Birth Pains: 1775-1783

"It is with peculiar Pleasure . . . that the Commander in Chief can inform General Knox and the Officers of Artillery that the Enemy have done them the Justice to acknowledge that no Artillery could be better served than ours. --George Washington, General Orders for June 29, 1778, following the Battle of Monmouth

Background Reading

eBook Chapters

  • Birkhimer, William Edward. (1884). Organization-Generally. Historical Sketch of the Organization, Administration, Material and Tactics of the Artillery, United States Army, (pp. 1-67). Washington DC: James J. Chapman
  • Dastrup, Boyd L. (1992). Birth Pains: 1775-1783. King of Battle: A Branch History of the U.S. Army's Field Artillery (pp. 1-34). Virginia: United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.
  • McKenney, Janice E. (2007). The Beginnings. The Organizational History of Field Artillery 1775-2003, (pp. 3-11). Washington DC: Center of Military History.
  • Steward, Richard W. ed. (2009).The American Revolution, First Phase & The Winning of Independence, 1777-1783. American Military History, Vol. 1: The United States Army and the Forging of a Nation, 1775-1917 (pp. 45-106). Washinton DC: Center of Military History.
  • U.S. Army Field Artillery School. (1984). Revolutionary War. Right of the Line: A History of the American Field Artillery. Fort Sill: U.S. Army Field Artillery School.

  • Articles

  • Carafano, James J., Nelson John H., & Brereton, Timothy P. (1999). A Guide, Readings For Studying History Of The Field Artillery. The Artilleryman Magazine, 20, No. 2.
  • Field Artillery Journal staff. (1975). Yesterday's Artillery: May-June 1775. Field Artillery Journal, 60-61.
  • Field Artillery Journal staff. (1975). Yesterday's Artillery: July-August 1775. Field Artillery Journal, 60-61.
  • McMaster, Fitzhugh. (1977). Colonial Cannon: South Carolina Artillery 1670-1813. Field Artillery Journal, 45, No. 5, 47-50.
  • Spaulding, Oliver Lyman. (1940). Artillery Episodes: Revolutionary War- The Beginnings of Our Artillery. Washington and Knox; Boston and Ticonderoga. Field Artillery Journal, 206-208.

  • Student Papers

  • Ferris, J.H. (1919). The Development of Field Artillery in the U.S. Army. Fort Sill: United States Field Artillery School.
  • Gailar, Steven R. (1969). The Birth of the American Field Artillery: Bunker Hill to Fort Ticonderoga and Back. Fort Sill: United States Field Artillery School.
  • Jacobs, Charles G. (1969). Birth and Development of the American Field Artillery. Fort Sill: United States Field Artillery School.
  • Johnson, Craig F. (1969). The Birth of the American Field Artillery---From Bunker Hill to Fort Ticonderoga and Back. Fort Sill: United States Field Artillery School.

  • Henry Knox

    Online Sources

  • General Henry Knox [www.ushistory.org]
  • Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment [www.jvanderveerhouse.com]
  • The Knox Trail-History [www.nysm.nysed.gov]

  • Student Papers

  • Fisher, George J.B. (1934). "Father Knox". Fort Sill: The Field Artillery School.

  • Print Sources

  • Brooks, Noah. (1974). Henry Knox, A Soldier of the Revolution: Major-General in the Continental Army, Washington's Chief of Artillery. NY: Da Capo.
  • Callahan, North. (1958). Henry Knox: General Washington's General. NY: Rinehart.
  • Puls, Mark. (2010). Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Quotes

    "I have had many forty two exceedingly strong sleds & have provided eighty yoke of oxen to drag them as far as Springfield where I shall get fresh cattle to carry them from here to Albany or Kinderhook but on sleds the roads being very gullied- at present the sledding is tolerable to Saratoga about 26 miles; beyond that there is none- I have sent for sleds & teams to come here & expect to begin moving them to Saratoga on Wednesday or Thursday next trusting that between this & then we shall have a fine fall of snow which will enable us to proceed further & make the carriage easy- If that should be the case I hope in 16 or 17 days to be able to present your Excellency a noble train off artillery".

    --Diary of Henry Knox, Fort George, December 17, 1775 [To General Washington]


    "One of the most impressive developments in the Continental Army was the creation of the artillery arm. Not even in existence at the beginning of the war, this branch of service grew to a point where big guns became the decisive factor in the Yorktown campaign...Henry Knox was the person primarily responsible for this amazing expansion."

    --North Callahan, George Washington's Generals and Opponents: Their Exploits and Leadership. 1944.


    General Lafayette, who had come to regard himself as an American, enthusiastically shouted above the din, "We fire faster than the French. Upon my honor I speak the truth. American artillery- one of the wonders of the Revolution"

    --Fairfax Downey, The Sound of Guns: The Story of American Artillery from the Ancient and Honorable Company to the Atom Cannon and Guided Missile, NY: David MacKay Company, Inc. 1955.


    "General Knox, who has deservedly acquired the Character of One of the most valuable Officers in the Service, and who, combating almost innumerable difficulties in the department he fills, has placed Artillery upon a footing, that does him the greatest Honor".

    --George Washington, letter to Continental Congress, May 31, 1777


    Molly Pitcher
  • Hendricks, Robert F. The Rocket's Red Glare- The Artillery at Baltimore and Mchenry; The Molly Pitcher's of Field Artillery- Molly Pitcher at Monmouth; Molly Corbin. Student Paper, 1969.
  • Hogenhout, Frank P. The Rocket's Red Glare- The Artillery at Baltimore and Mchenry; The Molly Pitcher's of Field Artillery- Molly Pitcher at Monmouth; Molly Corbin. Student Paper, 1969.
  • McDonald, Constance M. Molly Pitcher: Who Was She? Field Artillery Journal, August 1990.

  • As the library does not have many primary sources on the Revolutionary War, this library guide provides supplemental information to support you in your research. Please contact us if you need further assistance or have any questions.

    Artillery in the American Revolution

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    Select Bibliography

    Print Sources

  • Downey, Faifax. (1966). Cannonade: Great Artillery Actions of History the Famous Cannons and the Master Gunners. NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc.
  • Downey, Fairfax. (1956). Sound of the Guns: The Story of American Artillery form the Ancient and Honorable Company to the Atom Cannon and Guided Missile. NY: David McKay Company, Inc.
  • Gooding, S. James. (1965). Introduction to British Artillery in North America. Ontario: Museum Restoration Service.
  • Hughes, B. P. (1969). British Smooth-Bore Artillery: The Muzzle Loading Artillery of the 18th and 19th Centuries. PA: Stackpole Books.
  • McAfee, Michael J. (1976). Artillery in the American Revolution. Washington American Defense Preparedness Association.
  • Peterson, Harold. (1969). Round Shot and Rammers. NY: Bonanza Books.
  • Robson, Eric. (1966). The American Revolution in Its Political and Military Aspects, 1763-1783. NY: W. W. Norton.

  • Continental Army

    Articles

  • Captain Hamilton of the Artillery
  • A History of the Organizational Development of the Continental Artillery during the American Revolution
  • Major General the Baron Von Steuben Trains Commander-in-Chief Guard.

  • Print Sources

  • Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton / Ron Chernow. NY: Penguin Press, 2004.
  • Kajencki, Francis. Thaddeus Kosciuszko: Military Engineer of the American Revolution. TX: Southwest Polonia Press, c1998.
  • Lockhart, Paul Douglas. The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Artillery. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Books; NY: Collins, 2008.
  • Wright, Robert K. The Continental Army.Washington D.C.: USA Center of Military History, 1983.

  • Dorchester Heights/Boston

    Articles

  • Perry, Clay. (1955). Big Guns for Washington. American Heritage, 6, 3.

  • Monmouth

    Articles

  • Carter, Michael D. (1998). From the Parade Ground to the Battlefield: Henry Knox and the Battle of Monmouth. Field Artillery Journal, 12-16.
  • Trussell, J.B.B. (1949). Artillery and the Battle of Monmouth. Field Artillery Journal, 39, 5, 221-223.

  • Trenton

    Articles

  • Cubbison, Douglas. (2011). Through Fire or Water: The March from Ticonderoga to Trenton. Patriots of the American Revolution.
  • Weller, Jac. (1956). Guns of Destiny: Field Artillery in the Trenton-Princeton Campaign, 25 December 1776 to 3 January 1776 . Military Affairs, 20, 1-11.

  • Online Sources

  • Artillery and the Crossing[www.ushistory.org]

  • Yorktown

    Articles

  • Evans, Robert M. The King of Battle: Ruler of Yorktown. Field Artillery Journal September-October 1981.
  • Hure, Henri. (1986). The French Artillery at the Battle of Yorktown. Field Artillery Journal, 54, 5, 34-37.
  • Pruett, W. Cochren. The Siege of Yorktown: Joint and Multinational Operations in the American Revolution. Field Artillery Journal. July-August 2003.

  • Print Sources

  • Green, Jerome A. The Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781.

  • Primary Sources
  • Steuben, Frederick von. Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States. Albany: Daniel & Samuel Whiting, 1803.

  • Photographs & Maps
  • 24 lb. Seige Gun
  • British 12 lb. Coehorn Mortar
  • British Field Cannon
  • British Field Gun captured at Saratoga
  • Byers 24 lb. Howitzer
  • Cannon Ball and Artillery Shell - British
  • Field Gun Captured at Saratoga
  • French 4-Pounder Field Gun
  • National Park Service Museum Collections: American Revolutionary War
  • The Hancock Returns
  • USMA American Revolution Maps
  • Yorktown Battle- Artillery

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