Battles of Saratoga
The Battles of Saratoga marked the climax of the Saratoga campaign, giving a decisive victory to the Americans over the British in the American Revolutionary War. British General John Burgoyne led a large invasion army southward from Canada in the Champlain Valley, hoping to meet a similar British force marching northward from New York City and another British force marching eastward from Lake Ontario, he fought two small battles to break out which took place 18 days apart on the same ground, 9 miles south of Saratoga, New York. They both failed. Burgoyne found himself trapped by superior American forces with no relief, so he retreated to Saratoga and surrendered his entire army there on October 17, his surrender, says historian Edmund Morgan, "was a great turning point of the war because it won for Americans the foreign assistance, the last element needed for victory."Burgoyne's strategy to divide New England from the southern colonies had started well but slowed due to logistical problems.
He won a small tactical victory over General Horatio Gates and the Continental Army in the September 19 Battle of Freeman's Farm at the cost of significant casualties. His gains were erased when he again attacked the Americans in the October 7 Battle of Bemis Heights and the Americans captured a portion of the British defenses. Burgoyne was therefore compelled to retreat, his army was surrounded by the much larger American force at Saratoga, forcing him to surrender on October 17. News of Burgoyne's surrender was instrumental in formally bringing France into the war as an American ally, although it had given supplies and guns, notably the de Valliere cannon which played an important role in Saratoga; this battle resulted in Spain joining France in the war against Britain. The battle on September 19 began when Burgoyne moved some of his troops in an attempt to flank the entrenched American position on Bemis Heights. Benedict Arnold placed significant forces in his way. Burgoyne did gain control of Freeman's Farm.
Skirmishing continued in the days following the battle, while Burgoyne waited in the hope that reinforcements would arrive from New York City. Patriot militia forces continued to arrive, swelling the size of the American army. Disputes within the American camp led Gates to strip Arnold of his command. British General Sir Henry Clinton moved up from New York City and attempted to divert American attention by capturing Forts Clinton and Montgomery in the Hudson River highlands on October 6, but his efforts were too late to help Burgoyne. Burgoyne attacked Bemis Heights again on October 7 after it became apparent that he would not receive relieving aid in time; this battle culminated in heavy fighting marked by Arnold's spirited rallying of the American troops. Burgoyne's forces were thrown back to the positions that they held before the September 19 battle, the Americans captured a portion of the entrenched British defenses; the American Revolutionary War was approaching the two-year point, the British changed their plans.
They decided to split the Thirteen Colonies and isolate New England from what they believed to be the more Loyalist middle and southern colonies. The British command devised a plan to divide the colonies with a three-way pincer movement in 1777; the western pincer under the command of Barry St. Leger was to progress from Ontario through western New York, following the Mohawk River, the southern pincer was to progress up the Hudson River valley from New York City; the northern pincer was to proceed southward from Montreal, the three forces were to meet in the vicinity of Albany, New York, severing New England from the other colonies. British General John Burgoyne moved south from the province of Quebec in June 1777 to gain control of the upper Hudson River valley, his campaign had become bogged down in difficulties following a victory at Fort Ticonderoga. Elements of the army had reached the upper Hudson as early as the end of July, but logistical and supply difficulties delayed the main army at Fort Edward.
One attempt to alleviate these difficulties failed when nearly 1,000 men were killed or captured at the August 16 Battle of Bennington. Furthermore, news reached Burgoyne on August 28 that St. Leger's expedition down the Mohawk River valley had turned back after the failed Siege of Fort Stanwix. General William Howe had taken his army from New York City by sea on a campaign to capture Philadelphia instead of moving north to meet Burgoyne. Most of Burgoyne's Indian support had fled following the loss at Bennington, his situation was becoming difficult, he needed to reach defensible winter quarters, requiring either retreat back to Ticonderoga or advance to Albany, he decided to advance. He deliberately cut communications to the north so that he would not need to maintain a chain of fortified outposts between his position and Ticonderoga, he decided to cross the Hudson River while he was in a strong position, he ordered Baron Riedesel, who commanded the rear of the army, to abandon outposts from Skenesboro south, had the army cross the Hudson just north of Saratoga between September 13 and 15.
The Continental Army had been in a slow retreat since Burgoyne's capture of Ticonderoga early in July, under the command of Major General Philip Schuyler, was encamped south of Stillwater, New York. On August 19, Major General Horatio Gates assumed command from Schuyler, whose political fortunes had fallen over the loss of Ticonderoga and the ensuing retreat. Gates and Schuyler were from different backgrou
Saratoga Springs, New York
Saratoga Springs is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 26,586 at the 2010 census; the name reflects the presence of mineral springs in the area, which has made Saratoga a popular resort destination for over 200 years. Saratoga Springs was ranked tenth in the list of the top 10 places to live in New York State for 2014 according to the national online real estate brokerage Movoto; the picturesque area was occupied by the Algonquian-speaking Mahican Natives before they were forced out by Dutch and British colonists. The Mahicans moved east, allied with other remnant peoples, settled near Stockbridge, where they became known as the Stockbridge Natives; the British built Fort Saratoga in 1691 on the west bank of the Hudson River. Shortly thereafter, British colonists settled the current village of Schuylerville about a mile south. Native Americans believed the springs about 10 miles west of the village — today called High Rock Spring — had medicinal properties. In 1767, William Johnson, a British soldier, a hero of the French and Indian War, was brought by Native American friends to the spring to treat his war wounds.
The first permanent European-American settler built a dwelling about 1776. The springs attracted tourists, Gideon Putnam built the first hotel for travelers. Putnam laid out the roads and donated land for use as public spaces; the Battle of Saratoga, the turning point of the Revolutionary War, did not take place in Saratoga Springs. Rather, the battlefield is 15 miles to the southeast in the Town of Stillwater. A museum dedicated to the two battles sits on the former battlefields; the British encampment before the surrender at Saratoga took place 10 miles east of the city, in Schuylerville, where several historical markers delineate points of interest. The surrender of the sword of battle took place where Fort Saratoga had been, south of Schuylerville. Saratoga Springs was established as a settlement in 1819 from a western portion of the Town of Saratoga, its principal community was incorporated as a village in 1826 and the entire region became a city in 1915. Tourism was aided by the 1832 arrival of the Saratoga and Schenectady Railroad, which brought thousands of travelers to the famous mineral springs.
Resort hotels developed to accommodate them. Patronage of the railroad increased after the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company assumed control in 1870 and began running the Empire State Express directly between New York City and the resort. In the 19th century, noted doctor Simon Baruch encouraged developing European-style spas in the United States as centers for health. With its wealth of mineral waters, Saratoga Springs was developed as a spa, generating the development of many large hotels, including the United States Hotel and the Grand Union Hotel; the latter was, in its day, the largest hotel in the world. In 1863, Saratoga Race Course opened. Horse racing and its associated betting increased the city's attraction as a tourist destination at a time when horse racing was a popular national spectator sport. In addition, the Saratoga Springs area was known for its gambling, which after the first years of the 20th century was illegal, but still widespread. Most gambling facilities were located on the southeast side of the city.
During the 1950s, the state and city closed the famed gambling houses in a crackdown on illegal gambling. The closing and demolition in the 1950s of some premier hotels, including the Grand Union and United States hurt tourism to Saratoga Springs; the city started to prosper again in the 1960s with the completion of the Adirondack Northway, which allowed visitors from the north and south much easier access. In addition, the construction of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in the late 1960s, which features classical and popular music and dance, furthered the city's renaissance; the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra have summer residencies there, together with other high-quality dance groups and musicians. Since the early 1990s, there has been a boom of building, both residential and retail, in the west side and downtown areas of the city. According to legend, the creation of the potato chip is associated with Saratoga Springs; the legend holds that a diner visiting the restaurant Moon's Lake House in Saratoga Springs in 1853 was unsatisfied with the texture of the fried potatoes he had ordered and sent them back to the kitchen multiple times in protest.
The chef, George Crum became so annoyed with the customer that he sliced the potatoes much thinner than he would, covered them in salt, deep fried them. The customer was satisfied. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.1 square miles, of which 28.4 square miles is land and 0.6 square miles is water. The Adirondack Northway and US Route 9 pass through the city, respectively. New York State Route 29, New York State Route 50, New York State Route 9N, New York State Route 9P lead into Saratoga Springs. NY 9N has its southern terminus and NY 9P has its northern terminus in the city. US 9 and NY 50 overlap in the city, joined by NY 29. Saratoga Lake is southeast of the city. According to the 2010 U. S. Census Bureau: 92.5% Whit
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U. S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy; the Census Bureau is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States; the Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U. S. Census every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U. S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population; the Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, businesses make informed decisions. The information provided by the census informs decisions on where to build and maintain schools, transportation infrastructure, police and fire departments. In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau continually conducts dozens of other censuses and surveys, including the American Community Survey, the U. S. Economic Census, the Current Population Survey.
Furthermore and foreign trade indicators released by the federal government contain data produced by the Census Bureau. Article One of the United States Constitution directs the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College; the Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a zero and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population projections. In addition, Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and more; the Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code.
The Census Bureau conducts surveys on behalf of various federal government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, health, consumer expenditures, housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial population counts; the Census Bureau conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail and other establishments and of domestic governments. Between 1790 and 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the judicial districts; the Census Act of 1840 established a central office. Several acts followed that revised and authorized new censuses at the 10-year intervals. In 1902, the temporary Census Office was moved under the Department of Interior, in 1903 it was renamed the Census Bureau under the new Department of Commerce and Labor; the department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department. An act in 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every two years and agriculture censuses every 10 years.
In 1929, a bill was passed mandating the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 Census. In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the US Code. By law, the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U. S. President by December 31 of any year ending in a zero. States within the Union receive the results in the spring of the following year; the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions. The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis". The Census Bureau definition is pervasive. Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau: Region 1: Northeast Division 1: New England Division 2: Mid-Atlantic Region 2: Midwest Division 3: East North Central Division 4: West North Central Region 3: South Division 5: South Atlantic Division 6: East South Central Division 7: West South Central Region 4: West Division 8: Mountain Division 9: Pacific Many federal, state and tribal governments use census data to: Decide the location of new housing and public facilities, Examine the demographic characteristics of communities and the US, Plan transportation systems and roadways, Determine quotas and creation of police and fire precincts, Create localized areas for elections, utilities, etc.
Gathers population information every 10 years The United States Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information related to individuals or establishments. Title 13 of the U. S. Code establishes penalties for the disclosure of this information. All Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to employment; the Bureau cannot share responses, addresses or personal information with anyone including United States or foreign government
Washington County, New York
Washington County is a county in the U. S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 63,216; the county seat is Fort Edward. The county was named for U. S. President George Washington. Washington County is part of the Glens Falls, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, included in the Albany-Schenectady, NY Combined Statistical Area; when counties were established in New York State in 1683, the present Washington County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York State as well as all of the present state of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean; this county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont. On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County; the other two were called Charlotte County. In 1784, Charlotte County was renamed Washington County in honor of George Washington, the American Revolutionary War general and President of the United States of America.
In 1788, Clinton County was split off from Washington County. This was a much larger area than the present Clinton County, including several other counties or county parts of the present New York State. In 1791, the Town of Cambridge was transferred from Albany County to Washington County. In 1813, Warren County was split off from Washington County. In 1994, with the completion of the new municipal center, the county seat was moved from Hudson Falls, New York to Fort Edward. In 2006, Cambridge Town Supervisor Jo Ann Trinkle made history by being elected as the first Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors. Washington County has four historic covered bridges, each listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Buskirk Bridge Eagleville Bridge Rexleigh Bridge Shushan BridgeIncluding those, it has a total of 35 sites listed on the National Register; the Lemuel Haynes House is designated as a National Historic Landmark, the highest level of significance. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 846 square miles, of which 831 square miles is land and 15 square miles is water.
Washington County is a long narrow county located in the northeastern section of the State. It is known for its rich valley farm land and is part of the Great Appalachian Valley, a long narrow valley strip between tall mountain ranges; the county transitions from the Taconic Mountains to the Adirondack Mountains, from the Lake Champlain Valley to Hudson River Valley. Much of the county is part of the slate valley of the Upper Taconic Mountains; the eastern boundary of Washington County is the New York–Vermont border, part of, Lake Champlain. This is the border with New England proper; the northern end of the county is part of the Adirondack Mountains. Western boundaries include the Hudson River and Lake George. Washington County belongs to the following valleys and watersheds: Champlain Valley / Lake George Watershed—02010001 Hudson River Valley / Hudson-Hoosic Watershed—02020003 Waters in the northern part drain into Lake Champlain via Lake George or the Mettawee River, flow into the Saint Lawrence River.
These waters mingle in the Saint Lawrence with waters of all the Great Lakes as they flow northeast into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, join the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, the remainder of waters drain south via the Hudson River, flow south into the Atlantic Ocean below New York City. See the approximation of the watershed divide mapped in context of mountains and valleys. Nearly half of its borders are by long bodies of water. Winding across the bottom of the county is the legendary Batten Kill, famous for its worldclass flyfishing, its marvelous falls. Black Mountain, part of the Adirondacks, is the tallest peak in Washington County, has beautiful views of Lake George, Lake Champlain, the surrounding countryside, the Adirondacks, Taconic Mountains and Green Mountains. Willard Mountain is a ski slope in southern part of the county. Essex County - north Addison County, Vermont - northeast Rutland County, Vermont - east Bennington County, Vermont - southeast Rensselaer County - south Saratoga County - southwest Warren County - west As of the census of 2000, there were 61,042 people, 22,458 households, 15,787 families residing in the county.
The population density was 73 people per square mile. There were 26,794 housing units at an average density of 32 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 94.97% White, 2.92% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.84% from other races, 0.77% from two or more races. 2.02 % of the population were Latino of any race. 17.5% were of Irish, 14.1% French, 12.1% English, 11.1% American, 9.0% Italian and 7.7% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.9 % spoke 1.4 % Spanish as their first language. There were 22,458 households out of which 33.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.20% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.70% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.80% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.01. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the ag
1890 United States Census
The Eleventh United States Census was taken beginning June 2, 1890. It determined the resident population of the United States to be 62,979,766—an increase of 25.5 percent over the 50,189,209 persons enumerated during the 1880 census. The data was tabulated by machine for the first time; the data reported that the distribution of the population had resulted in the disappearance of the American frontier. Most of the 1890 census materials were destroyed in a 1921 fire and fragments of the US census population schedule exist only for the states of Alabama, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, the District of Columbia; this was the first census in which a majority of states recorded populations of over one million, as well as the first in which multiple cities – New York as of 1880, Philadelphia – recorded populations of over one million. The census saw Chicago rank as the nation's second-most populous city, a position it would hold until 1990, in which Los Angeles would supplant it.
The 1890 census collected the following information: The 1890 census was the first to be compiled using methods invented by Herman Hollerith and was overseen by Superintendents Robert P. Porter and Carroll D. Wright. Data was entered on a machine readable medium, punched cards, tabulated by machine; the net effect of the many changes from the 1880 census: the larger population, the number of data items to be collected, the Census Bureau headcount, the volume of scheduled publications, the use of Hollerith's electromechanical tabulators, was to reduce the time required to process the census from eight years for the 1880 census to six years for the 1890 census. The total population of 62,947,714, the family, or rough, was announced after only six weeks of processing; the public reaction to this tabulation was disbelief, as it was believed that the "right answer" was at least 75,000,000. The United States census of 1890 showed a total of 248,253 Native Americans living in the United States, down from 400,764 Native Americans identified in the census of 1850.
The 1890 census announced that the frontier region of the United States no longer existed, that the Census Bureau would no longer track the westward migration of the U. S. population. Up to and including the 1880 census, the country had a frontier of settlement. By 1890, isolated bodies of settlement had broken into the unsettled area to the extent that there was hardly a frontier line; this prompted Frederick Jackson Turner to develop his Frontier Thesis. The original data for the 1890 Census is no longer available. All the population schedules were damaged in a fire in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington, D. C. in 1921. Some 25 % of the materials were presumed another 50 % damaged by smoke and water; the damage to the records led to an outcry for a permanent National Archives. In December 1932, following standard federal record-keeping procedures, the Chief Clerk of the Bureau of the Census sent the Librarian of Congress a list of papers to be destroyed, including the original 1890 census schedules.
The Librarian was asked by the Bureau to identify any records which should be retained for historical purposes, but the Librarian did not accept the census records. Congress authorized destruction of that list of records on February 21, 1933, the surviving original 1890 census records were destroyed by government order by 1934 or 1935; the other censuses for which some information has been lost are the 1810 enumerations. Few sets of microdata from the 1890 census survive, but aggregate data for small areas, together with compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. Mayo-Smith, Richmond, "The Eleventh Census of the United States". In: The Economic Journal, Vol. 1, p. 43 - 58 1891 U. S Census Report Contains 1890 Census results Historical US Census data from the U. S. Census Bureau website Hollerith 1890 Census Tabulator by Columbia University "The Fate of the 1890 Population Census" from the National Archives website
Schuylerville, New York
Schuylerville is a village in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The village is located in the northeast part of the Town of Saratoga, east of Saratoga Springs; the Village of Victory is adjacent to Schuylerville to the southwest and the Hudson River forms the village's eastern border. The population was 1,386 at the 2010 census; the village was incorporated in 1831 and is named after the Schuyler family, a prominent family of Dutch descent in colonial America. Schuylerville was the site of the surrender of the British Army under General John Burgoyne following the Battles of Saratoga in the nearby Town of Stillwater. Schuylerville contains several historic buildings, including the General Schuyler House, part of the Saratoga National Historical Park, Old Saratoga Reformed Church; the schools of the Schuylerville Central School District are located in the village as are the offices of the Town of Saratoga. The village is served by a public library, Fort Hardy Park, a visitor's center, Schuyler Hose Company volunteer fire department and several churches.
Village government consists of four trustees. Nearby cultural attractions include the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga National Historical Park and Glens Falls Civic Center. Skidmore College, SUNY Empire State College and Adirondack Community College are nearby. Inhabited by Native Americans from at least 1,200 years ago, the region was settled by Dutch settlers from Albany, New York in 1691 and called Fort Saratoga; these settlers included the Schuyler family. Conflicts occurred among the French, Mohican and English peoples; the peace of 1763 between France and England resulted in this area being available for settlement. Homes and mills were built by European Americans, including General Phillip Schuyler's flax mill in 1767; the community that developed near the fort was called "Saratoga," but was destroyed in 1745. The Old Saratoga Reformed Church was organized in 1770, it was used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War. In 1777 the British Army under General John Burgoyne crossed the Hudson River one half mile north of Schuylerville on their campaign from Canada to Albany in an attempt to end the American Revolution by splitting the colonies in two.
The British marched south about 9 miles to Bemis Heights near present-day Stillwater where American troops engaged them in the two Battles of Saratoga, the first on September 19 and the second on October 7, 1777. The British advance was stopped by the American forces and the British retreated back northward to an encampment along Fish Creek just outside the village; the Saratoga Battle Monument in the Village of Victory, Saratoga County, New York is located near the site of the British encampment. American forces surrounded the encampment. With winter approaching and no hope of escape, the British were forced to surrender. On October 17, 1777, General Burgoyne surrendered his army to American General Horatio Gates, marking the turning point of the American Revolution; the British laid down their arms in. The American victory at Saratoga was enough to convince France to throw their support to the American cause, Spain would follow France's lead; the Schuyler House, the Bullard Block, Old Saratoga Reformed Church, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places..
The Marshall House is listed as a significant Revolutionary War historic site and is the sole surviving building from the time of the Battles of Saratoga. The Marshall House lies one mile north of the village center on US Highway 4 and NY Highway 32, it was made famous by the publication of Baroness Frederika Riedesel's Letters and Journals relating to the War of the American Revolution and the Capture of the German Troops at Saratoga. This house was built in 1770-1773. During the closing days of the Battles of Saratoga, Baroness Riedesel with her three infant daughters sheltered there, together with the wives of British army officers and wounded personnel, her account of the travails of those around her, her keen insight into the personalities of the principal officers of both the British and American armies, her devotion to her husband in peril have led some commentators to name her as the first woman war correspondent. The Marshall House was bombarded by the Americans. Within are conserved cannonballs and other reminders of the ordeal suffered by those who took refuge there.
The stone cellar, made famous by the baroness, is unchanged. The Marshall House is the sole remaining witness building to the Battles of Saratoga; the owners welcome visitors by appointment. According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.6 square miles, of which, 0.5 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles of it is water. The village is on the west bank of the Hudson River, which defines the county line of Washington County. US Route 4 and NY Route 29 intersect in the community. NY Route 32 is conjoined with US-4 in the village; as of the census of 2010, there were 1,386 people, 593 households, 356 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,622.5 people per square mile. There were 663 housing units at an average density of 1,254.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the village was 96.4% White, 1.2% African American, 0.9% from other races, 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population. There were 593 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% were married couples
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