"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002

The Continental Army

photo of exhibit section
In this photo:
CONTINENTAL ARMY ACCOUTERMENTS including a COCKED HAT, MUSKETS, DRUMSTICKS and FIFE, 1763 PISTOL, POWDER HORNS, CANTEEN, CARTRIDGE BOX, SHOT POUCH and PIKES (trench spears). At lower left, the artifact that looks like a dumbbell is CANNON BAR SHOT - heavy iron shaped to rotate in flight for severe damage to a ship's rigging or to disrupt formations of men on land.
  On loan from the collection of:
    --Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence RI
    --Claude and Jeanne Harkins
    --Andy Ball, Des Moines IA
    --Robert G. Oswald
--State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines IA
ARTWORK (reproductions) depicting a Continental drummer boy, a soldier and his equipment, and the Continental Army retreating across New Jersey

Strategy, Tactics, and Discipline

Warfare in the 1700s positioned thousands of soldiers on huge battlefields. Troops marched shoulder to shoulder in cadence to fife and drum signals toward musket fire and bursting cannons, then ultimately charged with fixed bayonets. The superbly trained and equipped forces of England expected a short war.

The Continental Army, however, suffered from lack of experience and discipline, as well as deficiencies in clothing, food, ammunition, and weapons! General Washington soon strategized a "protracted war" that allowed his weak army to combat Britain's powerful forces through retreats, defensive maneuvers, surprise attacks, and the spread of disinformation.


A Confederation
The Continental Army (You are here)
The Continental Navy
  Father of the Navy--John Paul Jones
Fate of America
  Commander-In-Chief, George Washington
  Official Flag


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