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This is a list of units of the Continental Army, the national army of the United States during the American Revolutionary War. Created after the war had already begun, the army was always a work in progress, and was reorganized on several occasions during the war.

The Continental Congress created the Continental Army on 15 June 1775, by adopting the militia forces already conducting the Siege of Boston as the first units of the army. Because most enlistments expired at the end of that year, a new army was created in 1776 with units from all of the thirteen states. Most enlistments in this army also expired at the end of the year, and so in 1777 soldiers were enlisted to serve three years or the duration of the war. In 1777, 119 regiments were fielded; thereafter the structure of the army remained basically the same, with units consolidated as needed.

Because of manpower shortages, the Continental Army often worked in conjunction with state-controlled militia units, which were called out for short periods as needed.

Continental Army of 1775Edit

The Continental Congress created the Continental Army on 14 June 1775, by adopting the militia forces already conducting the Siege of Boston as the first units of the army. Upon arrival outside Boston, General George Washington organized this body of more than 22,000 men, known as the Main Army, into three divisions of two brigades each.[1]

The Congress also extended participation in the Main Army beyond New England by authorizing companies of "expert rifleman" from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Pennsylvania frontiersman were so eager to participate that Pennsylvania's quota of companies was increased and organized as a regiment known as the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment. The 13 rifle companies from these three colonies hurried to Boston.[2] They were present in August, and in September three of the companies were attached to the Canadian Expedition under Benedict Arnold.[3]

Meanwhile, a second force in New York under Major General Philip Schuyler was designated the New York Department, later known as the Northern Department. Schuyler's smaller army was created to defend New York, but he was instructed by the Continental Congress to launch an (ultimately disastrous) preemptive invasion of Canada, which began on 31 August 1775.[4]

Main ArmyEdit

General George Washington

Right Wing
1st (Ward's) Division (Major General Artemas Ward)
1st (Thomas') Brigade (Brigadier General John Thomas).
3d (Spencer's) Brigade (Brigadier General Joseph Spencer).
Left Wing
2d (Lee's) Division (Major General Charles Lee)
5th (Sullivan's) Brigade (Brigadier General John Sullivan).
6th (Greene's) Brigade (Brigadier General Nathanael Greene)
Reserve
3d (Putnam's) Division (Major General Israel Putnam)
2d (Heath's) Brigade (Brigadier General William Heath)
4th Brigade (vacant) (commanded by Putnam because Seth Pomeroy declined his commission)
Main Army infantry units not assigned to a brigade
Main Army artillery units

New York DepartmentEdit

Established 25 June 1775.[5] Merged into Middle Department, 27 February 1776.[6]

Major General Philip Schuyler

New York Department artillery units

Provincial units attached to New York Department

Continental Army of 1776Edit

The enlistments of most soldiers in the Continental Army of 1775 expired on the last day of the year. On 1 January 1776, a new army was established. General Washington had submitted recommendations for reorganization to the Continental Congress almost immediately after accepting the position of Commander-in-Chief, but these took time to consider and implement. Despite attempts to broaden the recruiting base beyond New England, the 1776 army remained skewed toward the Northeast both in terms of its composition and geographical focus.

Main ArmyEdit

The bulk of the newly organized Main Army consisted of 27 infantry regiments, numbered in order of the seniority of the colonel of each regiment. These regiments were created by reorganizing existing units and by encouraging soldiers to reenlist for another year. Each new regiment comprised eight companies, which at full strength fielded a total of 728 men. Of these, 640 provided the firepower (privates and corporals with muskets); the remaining were officers and staff, including three field officers (a colonel, lieutenant colonel, and major), a captain for each company, a surgeon, a quartermaster, drummers, etc.[7]

Washington announced a new organization of the Main Army in General Orders, 24 January 1776.[8] The organization was similar to the organization of 1775, but with new regiments.

General George Washington

Right Wing
1st (Ward's) Division (Major General Artemas Ward)
1st (Thomas') Brigade (Brigadier General John Thomas).
3d (Spencer's) Brigade (Brigadier General Joseph Spencer).
Left Wing
2d (Lee's) Division (Major General Charles Lee)
5th (Sullivan's) Brigade (Brigadier General John Sullivan).
6th (Greene's) Brigade (Brigadier General Nathanael Greene)
Reserve
3d (Putnam's) Division (Major General Israel Putnam)
2d (Heath's) Brigade (Brigadier General William Heath).
4th Brigade (vacant) (Brigadier General Joseph Frye, 16 February 1776).[9]
Main Army infantry units not assigned to a brigade
Main Army artillery units

Canadian DepartmentEdit

Established 17 January 1776.[10] Discontinued 8 July 1776.[11]

In January 1776, Congress split up the New York Department, designating the force that had invaded Canada as the Canadian Department. Units were consolidated, and a second regiment of Canadians was recruited. After Washington learned of Brigadier General Richard Montgomery's death and defeat at the Battle of Quebec, three New England units intended as militia were instead raised as Continental regiments and sent to Canada.

At Quebec, Major General John Thomas took command of Canadian Department in May 1776. Additional reinforcements from the Main Army led by Brigadier General William Thompson arrived in mid May, but were immediately disabled by an outbreak of smallpox. After General Thomas succumbed on 2 June, Brigadier General John Sullivan, who had arrived with a second group of reinforcements on 31 May, took command of the department. When British Major General John Burgoyne arrived in Quebec with reinforcements, the Americans withdrew to Crown Point by July 1776. Major General Horatio Gates arrived to take command of the Canadian Department, but with no troops in Canada, the department ceased to exist. Gates, under Schuyler's Northern Department, organized 15 Continental units as the "Northern Army" in the Fort Ticonderoga area. The remaining units, some of them in poor shape after service in Canada, were retained by Schuyler as a rear echelon guarding the Mohawk River valley.[12]

Initial units
Continental Regiments authorized by Washington on 19 January 1776 after Montgomery's defeat (31 December 1775)
Reinforcements dispatched from New York City on 15 April 1776 under Brigadier General William Thompson
Reinforcements dispatched from New York City on 27 April 1776 under Brigadier General John Sullivan
Additional units raised later in the year

Northern DepartmentEdit

Established from Middle Department, 14 April 1776.[13] Continued to 15 January 1783.[14]

Major General Philip Schuyler

Northern Department artillery units

Eastern DepartmentEdit

Established 4 April 1776.[15] Discontinued November 1779.[16]

Following the British evacuation of Boston, Massachusetts, on 17 March 1776, Washington led the Continental Army (the Main Army) to New York City. He left a Continental garrison at Boston, under Major General Artemas Ward, in case the British should return. In the summer of 1776 it became clear to Washington that the main British effort would be directed against New York City and northern New York, and he reached the conclusion that the Continental regiments at Boston were more urgently needed elsewhere. He therefore ordered them to reinforce either his own army or the Northern Army under Major General Philip Schuyler.[17] The Eastern Department became a secondary theater until the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778.

Rhode Island Garrison Regiments.

Two regiments of Rhode Island state troops which served with the Continental Army in 1776, but were not placed on the Continental establishment.[19]

Middle DepartmentEdit

Established 27 February 1776.[20] Continued to close of war.[21]

The Middle Department was originally created as a military administrative district embracing New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. Washington assumed direct command of the department when he established his headquarters in New York City in April 1776. As a result, New York and the Northern Department became practically coextensive.[22] This change also left Washington holding three posts at once: Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, Commanding General of the field army under his immediate command, the Main Army, and Commanding General of the Middle Department.

State units serving with the Main Army in 1776.
  • Pennsylvania State Musketry Battalion (Colonel Samuel John Atlee; consolidated with the Pennsylvania State Rifle Regiment on 30 April 1777 to form the Pennsylvania State Regiment of Foot; allotted to the Continental Army on 12 November 1777 and redesignated the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment).
  • Pennsylvania State Rifle Regiment (Colonel Samuel Miles; consolidated with the Pennsylvania State Musketry Battalion on 30 April 1777 to form the Pennsylvania State Regiment of Foot; allotted to the Continental Army on 12 November 1777 and redesignated the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment).

Southern DepartmentEdit

Established 27 February 1776.[23] Continued to close of war.[24]

As early as 26 June 1775, some eight weeks after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Continental Congress voted to support 1,000 men in North Carolina. These were organized as the 1st and 2d North Carolina Regiments of 1775. On 1 November of that year, Congress took responsibility for two existing provincial regiments in Virginia: the 1st and 2d Virginia Regiments of 1775; and on 4 November 1775 (the date on which it authorized the 27 numbered Continental regiments of 1776) the Congress authorized two battalions from South Carolina and one battalion form Georgia for the Continental Army. South Carolina then transferred (or "loaned" - the matter was disputed) the 1st and 2d South Carolina Regiments to the Continental Army. Finally, four more regiments were ordered from Virginia on 28 December 1775.

In January 1776 still more Continental regiments were authorized in Virginia, and an overhead organization was becoming increasingly necessary to administer the growing number of Continental troops in the South. The Southern Army, as the troops in the Southern Department were known, met its first major test successfully when it repulsed the British attack on Charleston, South Carolina, on 28 June 1776.

Southern Department cavalry units

Continental Army, 1777–1783Edit

The Continental Army of 1777 was a result of several critical reforms and political decisions that came about when it was apparent that the British were sending massive forces to put an end to the Revolution. In order to create a more stable, better trained army that would not cease to exist at the end of each year — the army had nearly collapsed at the end of 1776 — men were now enlisted for the duration of the war. Because many men were reluctant to enlist for such an indefinite period, Congress also offered the alternative of a three–year enlistment.[25]

On 16 September 1776, the Continental Congress passed the "eighty-eight battalion resolve," which called for each state to contribute regiments in proportion to their population. (The terms regiment and battalion were virtually interchangeable at that time since nearly every Continental Army regiment consisted of a single battalion). The quota of infantry regiments was fixed at 15 each from Massachusetts and Virginia, 12 from Pennsylvania, 9 from North Carolina, 8 each from Connecticut and Maryland, 6 from South Carolina, 4 each from New York and New Jersey, 3 from New Hampshire, 2 from Rhode Island, and 1 each from Delaware and Georgia.[26] Each state was expected to arm, clothe, and equip its regiments. A state's quota of infantry regiments was collectively known as that state's "line", such as the Pennsylvania Line. A state "line" was an administrative designation and not a tactical formation like a brigade or division.[27]

Washington and his generals believed that 88 regiments were insufficient to challenge the British Army, and so on 27 December 1776, Congress gave Washington the authority to raise additional regiments which were placed directly under his control and not under any state. These additional units consisted of 16 infantry regiments, three artillery regiments, a corps of engineers, and 3,000 light horsemen. Including three other regiments previously authorized by Congress (the two Canadian regiments and Seth Warner's regiment of Green Mountain Boys), 110 regiments were authorized for the Continental Army of 1777. Some states exceeded their quotas, and so 119 regiments were actually fielded in 1777.[28]

The decisions implemented in 1777 determined the basic organizational structure of the Continental Army for the duration of the war. Although the army raised in 1777 was the army which served until the close of the war, the Continental Army of 1777 underwent a general reorganization on three important occasions.

On 27 May 1778 Congress reduced the quota of infantry regiments in the state lines to 80. The new regiments were smaller, and for the first time they included a permanent light infantry company. The quota of infantry regiments was so adjusted that Massachusetts provided 15, Pennsylvania and Virginia each provided 11, Connecticut and Maryland each provided 8, North Carolina and South Carolina each provided 6, New York provided 5, New Hampshire and New Jersey each provided 3, Rhode Island provided 2, and Delaware and Georgia each provided 1. Congress also consolidated some of the weaker Additional Continental Regiments. Because this reorganization was proposed just as the campaign of 1778 was about to begin, it was implemented gradually over the next ten months, and finalized on 9 March 1779.[29]

In October 1780, with the three-year enlistments of 1777 soon to expire, the Continental Congress ordered a new organization of the Continental Army, to become effective on 1 January 1781. The number of infantry regiments was reduced to 50 (including Hazen’s 2d Canadian Regiment, which was retained as the Canadian Regiment). The new regiments were larger, and for the first time they included a regimental depot. The quota of infantry regiments was fixed at 10 from Massachusetts, 8 from Virginia, 6 from Pennsylvania, 5 each from Connecticut and Maryland, 4 from North Carolina, 2 each from New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina, and 1 each from Rhode Island, Delaware, and Georgia. The few Additional Continental Regiments that had survived to this late date were either allotted to a state line or disbanded. The support of the Continental Army’s cavalry and artillery regiments was also made the responsibility of a definite state for the first time, but they retained their status as separate branches of the Continental Army.

As of 1 January 1781, the states were made responsible for regiments in other branches as follows: 1st and 3d Light Dragoons (Legionary Corps): Virginia; 2d Light Dragoons (Legionary Corps): Connecticut; and 4th Light Dragoons (Legionary Corps): Pennsylvania — 1st Artillery: Virginia; 2d Artillery: New York; 3d Artillery: Massachusetts; and 4th Artillery: Pennsylvania.

Thus the total number of regiments was reduced to 61. This number included 50 infantry regiments, 4 cavalry regiments (which were partly dismounted and therefore designated "legionary corps"), 4 artillery regiments, 2 partisan corps, and 1 artificer regiment.[30]

Finally, on 7 August 1782, the Continental Congress resolved that the Continental Army should be so reduced that, if possible, all its units should contain at least 500 rank and file. This reorganization was to become effective on 1 January 1783. Under this resolve, the infantry of the Continental Army was reorganized to consist of 1 regiment and 1 battalion (4 companies) from New Hampshire (effected 1 March 1783), 8 regiments from Massachusetts, 1 battalion (6 companies) from Rhode Island, 3 regiments from Connecticut, 2 regiments from New York, 1 regiment and 1 battalion (4 companies) from New Jersey (effected 1 March 1783), 3 regiments from Pennsylvania, 1 regiment (2 companies) from Delaware, 2 regiments from Maryland, 2 regiments from Virginia, 1 regiment and 1 battalion from North Carolina, 2 regiments from South Carolina, and 1 regiment (3 companies) from Georgia. In this instance, with some exceptions, the term “battalion” was used to designate a unit with less than the regulation nine companies.[31]

State linesEdit

The Connecticut Line was assigned a quota of 8 infantry regiments for 1777 and 1779, reduced to 5 infantry regiments for 1781.

The Delaware Line was assigned a quota of one infantry regiment for 1777, 1779, and 1781.

The Georgia Line was assigned a quota of one infantry regiment for 1777, 1779, and 1781. Three infantry regiments in excess of the quota were raised outside Georgia.

The Maryland Line was assigned a quota of 8 infantry regiments for 1777 and 1779, reduced to 5 infantry regiments for 1781. (Maryland counted those portions of the German Battalion and the Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment that were raised in Maryland as the equivalent of an 8th Maryland regiment).

The Massachusetts Line was assigned a quota of 15 infantry regiments for 1777 and 1779, reduced to 10 infantry regiments for 1781.

The New Hampshire Line was assigned a quota of 3 infantry regiments for 1777 and 1779, reduced to 2 infantry regiments for 1781.

  • 1st New Hampshire Regiment (1777) (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated New Hampshire Battalion, 22 June 1783. Disbanded 1 January 1784).
  • 2nd New Hampshire Regiment (1777) (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated New Hampshire Battalion 1 March 1783. Consolidated with 1st New Hampshire Regiment 22 June 1783).
  • 3rd New Hampshire Regiment (1777) (Authorized 16 September 1776. Disbanded 1 January 1781).

The New Jersey Line was assigned a quota of 4 infantry regiments for 1777, reduced to 3 infantry regiments for 1779, and to 2 infantry regiments for 1781.

The New York Line was assigned a quota of 4 infantry regiments for 1777, increased to 5 infantry regiments for 1779, and reduced to 2 infantry regiments for 1781.

  • 1st New York Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Disbanded 15 November 1783).
  • 2nd New York Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Disbanded 15 November 1783).
  • 3rd New York Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Consolidated with 1st New York Regiment 1 January 1781).
  • 4th New York Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Consolidated with 2nd New York Regiment 1 January 1781).
  • 5th New York Regiment (Authorized 30 November 1776. Consolidated with 2nd New York Regiment 1 January 1781).

The North Carolina Line was assigned a quota of 9 infantry regiments for 1777, reduced to 6 infantry regiments for 1779, and to 4 infantry regiments for 1781.

The Pennsylvania Line was assigned a quota of 12 infantry regiments for 1777, reduced to 11 infantry regiments for 1779, and to 6 infantry regiments for 1781.

The Rhode Island Line was assigned a quota of 2 infantry regiments for 1777 and 1779, reduced to 1 infantry regiment for 1781.

  • 1st Rhode Island Regiment (1777) (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated Rhode Island Regiment 1 January 1781. Redesignated Rhode Island Battalion 1 March 1783. Disbanded 25 December 1783).
  • 2nd Rhode Island Regiment (1777) (Authorized 16 September 1776. Consolidated with 1st Rhode Island Regiment 1 January 1781).

The South Carolina Line was assigned a quota of 6 infantry regiments for 1777 and 1779, reduced to 2 infantry regiments for 1781. South Carolina raised one of its regiments as an artillery regiment.

The Virginia Line was assigned a quota of 15 infantry regiments for 1777, reduced to 11 infantry regiments for 1779, and to 8 infantry regiments for 1781.

  • 1st Virginia Regiment (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 15 November 1783).
  • 2nd Virginia Regiment (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 15 November 1783).
  • 3rd Virginia Regiment (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 1 January 1783).
  • 4th Virginia Regiment (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 1 January 1783).
  • 5th Virginia Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Consolidated with 3rd Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 6th Virginia Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Consolidated with 2nd Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 7th Virginia Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated 5th Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 8th Virginia Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Consolidated with 4th Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 9th Virginia Regiment (1777) (Reauthorized 16 September 1776. Consolidated with 1st Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 10th Virginia Regiment (1777) (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated 6th Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 11th Virginia Regiment (1777) (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated 7th Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 12th Virginia Regiment (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated 8th Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 13th Virginia Regiment (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated 9th Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 14th Virginia Regiment (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated 10th Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 15th Virginia Regiment (Authorized 16 September 1776. Redesignated 11th Virginia Regiment, 12 May 1779).
  • 5th Virginia Regiment (1779) (Constituted in Virginia Line by redesignation of 7th Virginia Regiment of 1777. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 1 January 1783).
  • 6th Virginia Regiment (1779) (Constituted in Virginia Line by redesignation of 10th Virginia Regiment of 1777. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 1 January 1783).
  • 7th Virginia Regiment (1779) (Constituted in Virginia Line by redesignation of 11th Virginia Regiment of 1777. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 1 January 1781).
  • 8th Virginia Regiment (1779) (Constituted in Virginia Line by redesignation of 12th Virginia Regiment of 1777. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 1 January 1783).
  • 9th Virginia Regiment (1779) (Constituted in Virginia Line by redesignation of 13th Virginia Regiment of 1777. Redesignated 7th Virginia Regiment, 1 January 1781).
  • 10th Virginia Regiment (1779) (Constituted in Virginia Line by redesignation of 14th Virginia Regiment of 1777. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 1 January 1781).
  • 11th Virginia Regiment (1779) (Constituted in Virginia Line by redesignation of 15th Virginia Regiment of 1777. Captured in Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780. Disbanded 1 January 1781).
  • 7th Virginia Regiment (1781) (Constituted in Virginia Line by redesignation of 9th Virginia Regiment of 1779. Disbanded 1 January 1783).

"Additional" regimentsEdit

Units designated "Additional Continental Regiments" were unnumbered infantry regiments authorized in 1777 in addition to the 88 regiments previously authorized by Congress. These units were raised "at large" and not part of any state's quota, although some were later adopted into state lines. Sixteen regiments were authorized, but because of manpower shortages Washington attempted to raise only 15. Two of these 15 were never organized because their colonels declined the position in favor of other commands, leaving 13 "additional" regiments. Congress subsequently authorized one more "additional" regiment, Sheppard's Additional Continental Regiment, but it was absorbed into the weak North Carolina line within a year.[34]

  1. Forman's Additional Continental Regiment (New Jersey & Maryland; Colonel David Forman: 12 January 1777 to 1 July 1778; consolidated with Spencer's Additional Continental Regiment on 1 April 1779).
  2. Gist's Additional Continental Regiment (Virginia & Maryland; Colonel Nathaniel Gist: 11 January 1777 to 1 January 1781; captured in the Siege of Charleston, 12 May 1780; disbanded on 1 January 1781).
  3. Grayson's Additional Continental Regiment (Virginia, Maryland, & Delaware; Colonel William Grayson: 11 January 1777 to 22 April 1779; consolidated with Gist's Additional Continental Regiment on 22 April 1779).
  4. Hartley's Additional Continental Regiment (Pennsylvania, Maryland, & Delaware; Colonel Thomas Hartley: 1 January 1777 to 16 December 1778; allotted to the Pennsylvania Line on 27 March 1778; designated the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment ("New Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment") on 13 January 1779; consolidated with the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment on 17 January 1781).
  5. Henley's Additional Continental Regiment (Massachusetts; Colonel David Henley: 1 January 1777 to 9 April 1779; consolidated with Henry Jackson's Additional Continental Regiment on 9 April 1779).
  6. Henry Jackson's Additional Continental Regiment (Massachusetts; Colonel Henry Jackson: 12 January 1777 to 23 July 1780; redesignated the 16th Massachusetts Regiment on 24 July 1780)).
  7. Lee's Additional Continental Regiment (Massachusetts; Colonel William Raymond Lee: 1 January 1777 to 24 January 1778; field commander, Lieutenant Colonel William Stephens Smith, 24 January 1778 to 9 April 1779; consolidated with Henry Jackson's Additional Continental Regiment on 9 April 1779).
  8. Malcolm's Additional Continental Regiment (New York & Pennsylvania; Colonel William Malcolm: 30 April 1777 to 22 April 1779; broken up in 1779, units sent to the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment and Spencer's Additional Continental Regiment).
  9. Patton's Additional Continental Regiment (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, & Delaware; Colonel John Patton: 11 January 1777 to 3 February 1778; field commanders: Lieutenant Colonel John Park to 29 October 1778; Major Joseph Prowell to 13 January 1779; consolidated with Hartley's Additional Continental Regiment on 13 January 1779).
  10. Sheppard's Additional Continental Regiment (North Carolina; unofficially designated the 10th North Carolina Regiment; Colonel Abraham Sheppard: 17 April 1777 to 1 June 1778; disbanded 1778).
  11. Sherburne's Additional Continental Regiment (Rhode Island & Connecticut; Colonel Henry Sherburne: 12 January 1777 to 1 January 1781; disbanded in 1780).
  12. Spencer's Additional Continental Regiment (New Jersey & Pennsylvania; Colonel Oliver Spencer: 15 January 1777 to 1 January 1781; disbanded in 1781).
  13. Thruston's Additional Continental Regiment (Virginia; Colonel Charles Minn Thruston: 15 January 1777 to 1 January 1779; consolidated with Gist's Additional Continental Regiment on 22 April 1779).
  14. Webb's Additional Continental Regiment (Connecticut; Colonel Samuel Blatchley Webb: 1 January 1777 to 1 January 1781; adopted into the Connecticut Line on 24 July 1780 as the 9th Connecticut Regiment; consolidated with the 2d Connecticut Regiment on 1 January 1781).

Extra infantry unitsEdit

Certain infantry units existed in the Continental Army throughout the war which were neither one of the 88 regiments of infantry of the line authorized by the Continental Congress on 16 September 1776, nor one of the 16 additional regiments which the Congress authorized on 27 December 1776 and which Washington raised early in 1777. Historically, these infantry units have been designated the "extra" regiments and corps of the Continental Army.[35]

Continental Light DragoonsEdit

The Continental Corps of Light Dragoons was created in 1777 as an element of the third establishment of the Continental Army, raised for the duration of the war. Its first commander was Casimir Pulaski, who was appointed a brigadier general in the Continental Army on 15 September 1777. General Pulaski withdrew from this assignment on 28 March 1778 to organize a partisan corps, Pulaski's Legion, and no Chief of Cavalry was appointed to succeed him.

Continental ArtilleryEdit

In 1777 the Continenal Artillery was increased from a single regiment to a brigade of four regiments, under Henry Knox. Knox was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on 27 December 1776, and to the rank of major general on 15 November 1781. He served as Washington's Chief of Artillery to the close of the war.

Partisan CorpsEdit

Partisan corps were neither light cavalry nor light infantry but usually a combination of the two, mainly intended to engage in guerrilla warfare.

  • Ottendorf's Corps (Major Nicholas Dietrich, Baron de Ottendorf: 5 December 1776 to 11 June 1777; Lieutenant Colonel Charles Armand Tuffin, Marquis de la Rouerie: 11 June 1777 to 25 June 1778. Armand's unit, formerly Ottendorf's Corps, was expanded to form Armand's Legion;[36] the rest became "independent Dragoons").
  • Armand's Legion, also designated "1st Partisan Corps" on 1 January 1781 (Colonel Charles Armand Tuffin, Marquis de la Rouerie: 25 June 1778 to close of war).
  • Lee's Legion, also designated "2nd Partisan Corps" on 1 January 1781 (Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee: Major, 7 April 1778; Lieutenant Colonel, 6 November 1780; served to close of war).
  • Pulaski's Legion (Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski: 28 March 1778 to 11 October 1779. Pulaski died of wounds received at Savannah. Pulaski's Legion was consolidated with Armand's Legion on 23 February 1780).

Provost CorpsEdit

The Provost Corps in the Continental Army consisted of one mounted troop. However, the troop performed the duties of military police rather than of cavalry. They were the forerunners of the US Military Police Corps. Among them was Von Heer's Provost Troop (the Marechaussee Corps), commanded by Captain Bartholomew Von Heer (1 June 1778; Brevet Major, 30 September 1783; served to close of war).

Invalid CorpsEdit

The Corps of Invalids was a separate branch of the Continental Army. It was composed of Continental Army veterans who had become unfit for field duty but who could still usefully serve as guards for magazines, hospitals, and similar installations. The noncommissioned officers were also supposed to be proficient in mathematics because the corps was intended to serve as a military academy in addition to its other duties. The military academy seems to have been a dead letter, but otherwise the corps carried out its duties.[37]

Continental Army of 1784Edit

1st American Regiment (1783-1784) (Colonel Henry Jackson). {Artillery Company attached to this unit became part of the First American Regiment of 1784-1791-the predecessor of the 3d United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)}

NotesEdit

  1. Wright, Continental Army, 29, 40.
  2. Wright, Continental Army, 24–5.
  3. Wright, Continental Army, 42.
  4. Wright, Continental Army, 41–3.
  5. Fitzpatrick, Writings, III:302-304.
  6. Wright, Continental Army, 82.
  7. Wright, Continental Army, 47, 50.
  8. Fitzpatrick, Writings, IV:275-277.
  9. Wright, Continental Army, 203, 207, 218, 240.
  10. Wright, Continental Army, 60.
  11. Wright, Continental Army, 62.
  12. Wright, Continental Army, 63.
  13. Wright, Continental Army, 84.
  14. Wright, Continental Army, 84; 431.
  15. Fitzpatrick, Writings, IV:467.
  16. Wright, Continental Army, 431.
  17. Fitzpatrick, Writings, VI:219.
  18. Lesser, Sinews, 12.
  19. Berg, Encyclopedia, 106.
  20. Wright, Continental Army, 82.
  21. Wright, Continental Army, 84.
  22. Wright, Continental Army, 82.
  23. Wright, Continental Army, 82.
  24. Wright, Continental Army, 431.
  25. Wright, ’’Continental Army’’, 93.
  26. Wright, ’’Continental Army’’, 93.
  27. Wright, ’’Continental Army’’, 99 fn.
  28. Wright, ’’Continental Army’’, 93.
  29. Wright, ’’Continental Army’’, 146.
  30. Wright, ‘‘Continental Army’’, 157.
  31. Wright, ‘‘Continental Army’’, 176-177.
  32. Wright, Continental Army, 108.
  33. Wright, Continental Army, 108.
  34. Wright, Continental Army, 100–1.
  35. Wright, Continental Army, 319.
  36. Berg, Encyclopedia, 9.
  37. Berg, Encyclopedia, 54-55.

ReferencesEdit

  • Berg, Fred Anderson Encyclopedia of Continental Army Units: Battalions, Regiments, and Independent Corps. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1972.
  • Fitzpatrick, John C. Editor. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources. Available [1] from the University of Virginia website.
  • Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April 1775 to December 1783. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967 (Originally published, 1914).
  • Lesser, Charles H. Editor. The Sinews of Independence: Monthly Strength Reports of the Continental Army. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1976.
  • Wright, Robert K. The Continental Army. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, 1983. Available, in part, online.

External linksEdit

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