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Most Victorious Rev War Commanders


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Here are the top Rev War Commanders by battlefield victories of which they were in charge of the battle. This is in order of victories rather than who was technically best. I only include those commanders who were in charge of a battle at least 4 times:

  1. William Howe, British, 10 wins in 12 battles. 
  2. Charles Cornwallis, British, 7 wins in 10 battles.
  3. George Washington, American, 6 wins in 15 battles.
  4. Comte de Grasse, French, 5 wins in 7 battles. *naval* 
  5. Bernardo de Galvez, Spanish, 4 wins in 4 battles. 
  6. Francis Marion, American, 4 wins in 4 battles. 
  7. Guy Carlton, British, 4 wins in 5 battles.
  8. Banastre Tarleton, British, 4 wins in 7 battles.
  9. Henry Clinton, British, 3 wins in 4 battles. 
  10. George Rodney, British, 3 wins in 5 battles *naval*
  11. Thomas Sumter, American, 3 wins in 5 battles
  12. Comte d'Estaing, French, 2 wins in 4 battles *naval*
  13. Benjamin Lincoln, American, 1 win in 4 battles. 
  14. Nathanael Greene, American, 1 win in 5 battles. 
  15. Edward Hughes, British, 1 win in 5 battles. *naval*

Almost half the Rev War battles were naval battles, mostly between the French and British, many after Yorktown. Yorktown was the last major land fight of the War, but the war probably would have continued if the British had knocked the French out of the war within a year.

Of those listed above: Cornwallis had to surrender at Yorktown to Washington. Galvez fought the British on behalf of the Americans in what is now AL and FL. Comte de Grasse was pummeled into surrendering to George Rodney in a naval battle sometime after Yorktown. Greene's record is misleading, as his losses were kind of strategic victories, draining the British army in the South. Greene is generally considered the most naturally gifted American general of the war. Howe has a great record, but he was pulled from command for being too cautious and continually allowing the Americans to retreat without pursuing them. Apparently, his victory at Bunker Hill shell-shocked him, and while he won almost all his battles after that, he was the worst commander one could have in the sense that the goal is to destroy the enemy's force. Washington, as commander of the American force, won the war, so any ranking based achievement ultimately has him at #1. 

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9 minutes ago, 10centjimmy said:

How do you define battle/ or leadership in said battle? I'm shocked Arnold and Lafayette didn't qualify, but maybe it's because they typically didn't have independent command?

Yeah, neither had 4 battles with independent campaign. Both had 3. Horatio Gates had only 2 battles. Henry Knox had zero. Henry Lee III had only 2 but he was crucial to Marion’s 4 victories. 

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