Washington's Riflemen: Heroes or Headaches

Date & Time
03/16/2017 6:30 PM
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We are excited to welcome historian J. L. Bell to the site for our annual lecture in honor of Evacuation Day! Soon after Gen. George Washington came to Cambridge in 1775, a new kind of Continental soldier started to arrive: the rifleman. Recruited in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland, the rifle companies did more than signal how those colonies were committed to New England’s war. They were touted as deadly marksmen, the key to quickly driving the British out of Boston. But those newcomers were also frontiersmen, many recent immigrants, far from home and rebellious. Soon Gen. Washington realized the riflemen were not his biggest weapon but one of his biggest problems to solve.

J. L. Bell is the author of the NPS study Gen. George Washington’s Headquarters and Home—Cambridge, Massachusetts as well as The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War. He has spoken annually about different aspects of Washington’s work here in Cambridge.

Carriage House

6:30 PM

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