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Minutes of a conference, held by the delegates of the honble Continental Congress with General Washington, 18-22 October 1775

Minutes of a conference, held by the delegates of the honble Continental Congress with General Washington, 18-22 October 1775

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How to Feed 20,372 Men
The troops assembled in Cambridge come from multiple colonies and various backgrounds, with different levels of military training and experience, different expectations on how to relate to their superior officers, different weaponry, and even different ideas about how long they will be serving in the cause of the revolution. Even their campgrounds vary from military standard canvas tents to sod houses with doors and windows. Food and supplies from nearby towns and fields are exhausted, and over 20,000 men need to be fed, housed, clothed, and trained. From this confusion, Washington, Franklin, and others seek to create the guidelines for the new Army of the United Colonies.

Questions to Consider

1. How many days does the conference take?

2. What issues do the conference delegates have to consider when "inventing" the new army?

3. What kinds of people are invited to attend this conference? What are their military or political credentials?

4. Does the language in this document give you any sense of the possible emotions or arguments which might have arisen during this conference? Support your argument with quotes from the text.

5. If you were planning a new organization, military or otherwise, how would you start? What details and concerns would you include in your plans?

Further Exploration

6. How are soldiers recruited for the Continental Army? What are they promised if they join?