Clinton, Sir Henry

Clinton, Sir Henry (1730-1795) Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in North America: Although Clinton was a gifted tactician and military strategist, he was too insecure to be a successful commander. In the Revolutionary War, he was subordinate to Thomas Gage and Sir William Howe, and lacked the confidence to introduce his often brilliant ideas to his superiors. On the battlefield, Clinton did well in defense postures, successfully evacuating Philadelphia and securing New York and Rhode Island in 1778. He also took Charles Town as a result of a long, patient siege in 1780. Nevertheless, he was not able to defeat the Continental Army along the Hudson or work with the British Navy against the French at Rhode Island. He could not convince his superiors to implement his strategy for a gradual reconquest of the South, nor could he help Cornwallis at Yorktown. Clinton resigned his command in 1782 and returned to Britain, where he lived for 30 more years.