"In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it--for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before."
Declaration Of The Causes And Necessity Of Taking Up Arms
The Committee was the political entity which directed the Militia into whatever activity was deemed appropriate. Shortly after the events at Lexington and Concord, on April 19, 1775, the various committees, by sending delegations to their colonial capitals, represented their "constituents" to a higher level, of necessity. The colonies then selected the appropriate delegates and sent them to Philadelphia where the Second Continental Congress was convened.
During this Congress, a document was submitted and ratified by those representatives attending. This document was known as the Declaration Of The Causes And Necessity Of Taking Up Arms, and was executed on July 6, 1775. The document, in part, is quoted above.
This single act caused many of the minds (Committees) to direct their respective militia to join the colonial militia under George Washington. The militia then grew from that of a community to that of a nation. The manifestation of Republican form of Government had begun.
Throughout the Revolutionary War there were many militia units that maintained their integrity as guerrilla fighting units. Others mustered into the Army of the Revolution. Even though the units were of different natures, they were able to fight well together and submit to a chain of command that developed downward from George Washington.
Frequently, militia units would support the regulars (Continental Army which was eventually furnished blue and white uniforms by the French) with sniper fire with their longer hunting rifles while the Army units fought with tactics similar to those employed by the British. This teamwork was the combination that made it possible for the colonies to cast off the yoke of British rule and displace the greatest military power the world had ever known. Against overwhelming odds this rag-tag army, established under republican principles, and a belief in their Creator, was able to turn the World Upside Down.
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