“Outsiders” in the United States Army during the American War for Independence

Today’s post is by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. 

Throughout the U.S. Army’s history there have been political and social issues surrounding the recruitment and utilization of “outsiders,” people who were not like the majority of white and native-born soldiers with whom they served. This post takes a look at the “outsiders” during the American War for Independence and perhaps will provide the reader a better appreciation for today’s inclusive and diverse U.S. Army.

Postage stamp of Salem Poor.
“The conspicuously courageous actions of [B]lack foot soldier Salem Poor at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, earned him citations for his bravery and leadership ability.” National Postal Museum, Object Number 1980.2493.6022.

Nicholas Cresswell, during July 1777, wrote in his journal that the American army was composed of a “ragged Banditti of undisciplined people, the scum and refuse of all nations of earth.” A Swedish Colonel in French service described the American army in Savannah during 1779 as being composed “almost wholly of deserters and vagabonds of all nations.”[1] These were somewhat exaggerated descriptions, yet at times they seemed very true and therefore concerned the revolutionary leaders. Their ideal was a disciplined army composed of Whigs who had a stake in society. They desired an army composed of men who shared the same cultural, political, and social background and beliefs. What was desired – mature domestic yeomen – did make up the bulk of the army surrounding Boston during the summer of 1775, but by the end of the year many of those had left the service when their enlistments terminated. Thereafter, because of the difficulty in recruiting such an army, and military necessity, many who did not share a stake in American society as envisioned by the revolutionary leaders, enlisted in the patriotic forces. 

The first group that was taken into the American military forces, against the wishes of most Americans, were African Americans, a people many had always feared to arm.[2] Despite having demonstrated their skill and courage at Lexington and Bunker Hill[3], General George Washington issued orders that they were not to be recruited, although those already enlisted could remain. Congress in September rejected a motion to discharge all Black people, but a council of officers at Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 8, 1775, unanimously agreed to discharge all enslaved persons. By a large majority, they agreed that free Blacks in service not be re-enlisted when their enlistments ended. Washington concurred.[4]

Late in 1775, however, because of difficulty in recruiting, Washington allowed African Americans to re-enlist. Learning this, Congress informed Washington that he could continue to re-enlist those who had faithfully served at the siege of Boston, but no others. This restriction was lifted during the following years as enlistments slackened, and Black people, including the enslaved, were encouraged to join both the Continental army and the state military forces. By the summer of 1778, there were over 750 Black soldiers serving in the Continental Army and by 1780 both Rhode Island and Connecticut had all Black companies, except for the officers.[5] 

This increasing use of Black soldiers did not take place without protest. Six members of the Rhode Island Assembly opposed the decision of their body to raise Black companies, which, they feared, would make the world believe that the Americans were attempting to win their rights and liberties with a band of slaves. General Heath was asked by General Schuyler whether it was “consistent with the Sons of Freedom to trust their all to be defended by Slaves?” Heath agreed it was not.[6]

Opposition to the use of Black soldiers, as one would surmise, was greater in the southern states, for as one southerner wrote, arming them was “the child of a distempered imagination.” Nevertheless, from the beginning of the war, Virginia allowed Blacks to join the militia and South Carolina allowed (the only southern state to do so) Blacks to be enlisted and even resorted to drafting them in 1781.[7]

Congress, during the British invasion of South Carolina and Georgia in 1779, suggested the use of Black soldiers under white commissioned and non-commissioned officers, compensating slave owners for any loss they may suffer. Alexander Hamilton, for one, thought the plan a good one, believing the enslaved would make good soldiers, having lived a life of subordination. But he doubted the southerners would readily accept such a plan, believing “prejudice and private interest will be antagonists too powerful for public spirit and public good.”[8]

Hamilton was correct in believing the plan would not be adopted, for as one southerner wrote after learning of it, “We are much disgusted here at the Congress recommending us to arm our Slave, it was received with great resentment, as a very dangerous and impolitic step.” Despite the rejection of the plan, some Continental officers and civilian leaders continued to lobby for the use of Black soldiers, believing that the threat posed by a British army outweighed the danger of using slaves.[9]

Colonel John Laurens, once elected to the South Carolina legislature in 1782, raised the possibility of the state enlisting a Black regiment under his command. This recommendation was not adopted, as “the prejudice against the measure,” according to Lewis Morris, Jr., “are so prevailing that no consideration could induce them to adopt it.” The legislature did, however, agree to the limited use of Black soldiers for fatigue duty.[10]

It has been estimated that some five thousand did serve in various guises, primarily as sailors aboard privateers.[11] Many served in the Continental Army. They served as well and with the same degree of bravery as their white contemporaries.[12] The Black Rhode Island Continentals were reported to have made excellent soldiers and distinguished themselves in many engagements.[13] The same is true of the Black Virginian Continentals.[14] A Hessian officer observed in 1777 that “no regiment is to be seen in which there are not negroes in abundance, and among them there are able-bodied, strong and brave fellows.”[15]

Another domestic source of manpower that was avoided as much as possible was the Indian (Native Americans), who, like the African American, was considered to possess the seeds of discord and anarchy. The first two years of the war, Congress and the colonies, for the most part, attempted to keep the Indians neutral, believing the cost of maintaining them as allies outweighed any advantages which may be gained by their use. Indians did, however, serve in American arms in the first year of the war at the siege of Boston, in Canada, and on the South Carolina frontier.[16]

Because of manpower shortages, the urging of General Gates and after consulting Washington, Congress in May 1776, authorized Indian use during the northern campaign, allowing bounties for Indians who would take prisoners at garrisons, hoping this would prevent massacres. In June, Washington was authorized to recruit up to two thousand Indians, and later that summer was authorized to recruit additional Indians from the St. Johns, Nova Scotia, and Penobscot tribes.[17]

Despite the seemingly large numbers authorized during 1776 and 1777, Indians were rarely used in large bodies, hardly ever incorporated with Continental units, and almost always used on the frontier. This remained true during 1778 and 1779 as Congress, pressed for military manpower, authorized Indian use, even giving blank commissions to the Northern Department’s Indian Commissioners to pass along to warriors of the Onedia and Tuscarora tribes, hoping this would bring them into closer cooperation. During the spring of 1780, Colonel Brodhead was given six blank commissions to bestow upon Delaware Indians, and early in 1781 he was authorized to use as many Delawares as volunteers as he desired. On the southern frontier during 1780, Major William R. Davie supplemented his command with thirty-five Catawba, whose tribe also supplied warriors in 1781.[18]

In all, probably two or three thousand Indians served in or with the American military forces during the war. Rarely were a hundred used at the same time and place, and always their conduct was carefully monitored. The states generally restricted their use in populated areas and frequently prohibited their serving in the militia.[19] Washington was generally against using them, believing their services never compensated the expense.[20] He felt the same way about another category of manpower both Congress and the states were forced to call upon—British and German deserters and prisoners of war.

Initially, orders were issued both by the Massachusetts Committee of Safety and by the army forbidding the enlistment of British deserters. Throughout the war similar orders would be issued, as well as prohibitions against enlisting British prisoners of war.[21] These prohibitions did not, however, preclude Congress from frequently providing incentives for British and German soldiers to renounce their allegiances, with no obligation to serve in the American military forces.[22] It is estimated about thirty thousand German mercenaries served in America between 1776 and 1783, about twenty thousand of them Hessians, who, for the most part, neither demonstrated great love for the British nor great hatred for the Americans. It is understandable, therefore, why nearly half were captured, and some five thousand deserted.[23]

With increasing manpower needs during the second and third years of the war, many civil and military leaders believed German mercenaries who had deserted or were taken prisoner should be recruited, and some actually were. Congress and Washington generally opposed their use, despite the argument that German mercenaries were disciplined, and therefore posed no threat to persons or property.[24] Washington believed their limited use by the end of 1777 had demonstrated that the Germans deserted the American forces just as easily as they had the British, taking with them their bounty as well as their equipment.[25]

Early in 1778, Congress agreed to the limited use of Germans, primarily fighting as a separate corps on the frontier, or as part of Pulaski’s Partisan Corps of Armand’s Legion. Later that year, at Washington’s suggestion, Congress gave Pulaski and Armand great latitude with respect to the foreign deserters and prisoners of war they could recruit for their respective corps.[26] But just as quickly as they and other commanders enlisted German and British deserters and prisoners of war, they deserted.[27] This was also true of many foreigners who were recruited to serve in the state forces, often against the wishes of the legislatures and military commanders.[28]

By 1780, Washington and other military commanders were willing to admit the experiment of using foreigners was not worth the expense and trouble.[29] Yet deserters and prisoners of war were continually recruited because of military necessity.[30]

Some openly avowed Loyalists joined the American military forces during 1775 and 1776 simply to prevent anarchy until the dispute with the mother country could be resolved within the framework of the Empire. However, when the colonies declared themselves independent, these officers left military service.[31] Once the war began in earnest, not much trust and faith was placed in the Loyalists (Tories) who frequently, when captured, quickly joined the patriot forces rather than face summary punishment. They were never systematically recruited during the war, as it became evident very early that Tories, forced into American arms, deserted at the first opportunity, taking their bounty with them. Yet many served, and proved to be as unruly as their Whig brothers.[32] Also not systematically recruited were criminals and vagabonds. But they were used, often given the choice of serving or being jailed. Maryland, by mid war, was giving pardons to criminals who agreed to serve three years in the army, and South Carolina forced many convicted of being idle, lewd, or disorderly persons into the military.[33]

So concerned about recruiting those they believed had no real stake in American society, the revolutionary leaders, at times, prohibited, or at least limited, the use of foreign born residents of America.[34] Early in the war, Massachusetts set the pattern by forbidding the enlistment of foreigners, unless they were truly a settled resident with a wife and family. Delaware, New York, and Virginia, in 1776, ordered their recruiting officers to only take men, who by birth, or family connection, or property, were tied to the country.[35] Washington wanted only natives for his guard, and only natives, or foreigners of approved fidelity for the light dragoons. Similarly, General Greene imposed the standards for his dragoons.[36] Despite these prohibitions, many foreign born residents of America served in the revolutionary military forces.[37]

Thus, despite all the attempts at limiting, or at least controlling, the “outside” influence in the army, the American military forces were indeed a mixture of races and cultures. Because both the army and the militia were composed of so many people who were either “outsiders” to American society or barely a part of it, the Whigs believed that the officers would have to keep a close watch on the military, to keep them from becoming a threat to life, liberty and property. What were desired were officers that had military experience and could maintain discipline. Although many such officers were found within the American ranks, the services of foreign officers were accepted to increase the effectiveness of the American fighting forces. Thus, Congress turned to “outsiders” with military experience.

During the summer of 1777, to placate the aspirations of two French officers, Congress made Colonel Mottin de la Balme, Inspector General of Cavalry, and Major General du Coudray, Inspector General of Ordnance and Military stores.[38] Thomas Conway, who came to America during the winter of 1776-1777 from France with almost thirty years military experience to his credit, gained many admires, not only for the skill he demonstrated during the Brandywine-Germantown operations, but also for the discipline his troops exhibited. Thus, when by late 1777, it appeared that General Washington was having problems disciplining the army, Conway was promoted to Major General and made Inspector General of the Army.[39] When Conway resigned in 1778, his replacement, Baron von Steuben, with the assistance of some French volunteers, helped, to increase the   discipline of the army at Valley Forge.[40] There would be other foreign officers whose offers of service would be accepted and who distinguished themselves during the war.  These included Lafayette, DeKalb, Pulaski, Armand, L’enfant, and Kościuszko.

Washington and Lafayett with soldiers in winter.
Valley Forge-Washington & Lafayette. Winter 1777-78. Copy of engraving by H. B. Hall after Alonzo Chappel, (NAID 532877, Local ID 148-GW-189).

The fact that so many “outsiders” contributed, to one degree or another, to the military success of the Continental Army undoubtedly had some positive influence on American government and society in the post-American Revolutionary generations, with respect to the utilization of “outsiders” in future military conflicts. Of course it is impossible to precisely state the degree of influence, but given the increasing use of “outsiders” in the U.S. Army during the nineteenth century and significantly more so in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, one would have to think the past served as a guide to the future. As attitudes change so do U.S. Army recruitment, utilization, and promotion policies and practices. This began in 1775 and continues today.


This post originally appeared as African Americans and the American War for Independence, (January, 2013), and has since been expanded upon.


[1] [Nicholas Cresswell], Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774-1777 (New York: Dial press, 1924), pp. 251-252; Baron Curt von Stedingk to King Gustavus III, January 18, 1780, Adolph B. Benson, Sweden and the American Revolution (New Haven: Morehouse & Taylor Company, 1926), p. 165.

[2] Benjamin Quarles, “The Colonial Militia and Negro Manpower,” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 45, No. 4 (March 1959), pp. 648, 652.

[3] W. B. Hartgrove, “The Negro Soldier in the American Revolution,” The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 1, No. 2 (April 1916), pp. 112-113.

[4] General Orders, John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, 19 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944) Vol. 3, p. 119; Vol. 4, pp. 57, 86; Details regarding the October 8th meeting in Peter Force, American Archives: Containing a Documentary History of the English Colonies in North America, from the King’s Message to Parliament, March 7, 1774, to the Declaration of Independence by the United States, 4th  series, 6 vols. (Washington, D.C.: M. St. Clair Clark and Peter Force, 1848-1854), vol. 3, p. 1040; Recruiting instructions, ibid., Vol. 3, p. 1385; Diary of Richard Smith, Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication No. 299, 8 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1921-1936), vol. 1, p. 207.

[5] General Orders, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 4, p. 194; George Washington the President of the Continental Congress, December 31, 1775, ibid., p. 195; Worthington C. Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress 1774-1789 edited from the Original in the Library of Congress, 34 vols. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1904-1937), vol. 4, p. 60; Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1961), pp. viii, 16-18, 52, 55-56, 71-72, 80-82; Jack D. Foner, Blacks and the Military in American History (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1974), pp. 10-11; David O. White, Connecticut’s Black Soldiers 1775-1783, Connecticut Bicentennial, series 4 (Chester: Pequot Press, 1973), passim; James M. Varnum to George Washington, January 2, 1778, “Revolutionary Correspondence,” Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society, vol. 6 (1867), pp. 209-20; John Russell Bartlett, ed., Records of the Colony [and State] of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England (1636-1792), 10 vols. (Providence: various state printers, 1856-1865), vol. 8, pp. 358-360, 640-641.

[6] Bartlett, ed., Records of the Colony [and State] of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England (1636-1792), vol. 8, p. 361; Philip Schuyler to William Heath, July 28, 1777, Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 7th series, vol. 4, pp. 135-136; William Heath to Samuel Adams, August 27, 1777,  ibid., p. 148.

[7] E[dward] Giles to Otho H[olland] Williams, June 1, 1781, Calendar of the General Otho Holland Williams Papers in the Maryland Historical Society (Baltimore: The Maryland Historical records survey project, 1940), p. 46; Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution, pp. 56-58; William Edwin Hemphill and Wylma Anne Wates, eds., The State Records of South Carolina: Extracts from the Journals of the Provincial Congresses of South Carolina 1775-1776, p. 141.

[8] Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens, [September 11, 1779], Harold C. Syrett, Jacob E. Cooke, et al., eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, 25 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961-), vol. 2, p. 166; Alexander Hamilton to John Jay, March 14, 1779, ibid., pp. 17-19; John Laurens to Henry Laurens, February 2, 1779, William Gilmore Simms, The Army Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens in the Years 1777-8, Now first Printed from Original Letters Addressed to his father Henry Laurens, President of Congress with a Memoir, Bradford Club Series, No. 7 (New York: John B. Moreau for the Bradford Club, 1867),  p. 117; William Ellery and John Collins to William Greene, Aril 13, 1779, Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, vol. 4, p. 156; John Collins to William Greene, March 10, 1779, ibid., p. 124; Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 13, pp. 387-388.

[9] Christopher Gadsden to Samuel Adams, July 6, 1779, Richard Walsh, ed., The Writings of Christopher Gadsden 1746-1805 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1966), p. 166; Benjamin Lincoln to John Rutledge, July 24, 1779, Benjamin Lincoln Papers, Benjamin Lincoln Letterbook, Massachusett Historical Society (microfilm reel no. 3); Joseph Jones to James Madison, December 8, 1780, Hutchinson, Papers of James Madison, vol. 2, p. 233; James Madison to Joseph Jones, November 28, 1780, ibid., p. 209.

[10] Lewis Morris, Jr. to Jacob Morris, February 7, 1782, “Letters to General Lewis Morris,” New York Historical Society Collections, vol. 8 (1876), p. 499; Nathanael Greene to John Rutledge, January 21, 1782, Nathanael Greene Papers, Library of Congress (microfilm reel no. 11); Aedanus Burke to Arthur Middleton, January 25, 1782, Joseph W. Barnwell, annotator, “Correspondence of Hon. Arthur Middleton, Signer of the Declaration of Independence,” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, vol. 26 no. 4 (October 1925), p. 194; Edward Rutledge to Arthur Middleton, February 8, 1782, ibid., vol. 27 no. 1 (January 1926), p. 4; A. S. Salley, Jr., ed., Journals of the House of Representatives of South Carolina (Columbia: Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1916), pp. 56-58; John Laurens to Alexander Hamilton, [July 1782], Harold C. Syrett, Jacob E. Cooke, et al., eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 3, p. 121.

[11] Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution, pp. ix, 83; Luther Porter Jackson, Virginia Negro Soldiers and Seamen in the Revolutionary War (Norfolk: Guide Quality Press, 1944), p. vi.

[12] W. B. Hartgrove, “The Negro Soldier in the American Revolution,” The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 1, No. 2 (April 1916), pp. 128-129.

[13] Lorenzo J. Greene, “Some Observations on the Black Regiment of Rhode Island in the American Revolution,” The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 37, No. 2 (April, 1952), pp. 170-172.

[14] L. P. Jackson, “Virginia Negro Soldiers and Seamen in the American Revolution,” The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 27, No. 3 (July 1942), pp. 269-270.

[15] W. B. Hartgrove, “The Negro Soldier in the American Revolution,” The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 1, No. 2 (April 1916), p. 126.

[16] Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 2, p. 123, vol. 4, p. 191; Benson J. Lossing, The Life and Times of Philip Schuyler, 2 vols. (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1872-1873), vol. 2, pp. 106-113, 395-396; Philip Schuyler to George Washington, August 6, 1776, Walter H. Mohr, Federal Indian Relations 1774-1788 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1933), p. 39; Massachusetts Provincial Congress to the Eastern Indians, May 14, 1775, Frederic Kidder, Military Operations in Eastern Main and Nova Scotia During the Revolution, Chiefly compiled from the Journals and Letters of Colonel John Allan, with Notes and a Memoir of Col. John Allan (Albany: Joel Munsell, 1867), pp. 51-52; Edward Miles Riley, ed., The Journal of John Harrower; An Indentured Servant in the Colony of Virginia, 1773-1776 (Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg, 1963), pp. 127-128; William Edwin Hemphill and Wylma Anne Wates, eds., The State Records of South Carolina: Extracts from the Journals of the Provincial Congresses of South Carolina 1775-1776 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press for the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1970), pp. 56, 159-160; Isaac J. Greenwood, “The Stockbridge Indians During the American Revolution,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 54 (April 1900), pp. 162-164; Christopher Ward, The War of the Revolution, 2 vols., ed. by John Richard Alden (New York: Macmillan, 1952), vol. 1, p. 144.

[17] Horatio Gates to John Adams, April 23, 1776, Bernhard Knollenberg, “The Correspondence of John Adams and Horatio Gates,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. 67 (October 1941-May 1944), p. 140; Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 4, pp. 394-395, vol. 5, pp. 412, 452, 527.

[18] Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 9, pp. 943, 1002; vol. 10, pp. 220-221; vol. 12, p. 411; vol. 14, p. 693; vol. 16, p. 373; vol. 19, p. 33; Allen D. Chandler, ed., “Minutes of the Executive Council, May 7 through October 14, 1777,” The Georgia Historical Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 1 (March 1950, p. 31; J. E. A. Smith, The History of Pittsfield (Berkshire County) Massachusetts, from the year 1734 to the year 1800 (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1869), p. 296; Barbara Graymont, The Iroquois in the American Revolution (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1972), pp. 132-133, 197; Ward, The War of the Revolution, vol. 1, pp. 446, n. 39; Christopher Ward, The Delaware Continentals 1776-1783 (Wilmington: Historical Society of Delaware, 1941), p. 249; George Washington to the Commissioners of Indian Affairs, March 13, 1778, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 11, pp. 76-77; Samuel Cole Williams, Tennessee During the Revolutionary War, new ed. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1974), p. 71; Lewis S. Shimmell, Border Warfare in Pennsylvania During the Revolution (Harrisburg: R. L. Meyers and Company, 1901), pp. 86-87; Edgar W. Hassler, Old Westmoreland: A History of Western Pennsylvania During the Revolution (Pittsburg: J. R. Weldin & Co., 1900), pp. 74-79, 81; William Joseph Peele, compiler, Lives of distinguished North Carolinians with Illustrations and Speeches (Raleigh: North Carolina Publishing Society, 1898), p. 61; Hugh F. Rankin, The North Carolina Continentals (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1971), p. 291.

[19] Arthur J. Alexander, “Exemption from Militia Service in New York State During the Revolutionary War,” New York History, vol. 27, no. 2 (April 1946), p. 206; Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, 16 vols. [volumes 11 to 26] (Goldsboro: Nash Brothers, Winston-Salem: M. I. and J. C. Stewart), vol. 24, p. 336 and vol. 25, p. 335.

[20] George Washington to the President of the Continental Congress, May 3, 1778, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 11, pp. 343-344; George Washington to William Heath, September 3, 1781, ibid., vol. 23, p. 75.

[21] George Washington’s Recruiting Instructions, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 6, p. 198, vol. 7, p. 7, vol. 11, p. 186; George Washington to Thomas Johnson, April 8, 1779, ibid., vol. 14, p. 349; William Lincoln, The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety, With an Appendix (Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, 1838), p. 592; Samuel H. Parson’s Orders, Charles S. Hall, Life and Letters of Samuel Holden Parsons: Major General in the Continental Army and Chief Judge of the Northwestern Territory 1737-1789 with Addenda (Binghamton, New York: Otseningo Publishing Company, 1905), pp. 160-161; Caesar Rodney to ?, February 3, 1780, Delaware Public Archives Commission,  Delaware Archives, Revolutionary War, 3 vols. (Wilmington: Delaware Public Archives Commission, 1911), vol. 3, p. 1459; William Heath’s General Orders, “Orderly Book of the Regiment of Artillery Raised for the Defence of the Town of Boston in 1776,” Historical Collections of the Essex Institute, vol. 14, no. 2 (April 1877), pp. 127-128; Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 4, p. 105.

[22] Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 4 p. 369, vol. 5 pp. 640, 653-655, 707-708, vol. 7, p. 430, vol. 8, p. 417, vol. 10, pp. 406-407; Proclamation by Thomas Jefferson, Julian P. Boyd, Lyman H. Butterfield, Mina R. Bryan et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 18 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950- ), vol. 4, pp. 505-506; Arthur J. Alexander, “Exemption from Militia Service in New York State During the Revolutionary War,” New York History, vol. 27, no. 2 (April 1946), p. 211.

[23] Edward J. Lowell, The Hessians and the Other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1884), pp. 282, 300; Matthew H. Volm, The Hessian Prisoners in the American War of Independence and the Life in Captivity, Virginia Pamphlets, vol. 13 (n. p., 1937), pp. 4, 7, 10.

[24] George Washington to the President of the Continental Congress, November 27, 1776, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 6, p. 310; George Washington to the Board of War, November 30, 1776, ibid., p. 317; George Washington to John Sullivan, May 29, 1777, ibid., vol. 8, p. 136; The Board of War to Horatio Gates, November 2, 1777, Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, vol. 2, pp. 539-540; Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 10, p 203, vol. 11, pp. 522-523; for discussion of employing mercenary forces see Charles Carroll of Carrollton to Benjamin Franklin, August 12, 1777, Kate Mason Rowland, The Life of Charles Carroll of Carrollton 1732-1832 with his Correspondence and Public Papers, 2 vols. (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s , 1898), vol. 1, p. 209.

[25] George Washington to George Baylor, June 19, 1777, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 8, p. 264; see also John Taylor to Edmund Pendleton, April 13, 1778, “Original Letters,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 1st series, vol. 2 (October 1895), pp. 104, 105; Jedediah Huntington to Jabez Huntington, March 15, 1778, “Huntington Papers, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, vol. 20 (1923), pp. 405, 405-406.

[26] Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 10, pp. 291, 312, 405-410, vol. 11, pp. 642-644; vol. 12, p. 1159; Casimer Pulaski to George Washington, March 19, 1778, Jared Sparks, ed. Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, 4 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown and company, 1853), vol. 2, pp. 87-88; George Washington to the Committee from the Continental Congress, April 9, 1778, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 11, p. 230; George Washington to Casimer Pulaski, May 1, 1778, ibid., p. 337.

[27] Adrian C. Leiby, The Revolutionary war in the Hackensack Valley: The Jersey Dutch and the Neutral Ground, 1776-1783 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1962), p. 265; Nathanael Greene to George Washington, February 28, 1781, Sparks, ed. Correspondence of the American Revolution, vol. 3, p. 247; Nathanael Greene to Thomas Jefferson, January 1, 1781, “Notes and Queries,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 28, no. 2 (1904), p. 241.

[28] Abraham Ten Broeck to George Clinton, February 26, 1778, Hugh Hastings and J. S. Holden, eds., Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777-1795-1801-1804, 10 vols. (New York and Albany: State of New York, 1899-1914), vol. 3, p. 13; George Clinton to Abraham Ten Broeck, March 9, 1778, ibid., p. 14; Jedediah Huntington to Jabez Huntington, December 20, 1777, “Huntington Papers,” Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, vol. 20 (1923), p. 387; The Maryland Council to the Recruiting Officers of Anne Arundel County, January 3, 1780, William H. Browne, et al., eds.  Archives of Maryland, 71 vols. (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1883- ), vol. 43, p. 48; Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina,  vol. 25, p. 335.

[29] George Washington to Lord Stirling, March 22, 1780, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 18, p. 139; Nathanael Greene to Thomas Jefferson, January 1, 1781, “Notes and Queries,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 28, no. 2 (1904), p. 241.

[30] James Thacher, Military Journal of the American Revolution, from the Commencement to the Disbanding of the American Army; Comprising a Detailed Account of the Principal Events and Battles of the Revolution, with their Exact Dates, and a Biographical Sketch of the Most Prominent Generals. To Which is Added the Life of Washington, His Farewell Address, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States (Hartford: Hurlbut, Williams and Company, 1862)pp. 261-262; E. A. Benians, intro., A Journal by Thos: Hughes for his Amusement, & Designed only for His Perusal by the Time He Attains the Age of 50 if He Lives So Long (1778-1789) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1947), p. 95; William Irvine to William Moore, March 17, 1782, C. W. Butterfield, Washington-Irvine Correspondence: The Official Letters Which Passed Between Washington and Brig.-Gen. William Irvine and Between Irvine and Others Concerning Military Affairs in the West from 1781 to 1783 (Madison, Wisconsin: David Atwood, 1882),  pp. 235-236; Chevalier de la Luzerne to the President of the Continental Congress, Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 6 vols. (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1889), vol. 4, p. 11; The Maryland Council to Charles Armand-Tuffin, October 31, 1782, Browne, et al., eds.  Archives of Maryland, vol. 48, p. 295; see also ibid., vol. 45, p. 227; Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 22, p. 275.

[31] “Diary of James Allen, Esq., of Philadelphia, Counsellor-at-Law, 1770-1778,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 9, no. 2 (1885), p. 186.

[32] Allen Bowman, The Morale of the American Revolutionary Army (Washington, D.C.: American council of Public Affairs, 1943), p. 16; Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Huntington, November 7, 1780, Julian P. Boyd, Lyman H. Butterfield, Mina R. Bryan et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 4, p. 99; Charles Davis, A Brief History of the North Carolina Troops on the Continental Establishment in the War of the Revolution, with a Register of Officers of the Same. Also a Sketch of the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati from its Organization in 1783 to its So-Called dissolution after 1790, by Henry Bellas (Philadelphia, n. p., 1896), p. 30.

[33] Edmund Pendleton to James Madison, December 9, 1782, William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachel et. al., eds. The Papers of James Madison, 14 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962- ), vol. 5, p. 382; Joseph Bernardo and Eugene H. Bacon, American Military Policy; Its Development Since 1775,  2nd Ed. (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Company, 1961), p. 26; Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution 1775-1780 (New York: Macmillan company, 1901),  pp. 300, 309; Arthur J. Alexander, “How Maryland Tried to Raise Her Continental Quota,” Maryland Historical Magazine, vol. 42, no. 3 (September 1947), p. 193; Browne, et al., eds.  Archives of Maryland, vol. 43, pp. 35, 94; Hamilton J. Eckenrode, The Revolution in Virginia (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1916), p. 253; Arthur J. Alexander, “Desertion and Its Punishment in Revolutionary Virginia,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, vol. 3 no. 3 (July 1946), p. 397.

[34] W[illiam] Smallwood’s Instruction to the Colonels, February 19, 1782, Calendar of the General Otho Holland Williams Papers in the Maryland Historical Society, p. 61.

[35] Lincoln, The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety, With an Appendix, p. 593; Delaware Public Archives Commission,  Delaware Archives, Revolutionary War, vol. 1, p. 33; Calendar of Historical Manuscripts. Relating to the War of the Revolution, in the Office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N. Y., 2 vols. (Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, Printers, 1868), vol. 2,  p. 11; Charles Campbell, The Orderly Book of That Portion of the American Army Stationed at or near Williamsburg, Va., Under the Command of General Andrew Lewis, from March 18th, 1776, to August 28th, 1776, Printed from the Original Manuscript, with Notes and Introduction, Historical Documents from the Old Dominion, No. 1 (Richmond: privately printed, 1860),  p. 33.

[36] George Washington to Alexander Spotswood, April 30, 1777, Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of Washington, vol. 7, p. 495; Instructions to Officers of Light Dragoons, December 30, 1777, ibid., vol. 10, p. 230; Nathanael Greene to Thomas Jefferson, January 1, 1781, Julian P. Boyd, Lyman H. Butterfield, Mina R. Bryan et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 4, pp. 288-289.

[37] Graydon, Memoirs, p. 181; “Notes and Queries,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 25, no. 4 (1901), pp. 578-579; John C. Miller, Triumph of Freedom 1775-1783 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1948), p. 506.

[38] Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 8, pp. 539, 630.

[39] Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 9, pp. 1023-1026.

[40] James L. Whitehead, ed., “The Autobiography of Peter Stephen DuPonceau, “The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 63, no. 2 (April 1939), pp. 201-202;  Ford, et al, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 10, p. 50; John Laurens to Henry Laurens, February 28, 1778, William Gilmore Simms, The Army Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens in the Years 1777-8, pp. 131-132; Same to same, March 9, 1778, ibid., pp. 137-138.

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