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he Continental Army reflected American society. The soldiers were all ages, skills, and backgrounds. Although they or their ancestors came primarily from the British Isles, there were also many soldiers of German, African, and Native American descent. At the time of enlistment, each soldier was promised a complete uniform and regular reissue. But this rarely happened, even though Congress or their home state tried to provide clothes once a year. After long summer campaigns soldiers often approached the winter in rags.

very soldier was issued a musket, bayonet, cartridge box, and tools to keep weapons in working condition. A haversack held important personal belongings as well as eating utensils. Canteens were often suspended from the haversack or worn over the shoulder on a strap. Small musical instruments, dice, and playing cards made the drudgery and hardship of the war and winter more bearable.
Continental Soldier - Front Rifles Cartridge Box
Cartridge Pick and Brush Canteen
Creepers Pewter Plate Fork
Spoon Cup
Pocket Knife
Mouth harp
Shaving Razor Pipe
Go to the Valley Forge NHP web site to read about and see a video on how muskets were fired
French Playing Cards Scabbards
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Museum Management Program
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 09, 2001