After the siege of Boston forced the British to evacuate that city in March 1776, Continental Army commander George Washington suspected that the British would move by sea to New York City, the next logical target in an attempt to end a colonial insurrection. He thus rushed his army south to defend the city. Washington guessed correctly, but it would be to no avail. Unlike Boston, New York City's terrain featured few defensible positions. The city lacked a high point from which to launch a siege, as the peninsula of Boston was fortunate to have. Moreover, Washington wasn't sure defending the city was necessary, hoping that an expedition launched toward Quebec like the one Benedict Arnold had led in late 1775 would keep the British away from New York anyway. However, Congress thought otherwise, and demanded that Washington defend New York. Washington thus did what he was told, and it nearly resulted in the army's demise.
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there's probably more info on the Wikipedia page
- Michael J. Shafer