The Bicentennial celebration of the American Revolution occasioned a spate
of writing about that conflict in both its national and international contexts.
In the process scholars reexamined the military aspects of the struggle, both
from the British and American sides, and looked anew at the Continental Army
forged by General George Washington. These works have taken their place on a
very large bookshelf of volumes on the military history of the American Revolution
that commenced to flow from publishers almost as soon as the conflict ended.
Much has been written on how the Continental Army was raised, how it fought,
and how it barely survived; but in all this literature there is little more
than fragmentary coverage of its supply system. The present account fills a
large void in this area, bringing together for the first time a mass of data
on the various institutions involved in keeping Washington’s troops in the field.
It should have a large impact on future accounts of the problems and operations
of the Continental Army and serve as a standard reference on its supply system
for decades to come.
Supplying Washington's Army is the second volume published in the relatively new Special Studies Series. Designed to cover specialized topics, this series offers a vehicle for publishing particularly worthy monographs initially produced by Army historians for limited distribution. In some instances it may include outside scholarly works appropriate for Army sponsorship. The present volume falls into the category of an outside work, although its author, Dr. Erna Risch, was long associated with the Army Historical Program, first as Chief Historian of the Quartermaster Corps and later as Chief Historian of the Army Materiel Command. This work, however, was prepared entirely after her retirement from federal service, inspired by her continuing scholarly interests. The volume is offered by the U.S. Army Center of Military History to soldiers, scholars, and the public as a contribution to a long-neglected field in the literature on the American Revolution-and as a worthy addition to the works stimulated by the celebration of the Bicentennial.
14 March 1980
JAMES L. COLLINS, JR.
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History
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