After the British defeated Washington at the Battle of White Plains, Major General William Howe wanted to secure the last strong garrison the Americans had on Manhattan. A colonial deserter gave the British command drawings of the fort which gave them a strong advantage.
The Battle of Fort Washington took place on November 16,1776, during the American Revolution. The British attacked the fort from three sides and surrounded the American troops quickly. The southern and western sides of the fort were taken first and the north side soon thereafter.
Colonel Robert McGraw was the leader of the American forces which were 3,000 strong. The British sent 8,000 troops into battle and greatly outnumbered the Patriots. Knowing that victory was not imminent Colonel McGraw surrendered to the British.
The Battle of Fort Washington claimed the lives of 59 American soldiers, and 2,837 soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. Only 800 men who were captured survived until the end of the war. This British victory forced General George Washington's army into the state of Pennsylvania.
Shortly after the Battle of Fort Washington, the Americans abandoned Fort Lee. The next battle between Washington's troops and the British was at Princeton and was a decisive American victory. After the end of the American Revolution, Washington reclaimed Fort Washington.