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American Military Units in Revolutionary War

On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia passed a resolution authorizing the formation of a Continental Army. The Army was authorized for 10 companies of expert riflemen: 6 in Pennsylvania, 2 in Maryland, and 2 in Virginia.On June 15, John Adams offered another resolution. It was that Col. George Washington of the Virginia Militia be appointed General and Commander-in-Chief, a position which Washington accepted the next day.

At the same time as Washington's appointment, the Continental Congress also appointed certain other Generals. Artemas Ward, already in command of the men around Boston, was naturally chosen as the senior major-general. Next in rank was Charles Lee, a former British Army officer and a soldier-of-fortune. He would serve as a capable advisor on military matters to the Commander-in-Chief. The other major-generals chosen were Philip Schuyler and Israel Putnam.

The brigidier-generals chosen were Seth Pomeroy, Richard Montgomery, David Wooster, William Heath, Joseph Spencer, John Thomas, John Sullivan, and Nathaniel Greene. The Adjutant General, with the rank of brigidier-general, was Horatio Gates. He was another former officer in the British Army.

Military Departments

Units by Year

Units by State


Both sides faced a major problem raising and maintaining an army, so that the war could actually be fought, and they found radically different solutions to it. American troops initially belonged to the colonies or states, as there was, of course, that point no real central government.

When the Congress authorized the 20,370-man army that its commander recommended, as a result of a visit to Boston by a committee from Philadelphia, it was seeking to build up, and formalize, a regular standing army on the European model, and it proposed that these men be organized in 26 single-battalion regiments. If realized, this plan would have given Washington and Americans a small but presumably efficient force with which he could meet the British on their own terms. During the first year of the war, about 27,500 men were officially carried on the national rolls.

For 1776, Congress authorized 27 regiments, then later in the year, it upped the number to 88 regiments, and tried to enlist men for the duration of the war. Then, at the very end of the year, it voted to raise another 16 regiments, as well as cavalry and artillery formations. In fact, authorized strength was never reached, in spite of the offering of enlistments bounties either of hard money or future land grants, and there were fewer troops under arms in 1777 than the year before, and fewer still in 1778. For 1779, recognizing both reality and the diminution of activity, the figures were adjusted downward, back to 80 battalions, and for the last 2 years of the war, down again to a merely 58 regiments.

Figures compiled after the war showed that there had been some 232,000 enlistments in the Continental Army; many of these were reenlistments, so it is estimated that they represent perhaps 150,000 men.

In addition to the regulars, there existed the militia. Every able-bodied man was officially part of the militia, and subject to call-up in an emergency. They tended at times to be poorly disciplined and commanded, though some militia fought very bravely and acted accordingly. The figures for militia service are far less reliable than for the regulars, but there seem to have been about 145,000 periods of service under militia auspices.

Taking regulars and militia together, the total would be about 377,000 enlistments, of which settles down to around a range of 175,000 to 225,000 men serving in the armed forces of the Revolutionary War. This represents roughly 8-10% of the total population, a population which included women, children, and older people.

The peak strength for a year was at 89,000 in 1776, and half of those were militiamen. The highest strength of the Continental Army came in 1778, at 35,000, and Washington never commanded more than 17,000 troops (regular and militia combined) at any one time.


  • 1st Company, Maryland Rifles (Cresap’s Company) (CTL)
  • 1st Cont'l Artillery, Harrison's Regt. (NWTA)
  • 1st Continental Artillery (CTL)
  • 1st Continental Light Dragoons, Lee's Troop (BAR)
  • 1st Continental Light Dragoons, 5th Troop (CTL)
  • 1st Continental Regiment of Foot (CTL)
  • 1st Continental Regiment of Riflemen
  • 1st Canadian Regiment (BVMA)
  • 1st Maryland (CTL)
  • 1st Maryland/Southern Campaign
  • 1st New Hampshire (CTL)
  • 1st New York Regiment (BAR)
  • 1st New York, Light Company (CTL)
  • 1st New Jersey Regiment (CTL)
  • 1st New Jersey Regiment, Polhemus Company (BAR)
  • 1st Pennsylvania Battalion(BAR)
  • 1st Pennsylvania Regiment (BAR) (CTL)
  • 1st Pennsylvania Regiment, Col. Hand's Regiment (BAR) (NWTA)
  • 1st Rhode Island (CTL)
  • 1st Virginia Regiment (CTL)
  • 2nd Canadian Regiment, Congress's Own (BAR)
  • The Second Canadian Regiment (CTL)
  • 2nd Connecticut Regiment (CTL) (LHA) (CCMA)
  • 2nd Continental Artillery, Mott's 6th Company (BAR) (CTL)
  • 2nd Continental Light Dragoons, Sheldon's Horse (BAR, CTL, BVMA)
  • 2nd Continental Light Dragoons, Tallmadge's Troop (BAR) (CTL)
  • 2nd Maryland Regt. (NWTA)
  • 2nd Massachusetts Regiment (BAR) (CTL)
  • 2nd New Jersey Regiment, Helm's Company (BAR) (CTL)
  • 2nd New Jersey Regiment, Lawrie's Company (CTL)
  • 2nd New York Regiment, Provincial Forces (BAR)
  • 2nd New Hampshire Regiment, Samuel Cherry's Light Infantry Company (BAR) (CTL)
  • 2nd North Carolina Regiment (CTL)
  • 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment (CTL)
  • 43rd Regiment of Foot /, 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment (BAR)
  • 2nd Pennsylvania Regt., Ashmead's Co'y (NWTA)
  • 2nd Rhode Island Regiment (BAR)
  • 2nd Rhode Island Regiment (UK)
  • 2nd South Carolina Regiment (CTL)
  • 2nd Virginia Regt. (BAR)
  • 2nd Virginia Regt. (NWTA)
  • 3rd Connecticut Regt., Webb's Co'y, Band of Musick (NWTA)
  • 3rd Continental Artillery (CTL)
  • 3rd Continental Light Dragoon, Lewis's Troop(BAR)
  • 3rd Maryland (CTL)
  • 3rd New Jersey Regiment (BAR)
  • 3rd New York Regiment (BAR)
  • 3rd New York Regiment, Long Island Companies (BAR) (CTL)
  • 3rd New York, DeWitts Company (CTL)
  • 3rd New York Regiment, Dubois' Company (BAR) (NWTA)
  • 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment, Light Company (CTL)
  • 3rd Virginia Regiment
  • 4th Connecticut Regiment (BAR)
  • 4th Cont'l Artillery, 9th (Porter's) Co'y (NWTA)
  • 4th Continental Light Dragoon (CTL)
  • 4th Continental Light Dragoon, Capt. Craig's Troop (BAR) (NWTA)
  • 4th Continental Light Dragoon, Hopkin's Troop (BAR)
  • 5th Connecticut Regiment (BAR) (CTL)
  • 5th Pennsylvania (CTL)
  • 5th Pennsylvania Regiment, Light Infantry (BAR)
  • 5th Virginia Regiment (BAR)
  • 6th Connecticut Regiment, Light Infantry Company (BMVA, CCMA)
  • 6th Maryland (CTL)
  • 6th North Carolina (CTL)
  • 6th Pennsylvania Regiment (BAR) (CTL)
  • 6th Virginia Regiment (NWTA)
  • 7th Albany County Militia Regiment (BAR)
  • 7th Virginia Regiment (CTL)(VLA)(LHA)
  • 7th Virginia Regt. (NWTA)
  • 7th Virginia Regiment, Captain Marshall's Company
  • 8th Massachusetts Regiment
  • 8th Pennsylvania Regiment (BAR)
  • 9th Massachusetts Regiment (CTL)
  • 9th Pennsylvania Regiment (BAR)
  • 9th/13th Virginia Regiment (BAR)
  • 9th VA (CTL)
  • 10th Massachusetts Regiment, Light Infantry (BAR) (CTL)
  • 10th VA (CTL)
  • 10th Virginia Regiment, Capt. Lawson's Company (BAR)
  • 10th Virginia Regt., Reid's Co'y (NWTA)
  • 11th Pennsylvania Regiment
  • 12th PA Regiment, Capt. Hawkin Boone's Company (BAR)
  • 13th Pennsylvania Regt. (NWTA)
  • 14th Massachusetts (Glover's Marblehead) Regiment
  • 25th Continental Regiment (LHA)
  • Alexander Lawson Smith's Company, Md & Va Rifle Regiment (CTL)
  • Allied Engineer Department
  • Baldwin's Regt., Cont'l Quartermaster Artificers (NWTA)
  • Blands Virginia Horse (CTL)
  • Canadian Regt. "Congress's Own" Light Company (CTL)
  • Cannon's Regiment, Oregon Continental Brigade
  • Captain James Lowden' Rifle Company (BAR) (CTL)
  • Captain Smith's Rifle Company (BAR)
  • Captain Stephen Buckland's Artillery Company
  • Col. Campbell's Rifle Regiment (VLA)
  • Col. Knox's Artillery Regiment (CTL)
  • Commander-in-Chief's Guard (Washington's Life Guard) (NWTA)
  • Company of Artificers (CCMA)
  • Congress' Own First Canadian Regiment (BVMA)
  • Continental and State Marines 1775-1783
  • Continental Battalion of Marines, Lt. Trevetts Company (BAR) (CTL)
  • Continental Marines, Capt. Nichols Battalion (BAR)
  • Continental Marines, Niklaus' Battalion, Dean's Co'y (NWTA)
  • Continental Marines
  • Coren's Independent Artillery (CTL)
  • Cresap's First Company Maryland Rifles
  • Daniel Morgan's Rifleman (CTL)
  • Daniel Morgan's Rifle Company (BAR)
  • Delaware Regiment, Battalion Company (BAR)
  • German Regiment (BAR) (CTL)
  • Hall's Delaware Regiment of Foot (BAR)
  • Haslet's Delaware Regiment, Light Infantry Company (BAR)
  • Kingsbury Independent NC Artillery (CTL)
  • Knowlton's Connecticut Rangers (BAR)
  • Lamb's Artillery, 2nd Continental Arty (BAR) (CTL)
  • Morgan Rifle Company (BAR)(CTL)
  • Morgan's Rangers
  • Nelson's Independent Rifle Company (BAR)
  • New Hampshire Rangers (Stark's Company)
  • Parr's Rifle Corps (BAR)
  • Pawling's Independent Corps of Levies, Hunter's Company (BAR)
  • Pawling's Independent Corps of Levies (BAR)
  • Pawtuxet Rangers
  • Proctor's Continental Artillery Regiment, 1st (Turnbull's) Company (NWTA)
  • Proctor's 1st Battalion (BAR)
  • Pulaski's Independent Legion (BAR) (CTL)
  • Ross' Rifle Company /, Forrest's Battery (BAR)
  • Savage's Detachment of the Second Continental Artillery
  • Selen's Independent Rifles (CTL)
  • Shreves Troop Light Horse, 1st Regiment Burlington Militia (BAR)
  • Thompson's Rifle Battalion, Capt. Hendrick's Company (BAR)
  • Umpteenth Virginia Continental Line
  • Virginia Campaigners
  • Von Heer's Corps, Marchesie Corps (BAR) (CTL)
  • Wayne’s Light Infantry, Maryland Company (CTL)
  • Weltner's German Regiment (CTL)
  • Whitcomb's Rangers (BAR) (CTL) (BVMA)


  • 1st New Market Militia
  • 1st Ulster County Militia
  • 2nd Regiment, Albany County Militia (BVMA)
  • 3rd Battalion, Tryon County Militia (BVMA)
  • 3rd Tryon County Militia Regiment (BAR)
  • 4th Middlesex, Mass. Regiment of Foot (BAR) (CTL)
  • The Eleventh Regiment of Connecticut Militia
  • 13th Albany County Militia Regiment (BAR)
  • 15th Albany County Militia, Strubrach's Company (BAR)
  • 15th Albany County Militia, Hagar's Independent Rifle Company (BAR)
  • 17th Connecticut Militia Fife & Drums
  • 24th Connecticut Militia Regiment, 1st Independent Company (BAR) (CTL)
  • Bergen County Militia (BAR) (CTL)
  • Bowman's Co'y, Illinois Regt., Virginia State Forces (BAR, NWTA)
  • Captain Benjamin Logan's Company, Kentucky County Militia (BAR) (NWTA) (VLA)
  • Captain John Outwater's Company of Militia (BAR)
  • Charleville's Co'y, Ste. Anne's Parish Militia (NWTA)
  • Clark's Illinois Regiment (BAR)
  • Col. Locke's Militia Company / Kingsbury Independent North Carolina Artillery
  • Coryell's Ferry Militia
  • Crew of the Schooner Wasp (BAR) (CTL)
  • Crockett's Western Battalion (BAR)
  • Culpepper Minute Battalion (NWTA)
  • Cumberland County Militia, 5th Battalion (BAR)
  • Danvers Alarm List (CTL)
  • Georgia Refugees (BAR)
  • Glades Rangers (BAR)
  • Gloucester Light Infantry
  • Guilford Militia
  • Hamilton's Co'y, New York State Artillery (NWTA)
  • Herrick's Regiment
  • Hillsborough District Militia (Part of King’s Own Patriots) (BAR) (LHA)
  • Holder's Company, Kentucky Militia (BAR) (NWTA)
  • Huntington Militia, Capt. Joshua Roger's Company (BAR)
  • Kellar's Co'y, Illinois Regt., Virginia State Forces (BAR, NWTA)
  • Kentish Guards
  • Lexington Minute Men Company
  • Logan's Company of Kentucky Co. Militia (BAR, NWTA)
  • McCarty's Co'y, Illinois Regt., Virginia State Forces (BAR, NWTA)
  • Maryland Militia, Flying Camp (CTL)
  • Middlesex County Volunteer Fifes and Drums (CTL)
  • Moses Wheelock Westborough Company of Militia
  • PA State Regiment (CTL)
  • Pennsylvania State Navy
  • Rehoboth Minute Coy/Walker's Regt (CTL)
  • Shelby's Volunteers
  • Sudbury Company of Militia and Minute
  • Virginia State Navy, Ship: Hero (NWTA)
  • Westmoreland County Militia, 1st Battalion (BAR)
  • Westford Colonial Minutemen
  • Worthington's Co'y, Illinois Regt., Virginia State Forces (NWTA)
  • Yarmouth Minutemen


  • Auxerrois Regiment #12 (BAR)
  • Royal Deux Ponts Regiment #104 (BAR) (NWTA)
  • Lauzun's Legion (NWTA)
  • Regiment Borbonnais (French) (CTL)
  • Regiment de Saintonge (French) (CTL, BAR)
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