List of Continental Army units (1775)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
American Revolutionary War
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis.jpg
Armed Forces
United States
Continental Army
 → Commander-in-Chief
 → Regional departments
 → Units (1775, 1776, 1777–1784)
Continental Navy
Continental Marines
State forces
 → List of militia units
 → List of state navies
 → Maritime units
Great Britain
List of British units
France
List of French units
Related topics
List of battles
Military leadership

The Continental Army was the army raised by the Second Continental Congress to oppose the British Army during the American Revolutionary War. The army went through three major establishments: the first in 1775, the second in 1776, and the third from 1777 until after the end of the war.

Creation of the army[edit]

The Continental Army was established by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, which is also recognized as the founding date of its successor, the United States Army. On that day, the Continental Congress assumed responsibility for militia regiments that had been raised by the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Most of these troops were stationed outside Boston, Massachusetts, where they besieged the city occupied by British troops under the command of General Thomas Gage. The forces adopted by the Continental Congress amounted to 39 regiments of infantry, and 1 regiment and 1 separate company of artillery. The period of service for many of these regiments ended on December 31, 1775, although some had a service period that expired earlier. The Continental Congress resolved on June 15, 1775 that the Continental Army should be commanded by a full general. This appointment was offered to George Washington, who accepted it the following day. In company with Philip Schuyler and other officers he began the journey from Philadelphia to Boston.

On June 14 Continental Congress also for the first time ordered additional troops to be raised for national defense. It ordered that ten companies of "expert riflemen" be raised in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, specifying their organization, pay, and term of enlistment.

As 1775 came to a close, with no end in sight to the siege of Boston and troops in Quebec preparing to attack Quebec City, Congress authorized a second establishment of the army, with a new regimental structure.

Unless otherwise noted, the regiments and companies listed were adopted into the Continental Army by Congress on June 14, 1775.

Infantry[edit]

  • New Hampshire Line: 3 regiments. These regiments were commanded by colonels Stark, Poor, and Reed.
  • Massachusetts Line: 27 regiments. These regiments were commanded by colonels Ward, Thomas, Walker, Cotton, Whitcomb, Read, Mansfield, Danielson, Prescott, Frye, Bridge, Paterson, Scammon, Learned, Gardner, Nixon, Fellows, Doolittle, J. Brewer, D. Brewer, Heath, Woodbridge, Glover, Little, Gerrish, Phinney, and Sargent.
  • Rhode Island Line: 3 regiments. These regiments were commanded by colonels Varnum, Hitchcock, and Church.
  • Connecticut Line: 8 regiments. The 1st through 6th regiments were adopted by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775. The 7th and 8th regiments were adopted by the Congress on July 19, 1775.
  • New York Line: 5 regiments. On May 25 the Continental Congress voted to support a force not exceeding 3,000 men for the defense of New York. The colony of New York availed itself fully of this number, subsequently raising them as the 1st through 4th New York Regiments. Warner's Regiment, raised in the disputed New Hampshire Grants territory (present-day Vermont), was authorized on June 23, 1775.
  • Pennsylvania Line: 1 regiment. The Continental Congress ordered that six companies of riflemen be raised in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania frontiersman were so eager to participate that on June 22 Pennsylvania's quota of companies was increased to eight, organized as a regiment known as the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment. A ninth company was added to the regiment on July 11.[1]
  • Maryland Line: 2 separate companies. The Continental Congress ordered that two companies of riflemen be raised in Maryland.
  • Virginia Line: 2 regiments and 2 separate companies. The Continental Congress ordered that two companies of riflemen be raised in Virginia. On November 4, 1775 the Congress adopted the 1st and 2d Virginia Regiments. These were existing formations that had been authorized by the colony in August and organized at Williamsburg in October.
  • North Carolina Line: 2 regiments. On June 26, 1775 the Continental Congress voted to support a force not exceeding 1,000 men for the defense of North Carolina.[2] The colony of North Carolina availed itself fully of this number, subsequently raising the 1st and 2d North Carolina Regiments.
  • South Carolina Line: 2 regiments. The Continental Congress resolved, on November 4, 1775 to adopt two infantry regiments in South Carolina. The 1st and 2d South Carolina Regiments were existing formations that had been authorized by the colony in June.
  • Georgia Line: The Continental Congress resolved, on November 4, 1775 to authorized one infantry regiment in Georgia. Georgia did not raise a regiment of its own until 1776.

Troops composing the 1st Canadian Regiment were raised by James Livingston as early as September 1775, but the formation did not receive any formal designation by the Continental Congress until January 1776. Livingston was commissioned a colonel by Brigadier General Richard Montgomery in November 1775, when the regiment was first formally recognized.

Artillery[edit]

  • Massachusetts: 1 regiment. The Massachusetts Artillery Regiment, under Colonel Gridley, was adopted by the Continental Congress and redesignated the Continental Artillery Regiment.
  • Rhode Island: 1 company. This company had been raised by Rhode Island as the Rhode Island Train of Artillery.
  • New York: 1 company. The Continental Congress authorized Lamb's Continental Artillery Company on June 30, 1775.

Order of Battle - July 22, 1775[edit]

Main Army[edit]

General George Washington

Right Wing
1st (Ward's) Division (Major General Artemas Ward)
1st (Thomas') Brigade (Brigadier General John Thomas).
  • Ward's Regiment, or 1st Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Jonathan Ward. (Designated the 21st Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Bailey's Regiment, or 2d Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel John Bailey. (Designated the 23d Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Cotton's Regiment, or 4th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Theophilus Cotton. (Consolidated in December 1775 with Bailey's Regiment, less two companies consolidated with Ward's Regiment, one company consolidated with Learned's Regiment, and one company consolidated with Gardner's Regiment).
  • Danielson's Regiment, or 8th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Timothy Danielson. (Consolidated in December 1775 with Learned's Regiment, less one company consolidated with Nixon's Regiment and one company consolidated with Gardner's Regiment).
  • Fellows' Regiment, or 17th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel John Fellows. (Consolidated in December 1775 with Ward's Regiment, less one company consolidated with Jonathan Brewer's Regiment).
  • David Brewer's Regiment, or 20th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel David Brewer. (Consolidated in December 1775 with Read's Regiment, less one company consolidated with Jonathan Brewer's Regiment).
3d (Spencer's) Brigade (Brigadier General Joseph Spencer).
Left Wing
2d (Lee's) Division (Major General Charles Lee)
5th (Sullivan's) Brigade (Brigadier General John Sullivan).
6th (Greene's) Brigade (Brigadier General Nathanael Greene)
  • Varnum's Regiment (Rhode Island). Colonel James Mitchell Varnum. (Designated the 9th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Hitchcock's Regiment (Rhode Island). Colonel Daniel Hitchcock. (Designated the 11th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Church's Regiment (Rhode Island). Colonel Thomas Church. (Disbanded December 31, 1775).
  • Whitcomb's Regiment, or 5th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Asa Whitcomb. (Disbanded December 31, 1775. Colonel Whitcomb took command of the 6th Continental Regiment, raised from Jonathan Brewer's Regiment).
  • Read's Regiment, or 6th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Joseph Read. (Designated the 13th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Gardner's Regiment, or 15th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Thomas Gardner. (Designated the 25th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Jonathan Brewer's Regiment, or 19th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Jonathan Brewer. (Designated the 6th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Little's Regiment, or 24th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Moses Little. (Designated the 12th Continental Regiment in 1776).
Reserve
3d (Putnam's) Division (Major General Israel Putnam)
2d (Heath's) Brigade (Brigadier General William Heath)
  • Prescott's Regiment, or 9th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel William Prescott. (Designated the 7th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Paterson's Regiment, or 12th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel John Paterson. (Designated the 15th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Scammon's Regiment, or 13th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel James Scammon. (Consolidated in December 1775 with Phinney's Regiment, less two companies consolidated with Prescott's Regiment and two companies consolidated with Paterson's Regiment).
  • Greaton's Regiment, or 21st Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel John Greaton. (Designated the 24th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Gerrish's Regiment, or 25th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Samuel Gerrish. (Designated the 26th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Phinney's Regiment, or 26th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Edmund Phinney. (Designated the 18th Continental Regiment in 1776).
4th Brigade (vacant) (commanded by Putnam because Seth Pomeroy declined his commission)
  • Frye's Regiment, or 10th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel James Frye. (Disbanded December 31, 1775).
  • Bridge's Regiment, or 11th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Ebenezer Bridge. (Disbanded December 31, 1775).
  • Woodbridge's Regiment, or 22d Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Benjamin Ruggles Woodbridge. (Disbanded December 31, 1775).
  • Glover's Regiment, or 23d Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel John Glover. (Designated the 14th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • Sargent's Regiment, or 27th Massachusetts Regiment. Colonel Paul Dudley Sargent. (Designated the 16th Continental Regiment in 1776).
  • 3rd Connecticut Regiment (1775). Colonel Experience Storrs. (Used in December 1775 as cadre for the 20th Continental Regiment).
Main Army infantry units not assigned to a brigade
Main Army artillery units

New York Department[edit]

Established June 25, 1775.[3] Merged into Middle Department, February 27, 1776.[4]

Major General Philip Schuyler

New York Department artillery units
  • Lamb's Artillery Company (New York). Captain John Lamb. (Lamb was later Colonel, 2d Continental Artillery Regiment, 1777-1783).

Provincial units attached to New York Department

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Wright, Continental Army, 25.
  2. ^ Wright, Continental Army, 71.
  3. ^ Fitzpatrick, Writings, III:302-304.
  4. ^ Wright, Continental Army, 82.

References[edit]