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A Revolution in Arms: Weapons in the War for Independence

October 11, 2018 — March 24, 2019

The independence of the United States was secured by revolutionaries who bore arms in an eight-year war to defeat Great Britain and end its rule of the American colonies. When the war broke out in 1775, there were few shops and factories in America capable of producing firearms, swords, and other weapons. To arm the tens of thousands of American soldiers who fought the well-supplied British regulars, the Continental Army relied on hunting weapons and other arms its soldiers brought from home, British weapons seized from royal storehouses in the colonies and captured from the enemy in the field, and arms supplied by allies France and Spain—along with weapons made by a growing number of American manufacturers. A Revolution in Arms examines the various muskets, rifles, pistols, swords, and other weapons that the American troops used during the Revolutionary War and their importance to the achievement of independence.

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