After receiving news of the battle of Lexington and Concord, Alexander Hamilton began to prepare for war. With his old friend Robert Troup and other King's College men, Hamilton formed a volunteer musket drill unit and, with the assistance of some of his veteran professors, trained a group of young college boys to shoot and fight. Hamilton also began studying artillery with the help of his math professor. He and his volunteers saw their first military action on the night of August 23, 1775, when they helped capture twenty-one cannon at a British stockade on the tip of Manhattan Island in New York. The operation was not overly dangerous, because the stockade was only protected by one warship, which could do little to deter the land-based raid. Nonetheless, Hamilton achieved some measure of glory, and proved his mettle on the battlefield. By March of 1776, Hamilton had been commissioned a captain in the
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