List of United States militia units in the American Revolutionary War

Each of the Thirteen Colonies that became the United States when they declared their independence in 1776 had militia units that served on the Patriot side during the American Revolutionary War. The history of militia in the United States dates from the colonial era.[1] Based on the English system, colonial militias were drawn from the body of adult male citizens of a community, town, or local region. Because there was no standing English Army before the English Civil War, and subsequently the English Army and later the British Army had few regulars garrisoning North America, colonial militia served a vital role in local conflicts, particularly in the French and Indian Wars. Before shooting began in the American War of Independence, American revolutionaries took control of the militia system, reinvigorating training and excluding men with Loyalist inclinations.[2] Regulation of the militia was codified by the Second Continental Congress with the Articles of Confederation. The revolutionaries also created a full-time regular army—the Continental Army—but because of manpower shortages the militia provided short-term support to the regulars in the field throughout the war.

In colonial era Anglo-American usage, militia service was distinguished from military service in that the latter was normally a commitment for a fixed period of time of at least a year, for a salary, whereas militia was only to meet a threat, or prepare to meet a threat, for periods of time expected to be short. Militia persons were normally expected to provide their own weapons, equipment, or supplies, although they may later be compensated for losses or expenditures.[3]

Many of the states continued to maintain their militia after the American Revolution until after the U.S. Civil War. Many of the state National Guards trace their roots to the militia from the American Revolution.

The lists below show the known militia units by state for the original colonies plus Vermont.[note 1]

ConnecticutEdit

Revolutionary War units:

DelawareEdit

The first militia in Delaware was formed when Swedish settlers took up arms to defend Fort Christina (which was at the time a Swedish settlement) against Dutch invaders.[4] During the American Revolutionary War, Delaware raised several units of militia in support of the Patriot side of the war. In the War of 1812, all of the Delaware volunteer units saw combat at Lewes, where they comprised the majority of force that drove off a British naval squadron seeking control of the Delaware River.[5] Despite the federal government initially prohibiting volunteer units the Mexican–American War, a volunteer unit raised in Delaware would serve in the battles of Contreras, Cherubusco, Molino del Rey, and Chapultepec, losing so many men that the unit was nicknamed "The Bloody 11th."[5] During the American Civil War, Delaware would raise multiple units in support of the Union cause.[5] During the Spanish–American War, the 1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry was mustered into federal service but not deployed abroad.[6] With the passage of the Militia Act of 1903, all state militia units were folded into the National Guard of the United States, largely turning the state militias from a state-funded and controlled force to a reserve component of the federal military.

Revolutionary War Units:

GeorgiaEdit

The Georgia Militia existed from 1733 to 1879. It was originally planned by General James Oglethorpe prior to the founding of the Province of Georgia, the British colony that would become the U.S. state of Georgia. One reason for the founding of the colony was to act as a buffer between the Spanish settlements in Florida and the British colonies to the north.[7]

Revolutionary War units:

MarylandEdit

MassachusettsEdit

Revolutionary War units:

New HampshireEdit

Revolutionary War units:

New JerseyEdit

Revolutionary War units:

New YorkEdit

North CarolinaEdit

The North Carolina militia units were first established in 1775 by the Third North Carolina Provincial Congress on the eve of the American Revolution. Initially, the militia units were centered on the 35 counties that then existed in the Province of North Carolina. The units fought against the British, Loyalists, and Cherokee Native Americans that aligned themselves with British forces. The units included military district brigades established in 1776, county regiments, four battalions, and one independent corps of light horse. Four regiments were located in counties that became part of the Southwest Territory in 1790 and later Tennessee in 1796. The size of brigades could be up to a few thousand volunteers. Brigades were commanded by a brigadier general. Regiments were commanded by a colonel and made up of a number of companies commanded by captains with about 50 men in each company. During engagements, one or more companies of regiments may have been involved in actions and commanded by the regimental or brigade commander. In 1778, Major General John Ashe was selected to command all North Carolina militia and State Troops. Brigade commanders reported to him. Separate from the North Carolina militia, the state provided 10 numbered regiments to the Continental Army that were referred to as the North Carolina Line.[19][20]

The following are the North Carolina militia Brigades and Regiments, along with the dates established and disestablished.:[21]

PennsylvaniaEdit

On November 25, 1755, the Pennsylvania Assembly passed the Militia Act of 1755.[22] This measure 'legalized a military force from those who were willing and desirous of being united for military purposes within the province.' This was as a result of citizens' pleas for protection from the French and Indians on the western borders. Two years later, a compulsory militia law was also enacted. All males between 17 and 45 years of age, having a freehold worth 150 pounds a year, were to be organized into companies. Every enrolled militiaman was required to appear for training, arming himself, on the first Mondays of March, June, August, and November.

Revolutionary War units:

Rhode IslandEdit

Revolutionary War units:[24]

South CarolinaEdit

  • Beaufort District Regiment, 1778–[25]
  • Berkeley County Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Camden District Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Casey's Regiment, 1782
  • Catawba Indian Company of Rovers, 1775–1776[25]
  • Cheraws District Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Charles Town Artillery Company, 1775[25]
  • Charles Town District Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Colleton County Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Craven County Regiment, 1775–1775[25]
  • Lower Craven County Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Upper Craven County Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Fairfield Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Forks of Saluda District Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Georgetown District Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Graville County Regiment, 1775–1780[25]
  • Lower Granville County Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Upper Graville County Regiment, 1775–[25]
  • Lower District Regiment (aka Dutch Fork Regiment), 1776[25]
  • German Fusiliers of Charleston, 1775
  • Horse Guards, 1753

VermontEdit

Vermont did not become a state until 1791, after the American Revolution. New York asserted that Vermont was part of New York.[26]

Revolutionary War units:

  • 6th Regiment of militia, 1780–1781[8]
  • 7th Regiment of militia, 1782[8]
  • Abbott's Regiment of militia, 1781[8]
  • Clark's Company of militia, 1778–1780[8]
  • Durkee's Company of militia, 1780–1781[8]
  • Green Mountain Boys, 1777
  • Herrick's Regiment, 1775–83
  • Hoar's Company of militia, 1780[8]
  • Marsh's Regiment, 1777
  • Mattison's Company of militia, 1782[8]
  • Mead's Regiment of militia, 1777[8]
  • Robbinson's Regiment of militia, 1776–1777[8]
  • Weld's Company of militia, 1780[8]
  • White's Company of militia, 1781[8]

VirginiaEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The lists of state militias do not contain Continental Army units, unless they also served as militia units at some time during the Revolutionary War. Some states also had state units that were not militia or Continental Army.
  2. ^ Polk's regiment of light dragoons was transferred to the South Carolina State troops in 1781

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Linder, Doug (2008). "United States vs. Miller (U.S. 1939)". Exploring Constitutional Law. University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School. Archived from the original on 2001-11-23. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  2. ^ John Shy, "Mobilizing Armed Force in the American Revolution", in John Parker and Carol Urness, eds., The American Revolution: A Heritage of Change (Minneapolis, 1975), pp. 104–5.
  3. ^ Stephen P. Halbrook, "The Right of the People or the Power of the State Bearing Arms, Arming Militias, and the Second Amendment," Valparaiso Law Review, vol. 26, number 1, page 131 (1991).
  4. ^ "Fort Christina". Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Brief History of the Delaware National Guard" (PDF). Delaware Military Heritage & Education Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  6. ^ McSherry, Patrick. "A Brief History of the 1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry". The Spanish-American Centennial Website. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  7. ^ The Historical Society of the Georgia National Guard
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev ew ex ey ez fa fb fc fd fe ff fg fh fi fj fk fl fm fn fo fp fq fr fs ft fu fv fw fx fy fz ga gb gc gd ge gf gg gh gi Robertson and McDonald, Muster Rolls
  9. ^ "A Brief History of the Georgia National Guard by the Historical Society of the Georgia National Guard". hsgng.org. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  10. ^ Smith, Gordon Burns (2000). History of the Georgia Militia, 1783–1861, Campaigns and Generals. 1. Boyd Publishing.
  11. ^ Balkoski, Joseph (March 3, 1997). The Maryland National Guard: A History of Maryland's Military Forces, 1634–1991. Toomey, PR. ISBN 9997022114.
  12. ^ a b c Miller, John Allen. "The Flyinig Camp Battalion". Emmitsburg Historical Society. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r United States Army Center of Military History. "Massachusetts Militia Roots: A Bibliographic Study". history.army.mil.
  14. ^ Kearse, Gregory S. (2012). "The Bucks of America & Prince Hall Freemasonry". Prince Hall Masonic Digest Newspaper, Washington, D.C. p. 8.
  15. ^ Lanning, Michael Lee (2005). African Americans in the Revolutionary War. Citadel Publishers. ISBN 0-8065-2716-1.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Willey, George Franklyn, ed. (1903). State Builders: An Illustrated Historical and Biographical Record of the State of New Hampshire. State Builders Publishing Manchester, NH.
  17. ^ New York in the Revolution as colony and state, Vol. 1. Albany, New York: New York State, Comptroller`s Office. 1904.
  18. ^ Fernow, Berthold (1887). New York in the Revolution. OL 25266301M.
  19. ^ Towles, Louis P. (2006). "Colonial Militia". NCPedia. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  20. ^ Lewis, J.D. "North Carolina Militia". carolana.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2019. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw Lewis, J.D. "The American Revolution in North Carolina". carolana.com. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  22. ^ Holmes, Joseph J. (1974). "The Decline of the Pennsylvania Militia 1815–1870". Western Pennsylvania History. 57 (2): 202. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16.
  23. ^ Hendler, C.J. (1909). "Official history of the militia and the National guard of the state of Pennsylvania". Library of Congress.
  24. ^ Smith, Joseph Jencks (1900). Civil and Military List of Rhode Island, 1647–1800.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Lewis, J.D. "South Carolina Militia". carolana.com. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  26. ^ First Congress, Third Session (February 18, 1791). "An Act for the admission of the State of Vermont into this Union". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  27. ^ Scribner, Robert L.; Brent Tarter (1977). Revoluntionary Virginia:The Road to Independence, Vol. 3. Charlottesville: Virginia Independence Bicentennial Commission and University of Virginia Press. p. 466.
  28. ^ McAlister, J.T. (1913). Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War. Hot Springs, Virginia: McAllister Publishing Co.

BibliographyEdit