HST315 - Martin, Shayne According to popular belief the...

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Martin, Shayne According to popular belief the revolutionary Minute Men were farmers, untrained in military tactics and were able to gain the upper hand over the hardened British regulars. On the web page of Dr. William Piston, Minute Men are stated as being a myth of “a small band of New England farmers (who possessed almost no organization, discipline, or previous military experience, but who were crack marksmen armed with privately-owned hunting weapons)” and later, “ defeated a large British force by hiding in the woods and shooting at long range while the British stupidly stood in the open in their bright red uniforms.” The book, The Minute Men; The First Fight: Myths and Realities of The American Revolution by John R. Galvin helps to explain the reality of the Minute Men, against the previous myth stated by Dr. Piston’s website. In the book there are several references to the beginning of the Minute Man tradition and how well they were used during the Revolutionary War. The British standing, “ stupidly… in the open in their bright red uniforms.” As stated by Dr. Piston is also a common misconception. I would like to discuss what the book portrays as the minutemen throughout the time period before and during the Revolutionary War. I will compare this description with the common myth of the Minute Man. The British were also not standing as stupidly in their war techniques and preparation as well. Myths about the troops in and around the Revolutionary War in American history are romanticized and I would like to start by building the image of the Minute Man and where he came from. During the early period of colonization in the area of modern day New England colonies were beginning to form. With each new colony a military advisor would come along for protection and for the creation of the militia. The militia is the precursor to the Minute Man concept. The first skirmish of the militia came in Connecticut in 1636 in which the book states, “ 1
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Massachusetts sent Colonel John Endicott with four companies on an unsuccessful campaign against the Pequot Indians.” (Galvin, 8.) The war with the Pequot Indians was the first major campaign test for the militia. Councils would also be created for defense of the colonies but according to the book the most valuable lesson of the first Indian war was, “ a realization that trained units and the new war councils were not enough.” (Galvin, 9.) Colonies would create a confederation in which all colonies would commit soldiers. This force would fight anywhere in the colonies, but this idea was later partially abandoned for a quicker defense where local militia
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HST315 - Martin, Shayne According to popular belief the...

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