This is What Life was Like for Soldiers of the Continental Army during the American Revolution

Daniel Morgan’s Virginia Riflemen were the first special forces of the Continental Army. Wikimedia

2. The camps around Boston were only brought to order slowly

In the Continental Army encampments there was little to do between June of 1775, following the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the spring of the following year, largely because Washington lacked the artillery and the gunpowder to dislodge the British from Boston. Shooting was proscribed in the camps, but shooting contests occurred just outside their boundaries, enraging Washington and leading to some participants being drummed out of the army for disobedience. More units arrived from the colonies, well-clad and disciplined regiments from Delaware and Maryland; tough, rangy riflemen from Virginia under the command of Daniel Morgan, and a regiment of fisherman and sailors from Marblehead, which would play a significant in the coming campaigns.

As Washington wrote regulation after regulation, and frequently toured the camps to ensure his orders were being carried out, a semblance of military organization developed. The camps were arranged with laid out streets among the tents, with orders for the proper location of latrines and the requirement to fill them in and dig new facilities on a schedule. Orders for the proper identification of officers were prepared, as were orders requiring the men to follow the commands of all superior officers, not just those of the leaders of their own units. Regimentation appeared in the camps, with days scheduled for the purpose of training the men as well as occupying their time in fruitful activities.