Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “american revolution”

Office of Medical History (Army)

Office of Medical History (Army) – http://history.amedd.army.mil

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What were some preventative measures taken by the US Army in the American Revolution?
  • When were US soldiers first vaccinated for smallpox?
  • What was considered typical care during the Civil War?
  • What were World War I base camp hospitals like?

Description:

This site is divided into a number of sections, but the most helpful will be:

Books and Documents – materials from Revolutionary times to the the Iraq War. Some representative titles are:

  • The Evolution of Preventive Medicine in the United States Army, 1607-1939
  • Medical Men in the American Revolution, 1775-1783 by Louis C. Duncun
  • Thesis: A Study of the Medical Support to the Union and Confederate Armies During the Battle of Chickamauga: Lessons and Implications for Today’s U.S. Army Medical Department Leaders by David A. Rubenstein
  • The U.S. Army Medical Department in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
  • Women in the Army Medical Department in World War II
  • Battle Casualties in Korea: Studies of the Surgical Research Team, Volume II, Tools for Resuscitation
  • In Their Own Words: The 498th Air Ambulance Company in Iraq, 2003

Historical Art Work – Captioned images and photographs from WWI through the Iraq War. The Office of Medical History discourages the use of this imagery for commercial or partisan publications, but does not disclose their authority for prohibiting these uses.

Medal of Honor recipients – Short citations of medical personnel awarded the Medal of Honor.

AMEDD Unit Patches and Lineage – Patches and organization histories from Army Medical units.

As you might gather from the title of this resource, it will be most helpful in determining what level of field medicine is available to your military characters in a given period of time.

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Sea Raiders of the American Revolution: the Continental Navy in European Waters

Bowen-Hassell, E. Gordon, Dennis Michael Conrad, and Mark L. Hayes. 2003. Sea raiders of the American Revolution: the Continental Navy in European waters. Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, Dept. of the Navy.

(Find in a library – http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/605992304)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How did the US manage to attack British shores during the Revolution?
  • What was “commerce raiding?”
  • Was the Navy a state or national force during the Revolution?
  • What are some character flaws I can give to an otherwise successful commander?

Description:

This well illustrated book provides background on Lambert Wickes, Gustavus Conyngham and John Paul Jones, three successful naval captains in the American Revolution. Tactics, raids and relationships with authority are discussed. Sidebars provide information on daily life and weapons used on American vessels.

The book explains how the Continental Navy was only one of several American navies. Most of the colonies maintained their own navies, as did the National Army.

Revolutionary War Bookshelf from US Army Center of Military History

Revolutionary War Bookshelf from US Army Center of Military History – http://www.history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/resmat/rw.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How did a divided command affect British plans to seize Philadelphia, the then capital of the United States?
  • When were the first shots of the American Revolution were fired?
  • What was the wagon department and when was it established.

Description:

A listing of published materials and archival records held by the Center related to the US Revolutionary War. Each type of material has its own tab. For an overview of the various campaigns and battles in the war, be sure to read:

  • The American Revolution: First Phase: (an extract from American Military History, Volume 1 – revised 2005)
  • The Winning of Independence, 1777-1783: (an extract from American Military History, Volume 1 – revised 2005)

Aside from this broad overview, articles on a few specific battles and the challenges of supplying Washington’s army are covered.

Pictorial History of Marines in the Revolution.

Pictorial History of Marines in the Revolution. 1975. 32 pp.
(Print – http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/647078375 – Links to ebook.)
(PDF)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • When did the Marines land on New Providence? What forts did they take?
  • Where did the Americans use rowed galleys?
  • What did mustering out look like right after the Revolution?

Description:

This book is simply a set of paintings with historical commentary on the depicted scenes. The back of the book has a note about the artist and a note on the sources used to create the painting.

Marines in the Revolution: A History of the Continental Marines in the American Revolution, 1775-1783

Marines in the Revolution: A History of the Continental Marines in the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Charles R. Smith. 1975. 491 pp.

(Print: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1560110)
(Online: https://archive.org/details/MarinesInTheRevolution)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What were Marines doing on the Mississippi River during the Revolution?
  • What was it like to serve in the marines of Maryland and Virginia?
  • What sort of positions did men hold on Marine ships?
  • What rewards were posted for the return of deserting marines?

Description:

This an overview of Continental Marine activity from the creation of the Marines through the last days of the Revolutionary War.

Battles/Campaigns covered in detail are:

  • New Providence Raid
  • Trenton-Princeton Campaign
  • Marines on the Mississippi, 1777-1779
  • Sailing Against England
  • Charleston, 1780

The last chapter is called “mustering out” and has information on the disposition of ships as well as men.

The book also has several appendices including diaries of men involved in the campaigns, list of men on ships and a set of advertisements for capturing deserting marines.

Making a Continental Marine Uniform

Making a Continental Marine Uniform. Jack B. Hilliard and Doris S. Maley. 1975. 92 pp.
(Print – http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1976979)
(Online: https://archive.org/details/MakingAContinentalMarineUniform)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Where can I find a compact history of battles involving Continental Marines?
  • What did an officer’s hat look like during the American Revolution?
  • What US raids on foreign soil took place before the Declaration of Independence?
  • How do I make a half-gaiter?

Description:

From the introduction, “This guidebook is designed to aid the amateur tailor in creating a Continental Marine uniform of sufficient authenticity while at the same time emphasizing shortcuts and economies which take little from appearance but help keep costs to a bare minimum.”

Aside from the expected materials lists and patterns for each part of the Continental Marine uniform, the introduction contains a concise history of military actions that Continental Marines participated in.

An Annotated Bibliography of Marines in the American Revolution

An Annotated Bibliography of Marines in the American Revolution. Carolyn A. Tyson and Rowland P. Gill. 1972. 76 pp.
(Print:  http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/635560)
(Online: https://archive.org/details/AnAnnotatedBibliographyOfMarinesInTheAmericanRevolution)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Where can I find a source to identify a uniform button?
  • Where can I locate descriptions and photos of British firearms?
  • Where can I learn more about Massachusetts privateers?

Description:

The bibliography is divided into the following sections:

  • General Works
  • Bibliographies, Reference Works, and Finding Aids
  • Uniform History and Design
  • Arms and Military Manuals
  • Military Campaigns, Operations, and Administration
  • Biographies, Diaries, Memoirs, Journals, and Correspondece

The introduction to the bibliography contains a concise history of Continental Marine operations during the American Revolution.

American Revolution Day by Day (National Park Service)

American Revolution Day by Day (National Park Service) – http://www.nps.gov/revwar/about_the_revolution/revolution_day_by_day.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What was the Huddy-Asgill Affair?
  • When did the British evacuate Savannah, Georgia?

Description:

A daily calendar of Revolution-related events from 1775 – 1783. Click on year, then by month. This calendar offers a global scope to the Revolution, which became part of a larger war between Britain, France, Spain and others. For examples, duels between French and British ships in the Indian Ocean are recorded, as well as Indian attacks in Kentucky.

Individual event entries vary from a sentence to a paragraph. Enough detail is offered to make searching in other sources fruitful. This seems like a very handy way to ensure a historical novel set in the Revolutionary Era keeps its chronology straight.

Search Tip:

You can locate specific people or types of events by going to your favorite search engine and conducting a search in the form of:
[search terms] inurl:revolution_day_by_day

For example, mutiny inurl:revolution_day_by_day retrieves nine results, including General Washington’s 1783 denouncement of soldiers threatening mutiny over back pay. Using “benedict” in the same way brings up 12 results, including some of Benedict Arnold’s honest service to the Americans before his betrayal.

If you use this search tip, you will need to click on “repeat the search with the omitted results included” to get a full list of results.

America During the Age of Revolution, 1776-1789 (Library of Congress)

America During the Age of Revolution, 1776-1789 (Library of Congress) – http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/continental/timelin2.html
Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What was the “Conway cabal”?
  • When did British forces seize Charleston, South Carolina?
  • How did Continental soldiers react to having their pay shorted in 1783?

Description:

A timeline of significant events that took place during the Revolutionary years. Each event is given 2-4 sentences. Exact dates are not usually offered, but enough detail exists to research in other places. Timeline is part of a digital library of documents.

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