In this Book

America Goes to War
summary

One of the images Americans hold most dear is that of the drum-beating, fire-eating Yankee Doodle Dandy rebel, overpowering his British adversaries through sheer grit and determination. The myth of the classless, independence-minded farmer or hard-working artisan-turned-soldier is deeply ingrained in the national psyche.

Charles Neimeyer here separates fact from fiction, revealing for the first time who really served in the army during the Revolution and why. His conclusions are startling. Because the army relied primarily on those not connected to the new American aristorcracy, the African Americans, Irish, Germans, Native Americans, laborers-for-hire, and "free white men on the move" who served in the army were only rarely alltruistic patriots driven by a vision of liberty and national unity.

Bringing to light the true composition of the enlisted ranks, the relationships of African-Americans and of Native Americans to the army, and numerous acts of mutiny, desertion, and resistance against officers and government, Charles Patrick Neimeyer here provides the first comprehensive and historically accurate portrait of the Continental soldier.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
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  1. Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. 1. Few Had the Appearance of Soldiers: The Social Origins of the Continental Line
  2. pp. 8-26
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  1. 2. The Most Audacious Rascals Existing: The Irish in the Continental Army
  2. pp. 27-43
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  1. 3. A True Pell-Mell of Human Souls: The Germans in the Continental Army
  2. pp. 44-64
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  1. 4. Changing One Master for Another: Black Soldiers in the Continental Army
  2. pp. 65-88
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  1. 5. Scalp Bounties and Truck Houses: The Struggle for Indian Allies in the Revolution
  2. pp. 89-107
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  1. 6. To Get as Much for My Skin as I Could: The Soldier as Wage Laborer
  2. pp. 108-129
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  1. 7. Running Through the Line Like Wildfire: Resistance, Punishment, Desertion, and Mutiny in the Continental Army
  2. pp. 130-158
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 159-166
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 167-220
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 221-238
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 239-244
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  1. Image Plates
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