November 20 This day during the American Revolution

November 20, 1777 – at Fort Mercer, New Jersey – With Fort Mifflin lost to the British, Fort Mercer appeared to be impossible for the Americans to hold because Gen. William Howe effectively controled the entire area from the Delaware River to the Red Bank. Brig. Gen. Nathanael Greene believed the odds were against the Americans. On November 20, Col. Christopher Greene, judging his garrison to be in a hopeless position, evacuated Fort Mercer with Brig. Gen. Greene’s concurrence. The American force burned the fort’s buildings and supplies when they finally left. Without a shot being fired, Fort Mercer fell to Gen. Charles Cornwallis. Howe now controlled the Delaware River all the way to Philadelphia. The few American ships that were still upriver were destroyed and burned to prevent them from being captured by the British.

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