The people most responsible for achieving America’s independence by winning the Revolutionary War were George Washington’s foot soldiers—the men of the Continental Army and State Militia. But exactly who were they and what inspired them to endure such appalling hardships. For over 200 years, Americans had the wrong idea.
Author and historian Bob Mayers has searched obscure archived documents and little known British, Hessian and Loyalist records to bare many facts that challenge accounts traditionally accepted as authentic. He discovered that the image of the American soldier was sanitized for more than two centuries. The fighting men of the Revolution were incorrectly portrayed as zealously patriotic citizen-soldiers who were landowning farmers and part-time combatants
Searching for Yankee Doodle-Washington’s Soldiers in the American Revolution tracks these soldiers’ lives, day to day, and follows their own words from diaries. This brings them to. life so we can comprehend why their motivation and behavior won the war. There are few studies devoted to unraveling the lives of the “grunts,” “doughboys” or “GIs” of our most important war. For most of America’s history, little was known about the identities of these men, why they fought and how the war affected their lives.
A handful of these soldiers was identified by their exploits in battle, but most only appear as names on lists of thousands of others compiled by each state. The valiant Yankee Doodles remained elusive figures who appear briefly in these military records and then quickly vanish. When the war ended the marvelous Continental Army and Militia units were disbanded and returning veterans were neither honored nor rewarded and were virtually disregarded.
Mayers reveals a fresh portrait of the foot soldiers of the American Revolution. His examination of their motivations, personal lives and experiences before, during, and after the war is a compelling story.