Researching the American Revolution

Your source for information on the American War of Independence

William Howe

William Howe Published by John Morris, Rathbone Place

After the British abandoned Boston, William Howe replaced Thomas Gage as the British supreme commander in North America.  Howe led the highly successful invasion of New York City in the summer of 1776. However, he was severely criticized for a lack of aggressiveness and was dogged by rumors of being soft on the rebels. In the following year, Howe captured the rebel capital of Philadelphia and defeated the Patriot Army at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown.  After wintering in Philadelphia, the British replaced Howe with Sir Henry Clinton and Howe returned to Britain where he attempted to refute charges of poor generalship and to improve his reputation.

Primary Sources

Howe, William. The Narrative of Lieut. Gen. Sir William Howe, in a Committee of the House of Commons, on the 29th of April 1779, Relative to His Late Command of the King’s Troops in North America:  To Which Are Added, Some Observations upon a Pamphlet, Entitled Letters to a Nobleman. Third. London: H. Baldwin, 1781.

Secondary Sources

Anderson, Troyer Steele. The Command of the Howe Brothers during the American Revolution. Cranbury, NJ: Scholar’s Bookshelf, 2005.

Flavell, Julie. The Howe Dynasty: The Untold Story of a Military Family and the Women behind Britain’s Wars for America. First edition. New York, NY: Liveright Publishing Corporation, A Division of W. W. Norton & Company, 2021.

Partridge, Bellamy. Sir Billy Howe`. London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1932.

Gruber, Ira D. The Howe Brothers and the American Revolution. Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, 2015.

Smith, David. Whispers across the Atlantick: General William Howe and the American Revolution, 2017.

———. William Howe and the American War of Independence, 2016.


Billias, George Athan, ed. George Washington’s Generals and Opponents: Their Exploits and Leadership. 1st Da Capo Press ed. New York: Da Capo Press, 1994.

O’Shaughnessy, Andrew Jackson. The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire. Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.

Journal Articles

Procknow, Eugene. “Did Generals Mismanage the Battle of Brooklyn?” Journal of the American Revolution, April 20, 2017.

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