American Revolution, military history/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about American Revolution, military history.
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Reference books

  • Blanco, Richard L., ed. The American Revolution, 1775-1783: An Encyclopedia. 2 vol. Garland, 1993. 1857 pp.; 800 articles by 129 experts
  • Boatner III, Mark M. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1966); excellent guide to details
  • Faragher, John Mack, ed. The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America. 1990.
  • Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, and Richard A. Ryerson, eds. The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History (ABC-CLIO, 2006) 5 volume paper and online editions; 1000 entries by 150 experts, covering all topics
  • Purcell, L. Edward, ed. Who Was Who in the American Revolution. 1993.


  • Barnes, Ian and Charles Royster. The Historical Atlas of the American Revolution (2000)
  • Cappon, Lester. Atlas of the American Revolution (1976); best coverage of society, economics and politics; thin on military
  • Marshall, Douglas W. and Peckham, Howard H. Campaigns of the American Revolution: An Atlas of Manuscript Maps. 138 pp. High quality reproductions of 58 original maps (50 of them British)
  • Symonds, Craig L. A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution (1986); good on battles
  • West Point Atlas excellent coverage of major battlesonline


  • Ferling, John ed., The World Turned Upside Down: The American Victory in the War of Independence (1988).
  • Higginbotham, Don. Revolution in America: Considerations and Comparisons. U. of Virginia Pr., 2005. 230 pp.
  • Martin, James Kirby. In the Course of Human Events: An Interpretive Exploration of the American Revolution (1979), short survey (ISBN: 0882957953)


  • Alden, John R. A History of the American Revolution (1989), general survey; strong on military (ISBN: 0306803666)
  • Higginbotham, Don. The war of American independence: military attitudes, policies, and practice, 1763-1789 best scholarly overview; online through ACLS History E-Book
  • Lancaster, ed. Bruce. The American Revolution (American Heritage Library) (ISBN: 0828102813) (1985), heavily illustrated
  • Martin, James Kirby, and Mark E. Lender, A Respectable Army: The Military Origin of the Republic, 1763–1789 (1982), short
  • Matloff, Maurice. American Military History (1989) US Army textbook online
  • Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789 (1982) online edition
  • Miller, John C. Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783 (1948) online edition
  • Stokesbury, James L. A Short History of the American Revolution 304p.
  • Weintraub, Stanley. Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783. Free Pr., 2005. 375 pp.

Surveys: British perspective

  • Bicheno, H. Rebels and Redcoats, The American Revolutionary War, London 2003
  • Black, Jeremy. War for America: The Fight for Independence, 1991. British perspective
  • Dupuy, R. Ernest, Gay Hammerman and Grace P. Hayes. The American Revolution: A Global War (1976)
  • Flavell, Julie and Conway, Stephen, eds. Britain and America Go to War: The Impact of War and Warfare in Anglo-America, 1754-1815. U. Press of Florida, 2004. 284 pp.
  • Goodwin, A. ed. The American and French Revolutions, 1763-1793 (The New Cambridge Modern History, Vol. VIII). (1965),
  • Lecky, William Edward Hartpole. The American Revolution, 1763-1783 1898 by leading British scholar; online edition
  • Marston, Daniel. The American Revolution, 1774-1783. Routledge. 2003. 95 pp survey online edition
  • Mackesy, Piers. War for America, 2nd edition, 1993. British perspective
  • Nelson, Paul David. "British Conduct of the American Revolutionary War: A Review of Interpretations," The Journal of American History, Vol. 65, No. 3 (Dec., 1978), pp. 623-653 in JSTOR
  • Robson, Eric. The American Revolution in Its Political and Military Aspects, 1763-1783 (1972)
  • Wrong, George M. Canada and the American Revolution: The Disruption of the First British Empire. 1935. by Canadian scholaronline edition


State, regional and local studies

  • Robert A. Gross, The Minutemen and their World (1976). re Massachusetts
  • Mitnick, Barbara J., ed. New Jersey in the American Revolution. Rutgers U. Pr., 2005. 268 pp.
  • Higginbotham, Don. The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763–1789 (1971, 1983). an analytical history of the war online via ACLS Humanities E-Book.

Military: North

  • Fischer, David Hackett. Washington's Crossing (2004), Pulitzer prize winner; study of 1776-77 online excerpt
  • Ketchum, Richard M. Winter Soldiers: The Battles for Trenton and Princeton (1973)
  • McCullough, David. 1776. 386 pp. best-seller
  • Moomaw, W. H. "The Denouement of General Howe's Campaign of 1777," The English Historical Review, Vol. 79, No. 312. (Jul., 1964), pp. 498-512. in JSTOR
  • Reed, John F. Campaign to Valley Forge: July 1, 1777–December 19, 1777 (1965)
  • Savas, Theodore P., and Dameron, J. David. A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution. 2006.
  • Taaffe, Stephen R. The Philadelphia Campaign, 1777–1778 (2003).
  • Ward, Christopher. The War of the Revolution, 2 vols., 1952, a good narrative of all the major battles.
  • Wallace, Willard M. Appeal to Arms (1951); good on battles full text online
  • Wrong, George M. Washington and His Comrades in Arms: A Chronicle of the War of Independence (1921) by a Canadian scholar online edition
  • West Point Atlas online


  • Clark, Jane. "Responsibility for the Failure of the Burgoyne Campaign," The American Historical Review, Vol. 35, No. 3. (Apr., 1930), pp. 542-559. in JSTOR
  • Creasy, Sir Edward; The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World 1908 online
  • Ketchum, Richard M.; Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War; 1997, ISBN 0-8050-6123-1
  • Mintz, Max M.; The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates; 1990, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-04778-9;
  • Nickerson, Hoffman; The Turning Point of the Revolution: Or, Burgoyne in America (1928) online
  • Patterson, Samuel White; Horatio Gates: Defender of American Liberties Columbia University Press, 1941 online
  • Stone, W. L. The Campaign of Burgoyne, (1877) online

Military: South

  • Crow, Jeffrey C. and Larry E. Tise, eds. The Southern Experience in the American Revolution (1978)
  • Gordon, John W. South Carolina and the American Revolution: A Battlefield History (2003)
  • Higgins, W. Robert ed. The Revolutionary War in the South: Power, Conflict, and Leadership (1979)
  • Lumpkin, Henry. From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South (1981)
  • Pancake, John S. This Destructive War: The British Campaign in the Carolinas, 1780-1782 (1985)
  • Thayer, Theodore. Nathanael Greene: Strategist of the American Revolution (1960) online edition
  • Weigley, Russell F. The Partisan War: The South Carolina Campaign of 1780-1782 (1970); portrays guerrilla war, like Vietnam
  • Wallace, Willard M. Appeal to Arms (1951); good on battles
  • Ward, Christopher. The War of the Revolution, 2 vols., 1952, a good narrative of all the major battles.
  • Wilson, David K. The Southern Strategy: Britain's Conquest of South Carolina and Georgia, 1775-1780. U. of South Carolina Pr., 2005. 341 pp.


  • Adams, Randolph G. "A View of Cornwallis's Surrender at Yorktown." American Historical Review 1931 37(1): 25-49. Issn: 0002-8762 online at Jstor
  • Clement, R: “The World Turned Upside down At the Surrender of Yorktown”, Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 92, No. 363 (Jan. - Mar., 1979), pp. 66-67 (available on Jstor)
  • Greene, Jerome. Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781 (2005)
  • Ketchum, Richard M. Victory at Yorktown: The Campaign That Won the Revolution (2004)
  • Morrissey, Brendan and Adam Hook. Yorktown 1781: The World Turned Upside Down (1994) British perspective
  • Tuchman, Barbara W. The First Salute 1988, chapter on battle
  • Willcox, Walter. “The British Road to Yorktown: A Study in Divided Command”, The American Historical Review, Vol. 52, No. 1. (Oct., 1946), pp. 1-35 in JSTOR
  • Wood, W. J. Battles of the Revolutionary War, 1775–1781. ISBN 0-306-81329-7 (2003)
  • Wright, J: “Notes on the Siege of Yorktown in 1781 with Special Reference to the Conduct of a Siege in the Eighteenth Century”, William and Mary Quarterly, 2nd Ser., Vol. 12, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), pp. 229-249, ONLINE AT jstor

Soldiers: American

  • Bodle, Wayne. Valley Forge Winter: Civilians and Soldiers in War (2002)
  • Buchanan, John. The Road to Valley Forge: How Washington Built the Army That Won the Revolution. 2004. online edition
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride (1995)
  • Gross, Robert A. The Minutemen and their World (1976). re Massachusetts
  • Kennett, Lee. French Forces in America, 1977.
  • Neimeyer, Charles P. America Goes to War: A Social History of the Continental Army (1996) 244p.
  • Rankin, Hugh. The North Carolina Continentals (1971)
  • Royster, Charles. A Revolutionary People at War: The Continental Army and American Character, 1775–1783 (1979)
  • Shy, John. A People Numerous and Armed: Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence, 1976.

British army & Loyalists

  • Atwood, R. The Hessians, 1980.
  • Billias, George A. ed., George Washington's Opponents (1969) essays on the chief British generals
  • Frey, Sylvia. The British Soldier in America: A Social History of Military Life in the Revolutionary Period (1981)
  • Smith, Paul H. Loyalists and Redcoats: A Study in British Revolutionary Policy, 1964.
  • Van Tyne, Claude Halstead. The Loyalists in the American Revolution (1929) online edition


  • Calloway, Colin G. The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (1995)
  • Fischer, Joseph R. A Well-Executed Failure: The Sullivan Campaign against the Iroquois, July-September 1779. 1997. 265 pp.
  • Graymont, Barbara. The Iroquois in the American Revolution (1972)
  • O'Donnell, James H. The Southern Indians in the American Revolution (1973)
  • Washburn, Wilcomb E. "Indians and the American Revolution," online


  • Billias, George A. ed. George Washington's Generals and Opponents: Their Exploits and Leadership (1994); combined edition of two books by Billias.
  • Blanco, Richard L., ed. The American Revolution, 1775-1783: An Encyclopedia. (1993)
  • Boatner III, Mark M. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1966)


  • Billias, George A. ed. George Washington's Generals (1964)
  • Higginbotham, Don. Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman (1961)
  • Mintz, Max M. The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates. 1990. 278 pp.
  • Rankin, Hugh. Francis Marion: The Swamp Fox (1973)
  • Thayer, Theodore. Nathanael Greene: Strategist of the American Revolution (1960) online edition
George Washington
  • John Alden, George Washington: A Biography (1984);
  • Freeman, Douglas Southall George Washington: A Biography (7 vols., New York, 1948–1957); also one-vol abridged edition
  • Lengel, Edward G. General George Washington: A Military Life. Random House, 2005. 450 pp.
  • Lodge, Henry Cabot. Washington (1889) older biography online edition
  • Palmer, Dave. The Way of the Fox: American Strategy in the War of Independence (1975)


  • Billias, George A. ed., George Washington's Opponents (1969), essays by scholars on the chief British generals
  • Bass, Robert D. The Green Dragoon (2003) Col Tarleton
  • Brooke, John. George III (1972), the King supervised the war closely
  • Gruber, Ira. Howe Brothers and the American Revolution (1975), the standard biography of Admiral Howe and his brother General Howe
  • Guttridge, George H. "Lord George Germain in Office, 1775-1782," The American Historical Review, Vol. 33, No. 1. (Oct., 1927), pp. 23-43. in JSTOR
  • Hargrove, Richard J., Jr. General John Burgoyne. 1983. 294 pp.
  • Mintz, Max M. The Generals of Saratoga: John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates. 1990. 278 pp.
  • Valentine, Alan. Lord George Germain (1962), civilian head of British war effort
  • Wickwire, Franklin B. Cornwallis: The American Adventure (1970)
  • Willcox, William B. Portrait of A General: Sir Henry Clinton in the War of Independence (1964)


see American Revolution, naval history

  • Dull, Jonathan. The French Navy and American Independence: A Study of Arms and Diplomacy, 1775-1787, 1975.
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot. John Paul Jones (1959)
  • Syrett, David. The Royal Navy in American Waters, 1989.


  • Christopher Duffy, The Military Experience in the Age of Reason (1988), on European methods
  • Peterson, Harold L. The Book of the Continental Soldier (1968); uniforms, weapons, gear
  • Peterson, Harold L. Arms and Armor in Colonial America, 1526-1783 (1956)


  • Brunswicker (Hessian) prisoners online
  • Naval prisoners (1913) online
  • Dandridge, Danske. American Prisoners of the Revolution (1910) online at Google
  • Knight, Betsy. "Prisoner Exchange and Parole in the American Revolution," " online at JSTOR


  • Bell, Jr. Whitfield. John Morgan: Continental Doctor (1965)
  • Blanco, Richard L. Physician of the American Revolution: Jonathan Potts (1979)
  • Peckham, Howard H. The Toll of Independence (1974), casualties by battle
  • Reiss, Oscar. Medicine and the American Revolution: How Diseases and Their Treatments Affected the Colonial Army (278p.) (1982)
  • Saffron, Morris Harold. Surgeon to Washington, Dr. John Cochran, 1730-1807 (1977)


  • Carp, E. Wayne. To Starve the Army at Pleasure: Continental Army Administration and American Political Culture, 1775-1783 (1984); best study of supply problems
  • Risch, Erna. Supplying Washington's Army (GPO, 1981)


  • CIA, "Intelligence in the War of Independence" online edition
  • Rose, Alexander. Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring (2007)


  • Higginbotham, Don. "The Early American Way of War: Reconnaissance and Appraisal," William and Mary Quarterly 44 (1987) 230-73; valuable overview in JSTOR
  • Higginbotham, Don. "American Historians and the Military History of the American Revolution," The American Historical Review, 70#1 (Oct., 1964), pp 18-34. in JSTOR
  • Nelson, Paul David. "British Conduct of the American Revolutionary War: A Review of Interpretations," The Journal of American History, Vol. 65, No. 3 (Dec., 1978), pp. 623-653 in JSTOR
  • Syrett, David. "The British Armed Forces in the American Revolutionary War: Publications, 1875-1998," The Journal of Military History, Vol. 63, No. 1. (Jan., 1999), pp. 147-164. in JSTOR

Primary sources

  • Burgoyne, John. Life and Correspondence of Field Marshal Sir John Burgoyne, (1873) online edition
  • Commager, Henry Steele, and Richard Morris, eds. The Spirit of 'Seventy-Six: The Story of the American Revolution as Told by Participants (1967); excellent collection of primary sources
  • Dann, John C. ed. The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence (1980); statements from pension applications
  • Force, Peter. American Archives: 1774-1776" massive compilation of primary sources, online version
  • Hibbert, Christopher, ed. Rebels and Redcoats: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, (2001)
  • Library of America. The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence (1995) 850pp table of contents
  • Martin, J. P. Private Yankee Doodle (1962); fascinating autobiography of an ordinary soldier who was in numerous campaigns
  • Morison, S. E. Sources and Documents Illustrating the American Revolution, 1764-1788, and the Formation of the Federal Constitution (1923) online edition
  • Washington, George. Writings (1988) (Library of America edition) 440 letters and key documents. online table of contents
  • Washington, George. The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series. University Press of Virginia. Latest volume is Vol. 16: July – September 1778 (2006)online synopsis
  • Documents of the American Revolution, 1770-1783 Ed. by K.G. Davies. 21 vols. (Irish Academic University Press, 1972), all the important British documents; available in large research libraries