- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Books"
The American Revolution by lordaquaticus on deviantART
When you think of battles or perhaps major events from our War for Independence, what would you say is the most overrated, most hyped-without-substance one that occurred? The Journal of the American Revolution asks this question and gives several answers. By nature of the votes cast, the most overrated battle from the American Revolution is Saratoga. "The war continued on for five more years, making it hardly the major turning point it is often portrayed," says Jeff Dacus. "And the general who theoretically won it, Horatio Gates, was a coward and a fake," notes Thomas Fleming.
Yorktown is the runner-up, because it alone did not break the British. Many concurring events went with it to provoke a British retreat.
I find another point interesting because of an old folk tune I vaguely remember. John L. Smith Jr. states: "The most overrated battle would have to be the 1779 Battle of the British Isles – specifically between Captain John Paul Jones’ warship Bonhomme Richard and the British frigate Serapis in the North Sea between England and the Netherlands. Celebrated as a huge American victory, it gave us the dubious quote for our annals of American history by John Paul Jones: “Surrender? I have not yet begun to fight!” But this much-publicized naval battle had no effect whatsoever on the outcome of the Revolutionary War. The most it did was to interfere with British shipping and, while also proving to be an embarrassment for the Lord North ministry, it just tied up some British naval resources from getting to the American seaboard. I liken it to Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s early World War II bombing mission. Both attacks provided an American morale boost, but little else in affecting the war."