Field Trips

Personal Effects of a Revolutionary War Soldier

Overall Rating

Add your review
Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Social Studies
State Standards:
NC: Soc Stud: 4th Goal 11.1; ELA: 3rd, Goals 4.1-4.10, 5.01- 5.08; 4th Goals 5.01-5.09; 5th, Goals 5.01-5.08; 6th, Goals 1.01-1.04, 6.01-6.02; 7th, Goals 1.01-1.04, 6.01-6.02; 8th, 1.01-1.04, 6.01-6.02
SC: Soc Stud - 8.1.2, 8.2.6

GOAL:To have students learn about the personal effects carried by soldiers during the American Revolution.


The student will locate, gather, and process information from a variety of primary and secondary sources.
The student will use a variety of research skills to locate and collect data.
The student will compare and contrast the 18 th century army with today’s army.
The student will take notes and organize information.


All soldiers carried personal effects such as clothing, weapons, accouterments, tools and living accessories. The American soldier of the Revolution was no different. Each man probably had a rifle or musket, bayonet, canteen, cartridge box and a haversack with personal items. Most soldiers wore a haversack in which they carried their personal belongings. A good source for learning about the Revolutionary soldier’s equipment is the Collector’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by George C. Neumann and Frank J. Kravic.


1. Have students brainstorm and make a list of items that a soldier in today’s U.S. Army might need if going into battle.
2. Have students do research on what personal effects are used by the men and women of our armed forces today.
3. Have students hypothesize about what personal effects they think a soldier would have carried on January 17, 1781, at the Battle of Cowpens.
4. Research Revolutionary War soldiers’ haversacks, and their size, fabric and contents, etc.
5. A journal topic could be “What I carry in my haversack,” written as a Revolutionary War soldier.

1. Have students take notes on the personal effects (uniforms, equipment, etc.) of the American soldier during the Revolution by looking at the displays, paintings, artifacts, etc., found in the Visitor Center at Cowpens.
2. Have students take notes on the personal effects of the American soldiers at Cowpens as they tour the battlefield and look at the battlefield markers.

Have students construct a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the soldier of the American Revolution with the soldier of today’s army.


Last updated: November 2, 2018