At the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, the colonies faced the daunting task of creating the first American army, and its requisite leadership, capable of combating a global superpower whose standing army and generalship were among the finest in the world. Built largely from state and local militias, the colonial army performed surprisingly well and produced a number of fine generals. Some were experienced before the war, like George Washington of the Virginia Militia and the British-born Horatio Gates, while others were as green as the soldiers they led. This book presents basic biographical information about America's first generals in the Revolutionary War. Included are all generals of the Continental Army, along with those commissioned in the colonies' militias. Drawn from primary sources, including death and census records, records of the Continental Congress, and contemporary writings, each biographical sketch provides date and place of birth, prewar education and occupation, wartime service, date and place of death, and place of burial. Portraits of each general are included where available, and appendices display important statistics, including comparative ages; occupations; officers lost by death, resignation, murder or changing loyalty; and states or countries of origin.
Robert P. Broadwater has written more than 25 books of military history and more than 100 magazine articles dealing with the American Civil War and the Revolutionary War. He lives in Bellwood, Pennsylvania.