Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution

By Caroline Cox

Foreword by Robert Middlekauff

232 pp., 6.125 x 9.25

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2753-3
    Published: April 2016
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2754-0
    Published: February 2016
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6395-1
    Published: February 2021

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Awards & distinctions

A 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Between 1819 and 1845, as veterans of the Revolutionary War were filing applications to receive pensions for their service, the government was surprised to learn that many of the soldiers were not men, but boys, many of whom were under the age of sixteen, and some even as young as nine. In Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution, Caroline Cox reconstructs the lives and stories of this young subset of early American soldiers, focusing on how these boys came to join the army and what they actually did in service. Giving us a rich and unique glimpse into colonial childhood, Cox traces the evolution of youth in American culture in the late eighteenth century, as the accepted age for children to participate meaningfully in society--not only in the military--was rising dramatically.

Drawing creatively on sources, such as diaries, letters, and memoirs, Caroline Cox offers a vivid account of what life was like for these boys both on and off the battlefield, telling the story of a generation of soldiers caught between old and new notions of boyhood.

About the Author

Caroline Cox (1954-2014) was professor of history at the University of the Pacific and author of A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington’s Army.
For more information about Caroline Cox, visit the Author Page.