Just to mention one more instance in the southern campaign of militia saving the day. Prior to Guilford Courthouse, Greene did not have the manpower to stand up to Cornwallis and ran away across the Dan to Virginia. Jefferson called out the militia to help. Specifically, one group was the Lunenburg County militia from the Lynchburg area. They were a a regiment consisting largely of men with previous service in the Continental Army. I could continue about the southern regiments.
Overmountain Men were quite a different animal from the embarrassing militia from Charleston and the low country. Sorry to get wordy. Love the subject. The American militia continues to fascinate me as a topic for further exploration. Is there a defining work, out-of-print or otherwise, that covers the subject matter, or is one relegated to reading the various more localized studies? Thanks for an appetizing article. The question of whether the patriot or loyalist militia were more effective has not been adequately explored.
In both the northern and aouthern theaters, opposing militias were well matched. Certainly continental officers either lauded or blamed militia units more than British officers who neglected to give much credit to loyalist units.. John Galvin. Thanks for posting this article—it prompted some random thoughts in my enfeebled mind. The subject of the militia is indeed an interesting one and one that has not received the research attention it deserves.
It is also an extremely complex subject because while there was one Continental Army there were thirteen militia structures and within each of those there were variations in local conditions and situations. It is also complex because the militia was asked to do a great deal more than fight in pitched battles, with or without the Continentals. To simply judge the militia as soldiers in formal battle misses a great deal of the picture. They were also on guard to prevent British foraging and other incursions from New York. During the British occupation of Philadelphia they also had to prevent the same things on the western side of the state.
They were also fighting a civil war. At the same time they were expected to keep the economy of the state going, especially growing crops and raising animals that could be used to feed the Continental army during its several winters in the State. They were also expected to help transport food to the army and, until a law was passed to help them, some men paid fines for not turning out for their alternate month duty because they were driving supply wagons for a couple of weeks for the Continentals.
I found it extremely interesting, and telling, that historians have looked at the guides as simply local farmers who volunteered to guide Washington, while in fact they were militiamen who were out on active duty and were recruited from their companies. I chose the title for my book from a quote by George Washington describing why it might be that New Jersey was having trouble getting men to turn out for militia duty.
Another phrase I could have used was one from New Jersey Governor Livingston in which he described the militia laws of the State as placing an inordinate burden on the willing — that is, those willing to put up with the frequent call outs which a lot of men avoided in various ways. Perhaps the most important thing I learned in my research is that one should not extrapolate generalities about the militia by looking at one area or one time during the war. Another lesson learned was that it is unwise to look at how things were supposed to be, by law, rather than investigating how they actually played out.
Instead, let us try to understand the contributions made by the men in each situation, why they excelled or had difficulty, how each suffered at times, etc. Just as with the Continentals there are some great stories to ferret out about how men dealt with difficult situations and sometimes did amazing things often without credit and sometimes failed. All great and valid points.
They are indeed two different kinds of animals and need to be assessed individually on their own strengths and weaknesses. When I was researching my first book, it took me deep into the town meeting minutes of Groton, Massachusetts for and it was an eye opener with regard to the demands that recruiting and equipping local soldiers had on the inhabitants.
The Provincial Congress was acting on its own by and large, separate from the Continental Congress in those early days and it facilitated a number of call ups to support Washington in late and early As a result, Groton officials had to find and send local men on no less than four separate occasions over the course of the year: 1 Lexington Alarm; 2 to assist with security as other militia units left Boston the Eight Months Men and Connecticut contingencies threatening mutiny before the Army went into existence on January 1; 3 to the Siege of Boston; and, 4 then to Mt.
Independence and Ft. Ticonderoga for security as the Northern Army retreated from Canada. Each one of these events involved no input from the Continental Congress and they imposed great stresses on the town as they came up with pay, food, equipment, etc. As time went on and other demands were made for clothing and beef to feed the national army, they found they could not meet their quota of soldiers and were forced to hire people to go to other towns to find volunteers to stand in. A state-wide classification system was set up towns could volunteer to participate wherein the town was sectioned off according to levels of income and then they were told how many men they had to come up with.
If they did not, then their taxes were raised accordingly to the amount needed to hire someone to satisfy that assessment. In short, the demands imposed on the towns to field and sustain militia troops posed a very real and direct hardship on townspeople. While it was certainly also difficult for the army, their problems were not of the same ilk. Militiamen were tied so much closer to their hometowns that they felt a direct connection and responsibility for having made life difficult for family and friends.
So, it seems quite natural that there would not be any correlation in competencies when comparing regulars and militia. Yes, they each wore uniforms and fought when called on, but their underlying motivations were definitely not always the same. So you are saying that militia served side by side with Continental Line soldiers during some of the battles. Christopher was in Culpeper Class 73 and Jacob was the chosen draftee from that same class for the Continental Line. Christopher is recognized on a plaque at Yorktown and Jacob is not. Jacob was alive when his father wrote a will in May of ; however, he died before March 10th of when his wife paid the required personal property taxes.
I am just trying to pin down where and possibly when my Jacob may have been killed. His wife received a pension from the State of Virginia. This pension states Jacob died while serving in the War.
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I have an ancestor who was born in Johnston County, North Carolina, moved to Cumberland County, NC, with his parents when he was 10 years of age and lived in North Carolina with a militia voucher from the Wilmington District in , who then migrated to Washington County, Georgia, shortly after the war, because he received 3 bounty land grants for his service in Washington County, a location that I researched to be only Georgia Continental Line recipients. I am being told that he cannot have served two states in the Revolutionary War. My question is a result of empty findings in the NARA microfilm military records of his service.
Which leads me to believe that the remnants of service records are Continental Line service, possibly why I cannot find his service. Can anyone answer my question and provide a source for your answer? Some of these were raised as independent regiments, some were State Militia or State Line regiments that were voluntarily nominated to Continental service; but the vast majority of State regiments were raised in response to quotas passed in acts or resolutions by the Continental Congress.
As the war went on the Continental Army was re-formed a couple times. The first of these was in January At that time most of the enlistments had run out, and the Continental Army was reformed into a system recommended by George Washington and adopted by Congress as legislation. At the time of the Revolutionary War Georgia was a relatively new colony.
Militia and Continentals
Many of the settlers were fresh immigrants; with fresh ties to Britain. There were also a number of established planters along the coast whose livelihood depended on the British mercantile system. As a result, Georgia was a small state population-wise with a relatively high ratio of loyalism. These troops were authorized to be enlisted for one year, which expired in Given that your ancestor hailed from North Carolina, its likely he was recruited into one of these units. That would also fit your statement that your ancestor was discharged and then enlisted again into a different unit: his original unit may have been disbanded.
Many men throughout the war served in units from other states. It was entirely possible to be discharged from a unit from one state and then re-enlist into a unit from another state. During the war the enlistments of all regiments declined over time as men were discharged, became sick, were wounded or killed. As the regiments became ever smaller, there came a point where they had too few men to fight effectively.
Thus, men from one area of the country might end up serving with men from other areas. Bonds of friendship and trust probably formed, and men became comfortable with officers from other states or regions. So, when it came time to re-enlist, it made sense to fall in with the men and officers you knew and trusted. It contains many names and pension applications compiled from sources other than NARA which is limited due to the archive fire of as well as British arson in I have spent a lot of time reading the Groton, Massachusetts records for this period and was surprised to find discussions about the difficulty the town had in meeting its imposed quota which came down from the provincial government.
The town was broken down into various classes and each one told to come up with a particular number of men or to provide an equivalent in feed, clothing, meat, etc. They also had the option of hiring people from outside of the town and even sent agents around the countryside to find substitutes, and which included the names of various individuals.
It is also possible that there are muster rolls for the town either locally or in your state archives that can provide further details of men sent from towns into continental service. Good luck. Lisa, Good question. I study Northern Army units, and mostly New York regiments early in the war, so I cannot help you there. You would best be helped by someone who as an expert on those regiments. This shorter service could be for months, weeks, or even just a few days. Often these units included both mounted and dismounted troops that worked together as a sort of legion.
In addition, there was the regular Militia that stayed close to home. All men were required to serve. These units were often used as a pool of troops to be drawn on for the various Levy units being formed. The uniformed Independent Companies that were found mostly in New York City and Albany were a sort of early-form of 19th century Marching and Chowder societies. Mostly they were for show, but when NYC was attacked in , they took an active role and were formed into their own battalions.
There were also unnumbered regiments, with only the name of the colonel. I am not at all trying to discourage you. By any stretch of the imagination it is a daunting to figure it all out…and this is only the basics for one colony. Plus, to add to the confusion, family historians can get unit names, battalions, regiments, brigades, and other such designation so buggered up that future generations of the family are looking for a non-existent Continental Regiment.
They could be looking for, say, a member of the 1st company of the 5th Anywhere regiment, but he was actually in the 1st regiment of the 5th Militia Brigade…. Your best bet is get fundamental understanding of the Continental Regiments in the area of your concern. For militia units in the Carolinas and Georgia, I am out of my league there. One could serve in one unit and when their enlistment was up, join another unit across the border. I even know of an entire company that swapped from New York to Connecticut. One officer, I am going to write a brief article for the JAR, migrated from a New York unit to Connecticut and then another, and finally the 2nd Dragoons, a Connecticut based unit.
Have fun. Which brings me to ask another question. My question is… at the beginning of the war in , my ancestor was 21 years old and lived in Cumberland County which was in the Wilmington Military District, but by the end of the war in , he acquired acres and was found in Montgomery County which was designated in the Salisbury District. Translated by U. This man, whose training was shaped by Japan's military tradition, wrote his journal as he planned suicide attacks, battled his emotions, and fought to live.
All of us put the muzzle of the gun to our throats several times but however eventually we will die so why not just stick it out to the finish?
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The diarist, a soldier sent to the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific, was stationed on Makin Atoll, a small group of islands just south of the Marshall Islands. Japan had held Makin, where they had established a seaplane base, since its expansion into the Pacific in The islands served as Japan's outer defenses and were, for the United States, vital communication links between Hawaii and Australia.
Makin Atoll, lying little more than 2, miles from Pearl Harbor, is a rough triangle enclosing a large lagoon. Makin Island, also called Butaritari, lying south of the lagoon, was the largest and most important piece of land in the atoll and was where the Japanese established their seaplane base. If the American attack on the Gilberts succeeded, U. Preparations for the attack began in early The mission would be carried out by a combination of Army, Marine, and Navy forces. Officially called Operation Galvanic, the mission consisted of a northern and a southern landing force.
The northern landing force's objective was Makin Atoll, and the southern landing force was to go to Tarawa.
A Captured Japanese Diary from the Pacific Theater
The Battle of Tarawa was the first major American offensive in the central Pacific region. The mission of capturing Makin and eliminating the Japanese in the area required three steps. First, attack the island; second, gain control of all surrounding smaller islands; and third, pursue and capture the enemy. Air attacks preceded them, and the northern landing force arrived at Makin Atoll in the early hours of November According to an American military preliminary report, about Japanese troops opposed the landing at Makin Atoll. Another 50 aviation personnel and about laborers participated in the defense.
Many of the laborers were Korean.
A KEEN SOLDIER: THE EXECUTION OF SECOND WORLD WAR PRIVATE HAROLD PRINGLE
By November 24, the commander of the northern landing force considered the first phase of the operation complete, but much remained to be done. The majority of the Japanese had been captured, and the Americans were preparing to build a landing strip, load the transports to depart, and sweep the small islands for remaining Japanese troops. The diarist survived and remained uncaptured after the initial assault. His entry from November For Japanese soldiers, being captured or surrendering was the greatest dishonor.
Suicide, not surrender, was the honorable option. In The Anguish of Surrender, author Ulrich Straus describes the prevailing cultural conventions, "It [being taken prisoner] could affect a sister's chance of finding a husband and have an impact on parents, children, and siblings in a myriad of ways, including opportunities for higher education and jobs.
This prevailing mentality spurred the Japanese soldiers in combat and helps explain their tenacity in fighting and resisting capture at all costs. Effective use of propaganda, such as allegations of American cruelty to POWs, further reminded Japanese troops of their duty. According to an Army intelligence report, "The [Japanese] officials told their men of the "extreme cruelty of the Americans.
As tanks and infantry swept Makin and the surrounding small islands to look for survivors, work began on a landing strip and base that eventually supported over 5, men and 75 aircraft. As the Americans proceeded, the diarist and others built rafts and canoes to travel from island to island, evading capture and waiting for reinforcements. By December 2, their boat had no sail, rendering it unusable.