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The Continental Army

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Further Reading

His Excellency: George Washington
by Joseph Ellis

His Excellency George Washington
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biography by Pulitzer Prize winning author Joseph Ellis

    

George Washington's War: The Saga of the American Revolution
by Robert Leckie

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General George Washington
oil painting unsigned

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Battle of Quebec

Benedict Arnold

Primary Source

George Washington's Diary


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When the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in May 1775, they asked George Washington to take command of the Continental Army. The war lasted 6 years. 

He felt that the best strategy was to harass the British. He reported to Congress,
"we should on all Occasions avoid a general Action, or put anything to the Risque, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn." His usual technique was to fall back slowly and strike when the British were not expecting it. However, the Continental Army took the offensive in it's attempt to take Quebec and bring Canada into the union. The leader of Battle of Quebec was Benedict Arnold, who later attempted to hand over West Point to the British.


Washington at Valley Forge, December 1777

The six month winter encampment of the Continental Army at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777/1778 was continually plagued with shortages of food, clothing and equipment. These supplies were furnished by the individual colonies and the Continental Congress.

Poor organization, a shortage of wagoneers, lack of forage for the horses, the devaluation of the Continental currency,  spoilage, and capture by the British all contributed to severe shortages of the most necessary supplies. Under the leadership of George Washington, however,  the army maintained its discipline and survived to eventually win the war.


Part of These United Colonies: The American War of Independence exhibit

The American Revolution

American Revolution Primary Sources

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