Origins of the Generals of the Continental Army
During the American Revolution, 210 men served as generals of the Continental Line. Although most of these officers were born in the Thirteen Colonies, a significant portion were born abroad, and can be seen in this summary of their places of origin.
| Connecticut|| 24|
| Delaware || 2|
| Georgia || 1|
| Maine || 1|
| Maryland || 14|
| Massachusetts || 38|
| New Hampshire || 4|
| New Jersey ||7|
| New York ||19|
| North Carolina || 5|
| Pennsylvania || 14|
| Rhode Island || 8|
| South Carolina || 8|
| Vermont ||1 |
| Virginia || 20|
| Bavaria || 1|
| British Empire|| |
| England ||4|
| Ireland || 15|
| Scotland|| 7|
| Wales || 1|
| West Indies|| 1|
| Denmark || 1|
| France & Colonies|| 8|
| Netherlands || 1|
| Poland || 2|
| Prussia || 2|
The distribution among the states more or less reflects the
population of each, though the New England states, and particularly
Massachusetts, are rather over-represented, largely because when Congress
created the Continental Army, it did so by adopting the forces that had
gathered around Boston in the aftermath of the outbreak of the Revolution, in
April of 1775, which were overwhelmingly from New England. Note, by the way, that one general is
credited to each of Maine and Vermont, neither of which was actually a colony,
the former being a part of Massachusetts and the later in dispute between New
York and New Hampshire, while claiming not to be part of either.
Of the foreign born generals, almost all of those who had
been born in other parts of the British Empire
had been settled in the Thirteen Colonies before the Revolution. Of the officers born in other countries, some
had immigrated before the Revolution, others had had come to American to offer
their services once the Revolution broke out, and some were actively recruited
by American agents in Europe.
Licinius' Interfaith Military Prayer
The beginning of the Fourth Century saw the Roman Empire plunge into a complex internal struggle over
the succession to the imperial dignity that would last for some two decades.
Further complicating the situation was the fact that the
Empire was undergoing some serious religious turmoil as well. The old Roman pantheon -- Jupiter, Hera,
Minerva, Mars, and the rest -- having been found rather wanting, other
religions had become of some importance.
This made recruiting and managing an army a tricky affair. Religious observances were interwoven into
Roman military tradition and practice, and these were generally pagan in
origins. Yet while many of one's
soldiers might still honor the old gods, among whom the Sun -- Sol Invictus--
had acquired considerable popularity, others might be followers of Christianity
or Mithraism, or even Judaism.
In what was perhaps the first instance in history of
“interfaith” military practice, in A.D. 313,
the Roman Emperor Licinius ordered his troops to recite a special prayer on the
eve of the Battle of Tzirallum (April
30, 313), in which he
defeated the rival Emperor Maximinus II Daia.
Supreme God, we beseech you,
Holy God, we beseech you,
To you we entrust all that is right,
To you we entrust our safety,
To you we entrust our empire,
Through you we live, through you
We are victorious and happy.
Supreme, holy God, hear our prayers.
To you we stretch out our arms.
Hear, holy supreme God
The prayer is so theologically neutral that it could readily
be recited by believers in the traditional Roman pagan pantheon, in which Jupiter
Optimus Maximus was the supreme god, or what might be termed the "Reform
Paganism" of Sol Invictus, as well as by the various types of monotheists who
might be serving in the army, whether Mithradatists, Jews, or Christians.
The prayer was so useful that the Emperor Constantine, who
in 324 defeated Licinius to become sole emperor, ordered it adopted by his own