The Revolutionary War

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 - History - 200 pages
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Nearly everyone in the U.S. has studied the Revolutionary War. Too often, however, historians of the Revolution focus on the activity of the army without noticing what was taking place inside the army. Making liberal use of diaries and correspondence by the soldiers and their families, Charles P. Neimeyer tells the stories of the men and women who fought for the young country's independence. Sometimes starting off as rag-tag groups of men shooting off their muskets at geese just for the thrill of the sound, the soldiers became more disciplined and focused. The army recruited a significant number of African American soldiers, who fought side by side with whites. Women also fought and served in the army, either masquerading as male soldiers or providing support for army operations in camp and on the march. Suffering through times of numbing cold and starvation where men boiled their shoes for food, the sheer perseverance of the soldiers in the ranks ultimately won the war for independence.

Presenting stories from letters and diaries of the men and women of the time, this volume reveals the stories of fear, exhaustion, hard work, grief, and exhilaration of the people in the camps and on the march. Highlights include:

; Recruitment, which included just about any healthy man willing to serve, including immigrants and enemy POWs

; General Washington's attempts to create a model, respectable army

; Attempts at medical treatment, and the ravages of smallpox, which left men dying at makeshift hospitals

; African American soldiers in the War

; Women's contributions to war efforts, whether in disguise as soldiers, or in filling in for husbands killed in battle

; Daily life in the camp: the monotony, the lack of food and supplies, drinking, sleeping in huts and out in the open, games, letter writing and religious observations

; The failure to fairly pay the soldiers as they mustered out of service

The book also includes a timeline that puts dates and events in better perspective; a comprehensive, topically arranged bibliography; and a thorough index.

 

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Contents

CITIZENSOLDIERS THE ARMY OF OBSERVATION
1
SUNSHINE SOLDIERS THE TRANSITION BETWEEN THE ARMY OF OBSERVATION AND WASHINGTONS NEW ARMY
29
CREATING A RESPECTABLE ARMY
57
THE YEAR OF THE HANGMAN 1777 AND CONTINENTAL ARMY COMMUNITIES
83
DAILY LIFE IN CAMP
115
MORRISTOWN AND MUTINY
147
THE LAST YEARS OF THE WAR
171
BIBLIOGRAPHY
183
INDEX
193
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Charles P. Neimeyer is Director, History Division, United States Marine Corps, Quantico, Virgina. Previously he was Executive Director, Regent University, Washington, DC and before that Academic Dean as well as Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College, and Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is the author of numerous publications, including "America Goes to War: A Social History of the Continental Army, 1775-1783.