August 1776 was a pivotal month in the American Revolution. England first received word of the Declaration of Independence. With the largest army the British had ever sent to North America, King George III was pulling out all the stops to crush the rebellion. On August 27, the British and Hessians soundly defeated George Washington and the Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island. The New York Campaign of 1776, a decisive victory for the British, was made possible by the participation of large numbers of Hessian troops. American morale, which had been so high due to previous military victories and the announcement of the Declaration of Independence, plummeted. The British success in New York convinced the large numbers of Loyalists in New York, as well as elsewhere in America, to take a more active role in supporting the British. George Washington and the Americans would face the dual challenge of surviving the onslaught of the formidable British and Hessian troops and the tidal wave of Loyalist support that was engulfing many areas.