Continental Army
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Established by the Continental Congress in the midst of the Siege of Boston in 1775, the Continental Army formed the backbone of the forces of the Thirteen Colonies. With General George Washington as commander-in-chief, the Continental Army saw action from Quebec City down to Camden, South Carolina, serving alongside local militia units and French allies.1 Although popular perception venerates the militias and has painted an image of an army made up of yeoman farmers, for the most part the soldiers of the Continental Army were landless laborers who enlisted to collect bountiesBounty noun
In this context, a bounty would be a sum of money raised by a community to pay for the service of a soldier. Towns would often offer bounties to vagrants and people outside the community so that residents themselves would not have to serve.
in exchange for service; George Washington once described his men as "Food for Worms … miserable sharp looking caitiffs, hungry lean faced Villains."2 Nevertheless, the tenacity of the Continental soldier and the brilliance of commanders like Washington, Nathaniel Greene, and Henry Knox, combined with ample support from the French Crown, enabled the United States to achieve its independence through feat of arms.3

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