American Archives

Military Action

Descriptions of military battles, procurement, and the spread of military news.

  • Action near Boston, Bunker Hill (1775-1776): siege of Boston, Battle of Bunker Hill, skirmishes (in towns, harbor, on islands near city).
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord: descriptions of the battles, from both sides; use of battles to mobilize population in the patriot cause.
  • British forces: actions of or writings about British forces and forces loyal to the British, i.e., the British Army and Navy, Loyalist militias, and German forces.
  • British soldiers in Boston: actions and writings about the British occupiers in Boston.
  • Continental Army: actions of and writings about the Continental Army, after its formation.
  • Espionage: spying by either side; circulation of false intelligence.
  • Foraging, plunder, privateering, blockades: military actions on land and sea to acquire supplies or prevent the enemy from acquiring them.
  • Foreign alliances: attempts to gain support from other countries.
  • Intelligence and planning: reporting about enemy; planning to defend positions or defeat the enemy.
  • Local protection: strategies for or complaints about protecting the local populace against the British (and Tories and Indians) or the patriots.
  • Logistics, provisioning, and recruitment: procuring of men, weapons, and supplies; orders about their use; and complaints about their quality or quantity.
  • Maine battles: battles and military conflict between the British and patriots along the Massachusetts coast in present day Maine.
  • Military organization and discipline: formation of units, rules for discipline, actions taken to sustain discipline.
  • Militias and irregular forces: formation of and reports about militias and irregular forces on both sides.
  • Muster lists: lists of men by units, by name or number, and their readiness; lists of officers by unit.
  • Mutiny and desertion: reports of mutiny or desertion or attempts by the other side to induce desertion.
  • New York and Long Island battles: preparation for and fighting for New York City and Long Island, 1776.
  • Prisoners: taking of and condition of prisoners, civilian and military; paroling officers and men.
  • Ticonderoga/Canada: patriot capture of Ticonderoga; plans to defend Ticonderoga; conflicts between Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen; battles for Canada.
  • Virginia fighting (1776): confiscation of powder, military preparations, Dunmore's Emancipation Declaration; and battles.