A Canadian Regiment, the Continental Army, and American Union
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
The 2nd Canadian, like the larger army, represented and pushed the transition from a colonial, continental alliance to a national association. The problems the regiment raised and encountered underscored the complications of managing a confederation of states and troops.
In this enterprising study of an intriguing and at times “infernal” regiment, Holly A. Mayer marshals personal and official accounts—from the letters and journals of Continentals and congressmen to the pension applications of veterans and their widows—to reveal what the personal passions, hardships, and accommodations of the 2nd Canadian can tell us about the greater military and civil dynamics of the American Revolution. Congress’s Own follows congressmen, commanders, and soldiers through the Revolutionary War as the regiment’s story shifts from tents and trenches to the halls of power and back.
Interweaving insights from borderlands and community studies with military history, Mayer tracks key battles and traces debates that raged within the Revolution’s military and political borderlands wherein subjects became rebels, soldiers, and citizens. Her book offers fresh, vivid accounts of the Revolution that disclose how “Congress’s Own” regiment embodied the dreams, diversity, and divisions within and between the Continental Army, Congress, and the emergent union of states during the War for American Independence.
“By far one of the most important and original studies of the Continental Army yet published, Holly Mayer’s book is notable for how deeply and broadly it explores the Canadian borderlands context that gave birth to Congress’s Own Regiment, as well as the meanings of community, independence, and union for which Continental soldiers fought and died.”—David L. Preston, author of Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution
“Congress’s Own is a deep dive into a Continental regiment, its officers, its men and women, and their experiences and tribulations, but it is also much more. Here is the story of the war and the Revolution. Mayer shows us how the Continental government functioned through its commander-in-chief, through the Board of War, and ultimately through its army. Somehow, in all the chaos, a nation was made, carried forward on the backs of a very unlikely and diverse cast of characters.”—Wayne Lee, author of Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500–1865
“Executing a deep dive into archival accounts, both official and personal, Holly Mayer produces a comprehensive and multi-faceted view of a singular regiment of the Continental Army. This is a thoroughly researched and detailed investigation of the totality of the people of the regiment and their place in the American Revolution.” —Journal of America's Military Past