Military colours, standards and guidons
In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt some 5,000 years ago. The Roman Empire made battle standards a part of their vast armies, it was formalized in the armies of Europe in the High Middle Ages, with standards being emblazoned with the commander's coat of arms. As armies became trained and adopted set formations, each regiment's ability to keep its formation was critical to its, therefore its army's, success. In the chaos of battle, not least due to the amount of dust and smoke on a battlefield, soldiers needed to be able to determine where their regiment was. Regimental flags are awarded to a regiment by a head of state during a ceremony, they were therefore treated with reverence as they represented the honour and traditions of the regiment. Colours may be inscribed with the names of battles or other symbols representing former achievements.
Regiments tended to adopt "colour guards", composed of experienced or élite soldiers, to protect their colours. As a result, the capture of an enemy's standard was considered as a great feat of arms, they are never capriciously destroyed – when too old to use they are replaced and laid-up in museums, religious buildings and other places of significance to their regiment. However, in most modern armies, standing orders now call for the Colours to be intentionally destroyed if they are in jeopardy of being captured by the enemy. Due to the advent of modern weapons, subsequent changes in tactics, Colours are no longer carried into battle, but continue to be used at events of formal character; each unit of the Argentine Armed Forces, the Argentine National Gendarmerie, the Argentine Federal Police and the Argentine Naval Prefecture bears the national colours, which are the national flag with the unit's name embroidered on it in gold thread. The colours are carried by the unit's junior officer, escorted by two NCOs, except in academies and schools, where it is carried by the top-ranked student of the senior course, escorted by his or her second- and third-ranked classmates.
Each unit has its unique regimental colours. Units which were made part of the Army of the Andes during Argentina's independence war carry the Flag of the Army of the Andes. Units of the Brazilian Armed Forces carry a stand of differing per service; the standard of the Army measures 80 × 120 cm, white with the Army coat of arms in the centre, trimmed with gold fringe. The name of the service is inscribed in gold letters on a green scroll beneath the shield. Above the shield is a knight's helmet with sky blue mantling; the staff is topped by a nickel-plated lance-head finial, 32 cm high. Below the lance-head, there is a cravat divided lengthwise, sky blue and red, with a gold fringe at the end, tied in a bow and fastened with a cockade of blue with the Southern Cross in white stars and blue. Ten red streamers with campaign honours inscribed in sky blue letters are attached below the lance-head; the staff is 212 cm long, not including the lance-head, 3.5 cm in diameter. It is covered in sky blue velvet with a red spiral strip.
The colour belt is 10 cm in width, covered with sky blue velvet with red velvet stripes. The Navy's flag uses dark blue colours, the Air Force flag ultramarine blue. Brazilian military units carry the national flag as a National Colour; this is in the dimensions 90 × 128 cm. It is mounted on the same size staff and with the same finial as the Army standard, but the cravat is divided lengthwise yellow and green, with a gold fringe at the end, tied in a bow and fastened with a cockade of blue with the Cruzeiro do Sul in white stars and green; the staff is covered in green velvet with a yellow spiral strip. The colour belt is 10 cm in width, covered with green velvet with yellow velvet stripes of width and number varying with the rank of the organization's commander. Unit colors differ per service speciality. Units of the Chilean Army carry one main Colour, known as the estandarte de combate; this is the same as the national flag, but with an embroidered star and with the unit designation, honorific title, founding date and place, depending on the unit, other historic information and honours embroidered diagonally across the fly in gold.
The flag is trimmed with gold fringe. It is mounted on a staff with a gilt condor finial. In addition to the military Colour distinguished units, long serving units may carry a second Colour known as a bandera coronela; this is a red field with a large white five-pointed star. In the angles of the star are the names and dates of battle honours surrounded by laurel wreaths, all in gold, while in an arc above the star is the designation of the unit in gold; the flag is surrounded by gold fringe. Since 2017, the 16th Infantry Regiment Talca became the first to sport a blue coloured bandera coronela in honor of its origins as a city guard battalion formed during the War of the Pacific; the Chilean Air Force, the Chilean Navy, the Carabineros de Chile and the Chilean Gendarmerie all use the estandarte de combate as their main colour, do not use the bandera coronela at all. The design is the same as in the Army's; the main state colours of the Military Forces of Colombia and the National Police of Colombia is the Flag of Colombia with the Coat of arms of Colombia in the centre inside a circle with a red border, used by all the services.
These flags carry medals and decorations attached to the flag. The MFC and the NPC uses unit regimental colours a
South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States and the easternmost of the Deep South. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River. South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U. S. Constitution on May 23, 1788. South Carolina became the first state to vote in favor of secession from the Union on December 20, 1860. After the American Civil War, it was readmitted into the United States on June 25, 1868. South Carolina is the 40th most extensive and 23rd most populous U. S. state. Its GDP as of 2013 was $183.6 billion, with an annual growth rate of 3.13%. South Carolina is composed of 46 counties; the capital is Columbia with a 2017 population of 133,114. The Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin metropolitan area is the largest in the state, with a 2017 population estimate of 895,923. South Carolina is named in honor of King Charles I of England, who first formed the English colony, with Carolus being Latin for "Charles".
South Carolina is known for its 187 miles of coastline, beautiful lush gardens, historic sites and Southern plantations, colonial and European cultures, its growing economic development. The state can be divided into three geographic areas. From east to west: the Atlantic coastal plain, the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge Mountains. Locally, the coastal plain is referred to the other two regions as Upstate; the Atlantic Coastal Plain makes up two-thirds of the state. Its eastern border is a chain of tidal and barrier islands; the border between the low country and the up country is defined by the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, which marks the limit of navigable rivers. The state's coastline contains many salt marshes and estuaries, as well as natural ports such as Georgetown and Charleston. An unusual feature of the coastal plain is a large number of Carolina bays, the origins of which are uncertain; the bays tend to be oval. The terrain is flat and the soil is composed of recent sediments such as sand and clay.
Areas with better drainage make excellent farmland. The natural areas of the coastal plain are part of the Middle Atlantic coastal forests ecoregion. Just west of the coastal plain is the Sandhills region; the Sandhills are remnants of coastal dunes from a time when the land was sunken or the oceans were higher. The Upstate region contains the roots of an eroded mountain chain, it is hilly, with thin, stony clay soils, contains few areas suitable for farming. Much of the Piedmont was once farmed. Due to the changing economics of farming, much of the land is now reforested in Loblolly pine for the lumber industry; these forests are part of the Southeastern mixed forests ecoregion. At the southeastern edge of the Piedmont is the fall line, where rivers drop to the coastal plain; the fall line was an important early source of water power. Mills built to harness this resource encouraged the growth of several cities, including the capital, Columbia; the larger rivers are navigable up to the fall line. The northwestern part of the Piedmont is known as the Foothills.
The Cherokee Parkway is a scenic driving route through this area. This is. Highest in elevation is the Blue Ridge Region, containing an escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which continue into North Carolina and Georgia, as part of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina's highest point at 3,560 feet, is in this area. In this area is Caesars Head State Park; the environment here is that of the Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests ecoregion. The Chattooga River, on the border between South Carolina and Georgia, is a favorite whitewater rafting destination. South Carolina has several major lakes covering over 683 square miles. All major lakes in South Carolina are man-made; the following are the lakes listed by size. Lake Marion 110,000 acres Lake Strom Thurmond 71,100 acres Lake Moultrie 60,000 acres Lake Hartwell 56,000 acres Lake Murray 50,000 acres Russell Lake 26,650 acres Lake Keowee 18,372 acres Lake Wylie 13,400 acres Lake Wateree 13,250 acres Lake Greenwood 11,400 acres Lake Jocassee 7,500 acres Lake Bowen Earthquakes in South Carolina demonstrate the greatest frequency along the central coastline of the state, in the Charleston area.
South Carolina averages 10–15 earthquakes a year below magnitude 3. The Charleston Earthquake of 1886 was the largest quake to hit the Southeastern United States; this 7.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed much of the city. Faults in this region are difficult to study at the surface due to thick sedimentation on top of them. Many of the ancient faults are within plates rather than along plate boundaries. South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate, although high-elevation areas in the Upstate area have fewer subtropical characteristics than areas on the Atlantic coastline. In the summer, South Carolina is hot and humid, with daytime temperatures averaging between 86–93 °F in most of the state and overnight lows averaging 70–75 °F on the coast and from 66–73 °F inland. Winter temperatures are much less uniform in South Carolina. Coastal areas of the state have mild winters, with high temperatures approaching an average of 60 °F and overnight lows around 40 °F. Inland, the average January overnight low is around 32 °F i
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America. After 1765, growing philosophical and political differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies. Patriot protests against taxation without representation followed the Stamp Act and escalated into boycotts, which culminated in 1773 with the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, they established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that seized power. British attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord led to open combat on April 19, 1775.
Militia forces besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776, Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army. Concurrently, the Americans failed decisively in an attempt to invade Quebec and raise insurrection against the British. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale at a low ebb. However, victories at Trenton and Princeton restored American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate the New England Colonies. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777. Burgoyne's defeat had drastic consequences. France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France but not as an ally of the United States.
In 1780, the Kingdom of Mysore attacked the British in India, tensions between Great Britain and the Netherlands erupted into open war. In North America, the British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis which hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, but too few came forward. Cornwallis Cowpens, he retreated to Yorktown, intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and Washington besieged Cornwallis' army and, with no sign of relief, he surrendered in October 1781. Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tories in Parliament, the surrender gave them the upper hand. In early 1782, Parliament voted to end all offensive operations in America, but the war continued overseas. Britain scored a major victory over the French navy. On September 3, 1783, the belligerent parties signed the Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States and formally end the war.
French involvement had proven decisive. Spain failed in its primary aim of recovering Gibraltar; the Dutch were compelled to cede territory to Great Britain. In India, the war against Mysore and its allies concluded in 1784 without any territorial changes. Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War. Parliament had passed legislation to regulate trade, but the Stamp Act introduced a new principle of a direct internal tax. Americans began to question the extent of the British Parliament's power in America, the colonial legislatures argued that they had exclusive right to impose taxes within their jurisdictions. Colonists condemned the tax because their rights as Englishmen protected them from being taxed by a Parliament in which they had no elected representatives. Parliament argued that the colonies were "represented virtually", an idea, criticized throughout the Empire. Parliament did repeal the act in 1766, but it affirmed its right to pass laws that were binding on the colonies.
From 1767, Parliament began passing legislation to raise revenue for the salaries of civil officials, ensuring their loyalty while inadvertently increasing resentment among the colonists, opposition soon became widespread. Enforcing the acts proved difficult; the seizure of the sloop Liberty in 1768 on suspicions of smuggling triggered a riot. In response, British troops occupied Boston, Parliament threatened to extradite colonists to face trial in England. Tensions rose after the murder of Christopher Seider by a customs official in 1770 and escalated into outrage after British troops fired on civilians in the Boston Massacre. In 1772, colonists in Rhode Island burned a customs schooner. Parliament repealed all taxes except the one on tea, passing the Tea Act in 1773, attempting to force colonists to buy East India Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to Parliamentary supremacy; the landing of the tea was resisted in all colonies, but the governor of Massachusetts permitted British tea ships to remain in Boston Harbor, so the Sons of Liberty destroyed the tea chests in what became known as the "Boston Tea Party".
Parliament passed punitive legislation. It closed Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for and revoked the Massachusetts Charter, taking upon themselves the right to directly appoint the Massachusetts Governor's Council. Additionally, t
Battle of Great Bridge
The Battle of Great Bridge was fought December 9, 1775, in the area of Great Bridge, early in the American Revolutionary War. The victory by colonial Virginia militia forces led to the departure of Royal Governor Lord Dunmore and any remaining vestiges of British power over the Colony of Virginia during the early days of the conflict. Following increasing political and military tensions in early 1775, both Dunmore and colonial rebel leaders recruited troops and engaged in a struggle for available military supplies; the struggle focused on Norfolk, where Dunmore had taken refuge aboard a Royal Navy vessel. Dunmore's forces had fortified one side of a critical river crossing south of Norfolk at Great Bridge, while rebel forces had occupied the other side. In an attempt to break up the rebel gathering, Dunmore ordered an attack across the bridge, decisively repulsed. Colonel William Woodford, the Virginia militia commander at the battle, described it as "a second Bunker's Hill affair". Shortly thereafter, Norfolk, at the time a Loyalist center, was abandoned by Dunmore and the Tories, who fled to navy ships in the harbor.
Rebel-occupied Norfolk was destroyed on January 1, 1776 in an action begun by Dunmore and completed by rebel forces. Tensions in the British Colony of Virginia were raised in April 1775 at the same time that the hostilities of the American Revolutionary War broke out in the Province of Massachusetts Bay with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, had dismissed the colonial legislative assembly, the House of Burgesses, who established a provisional assembly in Virginia Conventions; the Burgesses authorized existing and newly raised militia troops to arm themselves, leading to a struggle for control of the colony's military supplies. Under orders from Lord Dunmore, British forces removed gunpowder from the colonial storehouse in the capital of Williamsburg, causing a confrontation between royal and militia forces. Although the incident was resolved without violence, fearing for his personal safety, left Williamsburg in June 1775 and placed his family on board a Royal Navy ship.
A small British fleet took shape at Norfolk, a port town whose merchants had significant Loyalist tendencies. The threat posed by the British fleet may have played a role in minimizing Whig activity in the town. Incidents continued between rebels on one side and loyalists on the other until October, when Dunmore had acquired enough military support to begin operations against the rebellious colonists. General Thomas Gage, the British commander-in-chief for North America, had ordered small detachments of the 14th Regiment of Foot to Virginia in response to pleas by Dunmore for military help; these troops began raiding surrounding counties for rebel military supplies on October 12. This activity continued through the end of October, when a small British ship ran aground and was captured by rebels during a skirmish near Hampton. Navy boats sent to punish the townspeople were repulsed by colonial militia in a brief gunfight that resulted in the killing and capture of several sailors. Dunmore reacted to this event by issuing a proclamation on November 7 in which he declared martial law, offered to emancipate colonist slaves in Virginia willing to serve in the British Army.
The proclamation alarmed rebel and loyalist slaveholders alike, concerned by the idea of armed former slaves and the potential loss of their property. Dunmore was able to recruit enough slaves to form the Ethiopian Regiment, as well as raising a company of Tories he called the Queen's Own Loyal Virginia Regiment; these local forces supplemented the two companies of the 14th Foot, in addition to the naval forces, that were the sole British military presence in the colony. This successful recruiting drive prompted Dunmore to write on November 30, 1775 that he would soon be able to "reduce this colony to a proper sense of their duty." Lord Dunmore had, on arrival in Norfolk, ordered the fortification of the bridge across the Elizabeth River, about 9 miles south of Norfolk in the village of Great Bridge. The bridge formed a natural defense point since it was on the only road leading south from Norfolk toward North Carolina, it was bordered on both sides by the Great Dismal Swamp, the access to the bridge on both sides was via narrow causeways.
Dunmore sent 25 men of the 14th Foot to the bridge, where they erected a small stockade fort they called Fort Murray on the Norfolk side of the bridge. They removed the bridge planking to make crossing it more difficult; the fort was armed with two cannons and several smaller swivel guns. The men of the 14th were augmented by small companies from the Ethiopian and Queen's Own regiments, bringing the garrison size to between 40 and 80 men. In response to Dunmore's proclamation, Virginia's assembly ordered its militia troops to march on Norfolk. William Woodford, the colonel leading the 2nd Virginia Regiment, advanced toward the bridge with his regiment of 400 and about 100 riflemen from the Culpeper Minutemen. On December 2 they set up a camp across the bridge from the British fort. Upon their arrival the British set about destroying buildings near the fort to ensure a clear field of fire. Woodford was at first unwilling to assault the British position, thinking he lacked enough cannons to overcome an overly generous estimate of the garrison's strength.
He therefore began entrenching his position, while more and more militia companies arrived from the surrounding counties and North Carolina. Some cannons arrived with a contingent of North Carolina men, but they were useless because they lacked mountings and carriages. Woodford bec
Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge
The Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought near Wilmington in present-day Pender County, North Carolina, on February 27, 1776. The victory of North Carolina Revolutionary forces over Southern Loyalists helped build political support for the revolution and increased recruitment of additional soldiers into their forces. Loyalist recruitment efforts in the interior of North Carolina began in earnest with news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Patriots in the province began organizing Continental Army and militia units; when word arrived in January 1776 of a planned British Army expedition to the area, Josiah Martin, the royal governor, ordered the Loyalist militia to muster in anticipation of their arrival. Revolutionary militia and Continental units mobilized to prevent the junction, blockading several routes until the poorly armed Loyalists were forced to confront them at Moore's Creek Bridge, about 18 miles north of Wilmington. In a brief early-morning engagement, a charge across the bridge by sword-wielding Loyalist Scotsmen was met by a barrage of musket fire.
One Loyalist leader was killed, another captured, the whole force was scattered. In the following days, many Loyalists were arrested. North Carolina was not militarily threatened again until 1780, memories of the battle and its aftermath negated efforts by Charles Cornwallis to recruit Loyalists in the area in 1781. In early 1775, with political and military tensions rising in the Thirteen Colonies, North Carolina's royal governor, Josiah Martin, hoped to combine the recruiting of Scots settlers in the North Carolina interior with that of sympathetic former Regulators and disaffected Loyalists in the coastal areas to build a large Loyalist force to counteract Patriot sympathies in the province, his petition to London to recruit 1,000 men had been rejected, but he continued efforts to rally Loyalist support. At about the same time, Scotsman Allan Maclean lobbied King George III for permission to recruit Loyalist Scots throughout North America. In April, he received royal permission to raise a regiment known as the Royal Highland Emigrants by recruiting retired Scottish soldiers living in North America.
One battalion was to be recruited in the northern provinces, including New York and Nova Scotia, while a second battalion was to be raised in North Carolina and other southern provinces, where a large number of these soldiers had been given land. After receiving his commissions from General Thomas Gage in June, Maclean sent Donald MacLeod and Donald MacDonald, two veterans of the June 17 Battle of Bunker Hill, south to lead the recruitment drive there; these recruiters were aware that Allan MacDonald, husband of the famous Jacobite heroine Flora MacDonald was actively recruiting in North Carolina. Their arrival at New Bern was cause for suspicion by members of North Carolina's Committee of Safety, but they were not arrested. On January 3, 1776, Martin learned that an expedition of more than 2,000 troops under the command of General Henry Clinton was planned for the southern colonies and that their arrival was expected in mid-February, he sent word to the recruiters that he expected them to deliver recruits to the coast by February 15, dispatched Alexander Maclean to Cross Creek to coordinate activities in that area.
Mclean optimistically reported to Martin that he would raise and equip 5,000 Regulators and 1,000 Scots. Martin is reported to have said "This is the moment when this country may be delivered from anarchy", expecting a North Carolina Loyalist victory. In a meeting of Scots and Regulator leaders at Cross Creek on February 5, there was disagreement on how to proceed; the Scots wanted to wait until the British troops had arrived before mustering, while the Regulators wanted to move immediately. The views of the latter prevailed since they claimed to be able to raise 5,000 men, while the Scots expected to raise only 700 to 800; when the forces mustered on February 15, there were about 3,500 men, but the number dwindled over the next few days. Many men had expected to be met and escorted by British troops and did not relish the possibility of having to fight their way to the coast; when they marched three days Brigadier General Donald MacDonald led between 1,400 and 1,600 men, predominantly Scots.
This number was further reduced over the coming days as more men deserted the column. With the reaction of the revolutionary war, word of the Cross Creek meeting reached members of the Revolutionary North Carolina Provincial Congress a few days after it happened; the colonies were broadly prosperous on the eve of the American Revolution. Pursuant to resolutions of the Second Continental Congress, the provincial congress had raised the 1st North Carolina Regiment of the Continental Army in fall 1775, given command to Colonel James Moore. Local committees of safety in Wilmington and New Bern had active militia organizations, led by Alexander Lillington and Richard Caswell respectively. On February 15 the Patriot forces began to mobilize. Moore led 650 Continentals out of Wilmington with the objective of preventing the Loyalists from reaching the coast, they camped on the southern shore of Rockfish Creek on February 15, about 7 miles from the Loyalist camp. General MacDonald learned of their arrival, sent Moore a copy of a proclamation issued by Governor Martin and a letter calling on the rebels to lay down their arms.
Moore responded with his own call that the Loyalists lay down their arms and support the cause of Congress. In the meantime, Caswell led 800 New Bern District Brigade militiamen toward the area. MacDonald
A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the arm of service. In Medieval Europe, the term "regiment" denoted any large body of front-line soldiers, recruited or conscripted in one geographical area, by a leader, also the feudal lord of the soldiers. By the end of the 17th century, regiments in most European armies were permanent units, numbering about 1,000 men and under the command of a colonel. During the modern era, the word "regiment" – much like "corps" – may have two somewhat divergent meanings, which refer to two distinct roles: a front-line military formation. In many armies, the first role has been assumed by independent battalions, task forces and other, similarly-sized operational units. However, these non-regimental units tend to be short-lived. A regiment may be a variety of sizes: smaller than a standard battalion, e.g. Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. S. Infantry Regiment and Royal Regiment of Scotland; the French term régiment is considered to have entered military usage in Europe at the end of the 16th century, when armies evolved from collections of retinues who followed knights, to formally organised, permanent military forces.
At that time, regiments were named after their commanding colonels, disbanded at the end of the campaign or war. It was customary to name the regiment by its precedence in the line of battle, to recruit from specific places, called cantons; the oldest regiments which still exist, their dates of establishment, include the Spanish 9th Infantry Regiment “Soria”, Swedish Life Guards, the British Honourable Artillery Company and the King's Own Immemorial Regiment of Spain, first established in 1248 during the conquest of Seville by King Ferdinand the Saint. In the 17th century, brigades were formed as units combining infantry and artillery that were more effective than the older, single-arms regiments. By the beginning of the 18th century, regiments in most European continental armies had evolved into permanent units with distinctive titles and uniforms, each under the command of a colonel; when at full strength, an infantry regiment comprised two field battalions of about 800 men each or 8–10 companies.
In some armies, an independent regiment with fewer companies was labelled a demi-regiment. A cavalry regiment numbered 600 to 900 troopers. On campaign, these numbers were soon reduced by casualties and detachments and it was sometimes necessary to amalgamate regiments or to withdraw them to a depot while recruits were obtained and trained. With the widespread adoption of conscription in European armies during the nineteenth century, the regimental system underwent modification. Prior to World War I, an infantry regiment in the French, German and other smaller armies would comprise four battalions, each with a full strength on mobilization of about 1,000 men; as far as possible, the separate battalions would be garrisoned in the same military district, so that the regiment could be mobilized and campaign as a 4,000 strong linked group of sub-units. A cavalry regiment by contrast made up a single entity of up to 1,000 troopers. A notable exception to this practice was the British line infantry system where the two regular battalions constituting a regiment alternated between "home" and "foreign" service and came together as a single unit.
In the regimental system, each regiment is responsible for recruiting and administration. The regiment is responsible for recruiting and administering all of a soldier's military career. Depending upon the country, regiments can be administrative units or both; this is contrasted to the "continental system" adopted by many armies. In the continental system, the division is the functional army unit, its commander is the administrator of every aspect of the formation: his staff train and administer the soldiers and commanders of the division's subordinate units. Divisions are garrisoned together and share the same installations: thus, in divisional administration, a battalion commanding officer is just another officer in a chain of command. Soldiers and officers are transferred out of divisions as required; some regiments recruited from specific geographical areas, incorporated the place name into the regimental name. In other cases, regiments would recruit from a given age group within a nation, an ethnic group, or foreigners.
In other cases, new regiments were raised for new functions within an army.
The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the ex-British colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain; the Continental Army was supplemented by local militias and volunteer troops that remained under control of the individual states or were otherwise independent. General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war. Most of the Continental Army was disbanded in 1783; the 1st and 2nd Regiments went on to form the nucleus of the Legion of the United States in 1792 under General Anthony Wayne. This became the foundation of the United States Army in 1796; the Continental Army consisted of soldiers from all 13 colonies and, after 1776, from all 13 states. When the American Revolutionary War began at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, the colonial revolutionaries did not have an army.
Each colony had relied upon the militia, made up of part-time citizen-soldiers, for local defense, or the raising of temporary "provincial regiments" during specific crises such as the French and Indian War of 1754–63. As tensions with Great Britain increased in the years leading to the war, colonists began to reform their militias in preparation for the perceived potential conflict. Training of militiamen increased after the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774. Colonists such as Richard Henry Lee proposed forming a national militia force, but the First Continental Congress rejected the idea. On April 23, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress authorized the raising of a colonial army consisting of 26 company regiments. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut soon raised similar but smaller forces. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress decided to proceed with the establishment of a Continental Army for purposes of common defense, adopting the forces in place outside Boston and New York.
It raised the first ten companies of Continental troops on a one-year enlistment, riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to be used as light infantry, who became the 1st Continental Regiment in 1776. On June 15, 1775, the Congress elected by unanimous vote George Washington as Commander-in-Chief, who accepted and served throughout the war without any compensation except for reimbursement of expenses. On July 18, 1775, the Congress requested all colonies form militia companies from "all able bodied effective men, between sixteen and fifty years of age." It was not uncommon for men younger than sixteen to enlist as most colonies had no requirement of parental consent for those under twenty-one. Four major-generals and eight brigadier-generals were appointed by the Second Continental Congress in the course of a few days. After Pomeroy did not accept, John Thomas was appointed in his place; as the Continental Congress adopted the responsibilities and posture of a legislature for a sovereign state, the role of the Continental Army became the subject of considerable debate.
Some Americans had a general aversion to maintaining a standing army. As a result, the army went through several distinct phases, characterized by official dissolution and reorganization of units. Soldiers in the Continental Army were citizens who had volunteered to serve in the army, at various times during the war, standard enlistment periods lasted from one to three years. Early in the war the enlistment periods were short, as the Continental Congress feared the possibility of the Continental Army evolving into a permanent army; the army never numbered more than 17,000 men. Turnover proved a constant problem in the winter of 1776–77, longer enlistments were approved. Broadly speaking, Continental forces consisted of several successive armies, or establishments: The Continental Army of 1775, comprising the initial New England Army, organized by Washington into three divisions, six brigades, 38 regiments. Major General Philip Schuyler's ten regiments in New York were sent to invade Canada; the Continental Army of 1776, reorganized after the initial enlistment period of the soldiers in the 1775 army had expired.
Washington had submitted recommendations to the Continental Congress immediately after he had accepted the position of Commander-in-Chief, but the Congress took time to consider and implement these. 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 of its geographical focus; this army consisted of 36 regiments, most standardized to a single battalion of 768 men strong and formed into eight companies, with a rank-and-file strength of 640. The Continental Army of 1777–80 evolved out of several critical reforms and political decisions that came about when it became apparent that the British were sending massive forces to put an end to the American Revolution; the Continental Congress passed the "Eighty-eight Battalion Resolve", ordering each state to contribute one-battalion regiments in proportion to their population, Washington subsequently received authority to raise an additional 16 battalions.
Enlistment terms extended to three years or to "the length of the war" to avoid the year-end crises that deplet