General Howe had grand plans for 1777, but was way behind schedule.
He had hoped to leave New York City early in the Spring and quickly capture the rebel capital, Philadelphia.
Then he would send part of his force to support British troops fighting in Upstate New York. A victory there would isolate the troublemaking New Englanders from the rest of the country. In this way he hoped to force an American surrender.
But Howe got a late start.