Category «Armies»

America’s First African American Military Unit: Ethiopian Brigade in the American Revolution by Harry Schenawolf

The Ethiopian Brigade was the brainchild of John Murray, the 4th Earl of Dunmore, Royal Governor Lord Dunmore of Virginia. On November 7, 1775, he issued a proclamation that rattled the chains of slavery; that which fueled the economy of both the northern and southern thirteen rebellious British Colonies in North America.   Open warfare had …

British Army Command & Structure in the American Revolution – Grenadier & Light Infantry Battalions by Harry Schenawolf

Intro The French and Indian War in the North American Colonies (Seven Years War in Europe) posed unique circumstances that required the British officers who fought in America to consider changes in their tactics and army’s structure.  Gone were the windswept fields where large bodies of troops faced each other over open ground.  Skirmishes and …

Cockades in Washington’s Army by Harry Schenawolf

Prior to the Battle of Long Island, the general orders issued by supreme commander General George Washington on August 20th, 1776 included instructions detailing the use of cockades. This was early in the war when the rebellious colonists’ main army was basically made up of militias, still in civilian attire. The section read:  ‘As the …

Uniform of the British Army Soldier during the American Revolution by Harry Schenawolf

At the time of the American Revolution the British Army was not overly concerned with efficiency in the common soldiers’ attire. They had yet to equate the value of utility and practicality with what they required their enlisted men wear and carry into battle. Appearance was of far more concern than adaptability. During the Seven …

Red Coat vs. Patriot: A Comparison by Harry Schenawolf

If you were to ask someone on the street what was the ordinary British soldier was like during King George’s time, he might  say something like: Dregs, scoundrels, scum from the streets of London, debtors, drunks, common criminals or sweepings from the slums of Liverpool, men who were subjected to the lash for the simplest …

American Forces Chain of Command – Start of the New York Campaign 1776 by Harry Schenawolf

When the British abandoned Boston, George Washington and his generals knew King George was far from listening to the colonist’s demands. They would be back, and in force. But where? All information and common sense pointed to New York City. Though smaller in size than Philadelphia and not the center of the fledgling rebel government, …

Dutch Ovens in the Army

On October 18th, 1776, at first light, Colonel John Glover stood atop a hill and raised his spy-glass to look out over the harbor of Pell’s Point, NY along the Long Island Sound.  He was flabbergasted.  He saw what looked like upwards of over two hundred British ships sitting off shore.  General William Howe was …

Washington’s Homespun Army

There were no great suppliers in 1775 vying for contracts to supply clothing or make uniforms for the Continental Army. If there were, there certainly was no money to pay them. Washington and others in the Second Congress were too concerned with providing enough shell, shot and other armaments with which to wage war. By …

Washington’s Staff: Adjunct General

In Washington’s army, the role of Adjunct General was to keep all records. All of Washington’s orders were sent though the Adjunct and within the Adjunct’s department, they were registered, made official, and handwritten copies were made. He received multiple general instructions from Washington on a daily basis, whereupon he issued the necessary orders to …

Washington’s Staff: Major General of the Day

The Continental Army of 1776 did not have a chief of staff, one officer charged with making the commander’s requests known. In Washington’s army, one of the major generals was given the assignment each day as “Major General of the Day.”This officer took on many of the Commander-in-Chief’s routine duties, which allowed General Washington to …