Continental Army

A new look at a famous Revolutionary figure questions whether history’s long-standing judgment is accurate

AT 9 O’CLOCK ON THE morning of September 25, 1775, a French Canadian habitant banged on the main gate of Montreal. The Americans were coming, he blurted breathlessly to a British officer. Read more >>

How Baron von Steuben used a tough winter to make a solid army out of a collection of untrained volunteers

On the first day of December, 1777, a group of four foreign gentlemen landed from the French ship Le Flamand at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Read more >>

How tough Henry Knox hauled a train of cannon over wintry trails to help drive the British away from Boston

How a lying poseur from Prussia gave America its army

There was a kernel of truth in the drama. Friedrich von Steuben was a Prussian soldier who had served with distinction in the Seven Years’ War and had become an aide-de-camp to Frederick the Great. But he had never advanced beyond the rank of captain. Read more >>

Why a 200-year-old decoration offers evidence in the controversy surrounding the Hiroshima bombing.

The war was over and it was settled (after much negotiation) that the British rear guard would leave New York on December 4. George Washington’s work was done. Read more >>

Encamped above the Hudson for the last, hard winter of the Revolution, the officers of the Continental Army began to talk mutiny. It would be up to their harried commander to defend the most precious principle of the infant nation—the supremacy of civilian rule .

Sunday, October 27, 1782. Mist and intermittent sheets of cold rain shrouded the granite spine of Butter Hill as it stretched west from the Hudson River above West Point toward the distant Shawangunk mountain range. Read more >>

He was Irish, but with neither the proverbial charm nor the luck. Generals are not much known for the former quality, but the latter, as Napoleon suggested, is one no successful commander can be without. And John Sullivan was an officer whom luck simply passed by.

He was Irish, but with neither the proverbial charm nor the luck. Generals are not much known for the former quality, but the latter, as Napoleon suggested, is one no successful commander can be without. And John Sullivan was an officer whom luck simply passed by. Read more >>

and how, a decade after the Revolution, a melodramatic rescue attempt, involving a grateful young American, went awry

Early on the afternoon of June 13, 1777, a French vessel slipped into an isolated inlet on the coast of South Carolina and dropped anchor. Read more >>

Who today remembers John Paulding, Isaac Van Wert, or
David Williams? Yet for a century they were renowned as the
rustic militiamen who captured Major John André

Before September 23, 1780, the three seemed unlikely stuff for heroes. But on that day Major John André came their way, and fame for the trio followed. Read more >>
Although the bicentennial of American independence is just over a year away, it is the unhappy fact that the United States has not yet expressed the slightest appreciation to those who did the most to make that independence possible. Read more >>

Credited with shouting “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” at Bunker Hill, he was perhaps the most experienced general in the American army. But “Old Put” was not without his faults.

In the early summer of 1775, when the time came to appoint major generals to serve with George Washington in the Continental Army, Congress voted unanimously that Israel Putnam was to be one of them. Read more >>

Second in a series of paintings for
AMERICAN HERITAGE

Mid-October of 1776 found a badly beaten American army in full retreat from Manhattan Island into the forests and farmlands of Westchester County. Read more >>

“The damn rebels form well”

When British dragoons captured this brilliant and ambitious general, it put an end to his ambition to replace Washington as commander-in-chief.
One acquaintance nicknamed him Naso, for the long beak that dominated his dark, pinched face. Mohawk warriors, with whom he lived during the French and Indian War, called him Ounewaterika, or “Boiling Water”—a name that only partially suggested his disposition. Read more >>

In reprisal for a Tory atrocity, Washington ordered the hanging of a captive British officer chosen by lot. He was nineteen.

Just what moved those Revolutionary War officers to form the Society of the Cincinnati, America’s first veterans’ organization? Some said it was treason

Had a tempest not thwarted his plans, George Washington might have lost the Revolution in the first major operation he commanded

That George Washington drove the British out of Boston in early March 1776 is known to almost every schoolboy who has studied the American Revolution, but a disturbing aspect of this crucial event is not recognized even by most of the experts. Read more >>

Three times John Glover’s Marblehead fishermen saved Washington’s army; in a final battle, the “amphibious regiment” rowed him to victory across the Delaware