This significant historical book on a previously unexplored aspect of the Revolutionary War was produced by the Center of Military History, providing an important basic reference on the military history of the Revolution. The Continental Army details the basic military organization used during the war and to the forming of the Army's traditions and first tactical doctrine. This book traces the birth of the Army and its gradual transformation into a competent group of professionals and emphasizes for the first time the major influences of eighteenth century military theorists on that transformation.
The basic concepts of military organization within units and in the larger realm of command and staff determine an army's capabilities. These concepts, for example, can insure that an army will be unable to cope with irregular opponents in difficult terrain. An army's doctrine - a theory on employing force which is taught to the army and is based on carefully worked out principles - in turn reveals how well that army's leaders understand their own organization and the situation in which they intend to fight. This monograph treats the organization and doctrine used in the Continental Army during the War of American Independence.
Contents: 1. THE ARMY OF OBSERVATION: NEW ENGLAND IN ARMS * Warfare in the Eighteenth Century * Colonial Military Experience * The Coming of the Revolution * Massachusetts Acts * Formation of a New England Army * Summary * 2. THE CONTINENTAL ARMY: WASHINGTON AND THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS - Adoption of the Army * Selection of Commanders * Washington Takes Command * The War Spreads to Canada * Summary * 3. THE CONTINENTAL REGIMENTS OF 1776: BOSTON AND QUEBEC - Washington's Unified Reorganization * The Canadian Department * Summary * 4. AN ARMY TRULY CONTINENTAL: EXPANDING PARTICIPATION - The Southern Colonies * The Middle Colonies * The Departments and the Main Army * Summary * 5. AN ARMY FOR THE WAR: 1777 - The Eighty-Eight Battalion Resolve * Trenton and Princeton * Rounding out the Army * Fielding the New Army * Summary * 6. PROFESSIONALISM: NEW INFLUENCES FROM EUROPE - Valley Forge * Foreign Advisers * The Contributions of Steuben * The Reorganization of 1778- 79 in Practice * Summary * 7. PERSEVERANCE TO VICTORY - Economy and the 1781 Reorganization * Triumph at Yorktown * The Road to Newburgh * Peace * Concluding Remarks