first meeting.

Memoirs and Papers

Robert Howe Papers, #358, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Robert Howe Orderly Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan.


Bennett, Charles E, and Donald R Lennon. Quest for Glory:  Major General Robert Howe and the American Revolution. Chapel Hill, NC: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1991.

Ranlet, Philip (1991). “Loyalty in the Revolutionary War: General Robert Howe of North Carolina”. Historian53 (4): 721–742. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6563.1991.tb00831.x.

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