Revolutionary War Tactics

This is a discussion on Revolutionary War Tactics within the Defensive Books, Video & References forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello everyone out there in DC. This semester I am taking an exploratory class to finish up my History minor. One of the requirements is ...

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Thread: Revolutionary War Tactics

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    Member Array Datsun40146's Avatar
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    Revolutionary War Tactics

    Hello everyone out there in DC. This semester I am taking an exploratory class to finish up my History minor. One of the requirements is a comparative book report on anything related to the revolutionary period IE roughly 1710ish to 1790ish, the topic is designed to be very open ended.
    The topics I decided to explore are revolutionary war tactics and how they changed as the weapons and arms of the war evolved. Can anyone recommend any books on the subject of revolutionary arms and tactics and the effects they had on one another?
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    Can't help you directly, but here are a couple of suggestions. First, if you are an NRA member, call Member Services and get a phone number for the NRA museum. They have a staff of curators who might be able to help with a bibliography or some references.

    Likewise, contact the US Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground. This has one of the most significant collections showing the history of military ordnance from the pre-Colonial days up to modern times. To the best of my knowledge, the museum is run by a foundation, and they probably have an extensive bibliography as well.

    My strong suspicion is that you won't find all you're looking for in a book or two, but rather in a number of smaller, discrete papers and articles from a variety of publications. Good luck!
    Smitty
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datsun40146 View Post
    related to the revolutionary period IE roughly 1710ish to 1790ish, the topic is designed to be very open ended.
    First, 1710 seems real early, open ended is an understatement, the change in weapons for that entire period would sure be something to write about (Matchlock to flintlock). But most historians consider the Revolutionary period starting about 1770, after the F&I war and Pontiac's rebellion.

    The topics I decided to explore are revolutionary war tactics and how they changed as the weapons and arms of the war evolved. Can anyone recommend any books on the subject of revolutionary arms and tactics and the effects they had on one another?
    If you get deep enough into it you'll find that the tactics that the Americans ended up using were the same European tactics that the British were using, and using the same smooth bore muskets that the British were using for the most part. The same weapons used in the F&I War. There wasn't much evolution in weapons till the 1820's when percussion locks made their appearance.

    As for references, there are multitudes to chose from. I'd suggest trying to find some primary sources, the rest is just hearsay.
    Rick

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    Member Array lifehertz's Avatar
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    A great book that discusses this is "American Rifle: A Biography" by Alexander Rose. It follows the different types of rifles used by Americans from roughly the French & Indian wars and on. The section on the American Revolutionary War discusses the differences in tactics between muskets and rifles.

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    An excellent book is "The Military Experience on the Age of Reason, 1715 - 1789" by Christopher Duffy. It's not exclusivly about the American experience, but it is a good book. As far as tactics, are you looking for militia, Continental Line, various Ranger units? A number of period drill manuals may help you understand what was happening on the battlefields of the time. Pickering's "Easy Plan", Von Steuben's Drill manuals, the Norfolk drill...lots of possibilities. Good hunting!

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