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Old October 2, 2012, 03:12 PM   #82
Senior Member
Join Date: September 26, 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 6,141
I see what you mean, Mr. Cannonfire. But pre-Revolution and even pre-Constitution, they were still state militias, in a manner of speaking. However, to be clear on the subject, they were raised at the local level and that was it. At the time, that was still the way it was still being done in Great Britain, although they also had other forms of local troops, most of which were raised during the period of the Napoleonic Wars. The local troops (in Great Britain) could not be sent overseas, although they had a bad practice of drafting men into the army from local units.

There were also some forms of state regular troops for a while. They generally manned frontier outposts during the early Indian wars up until the threat from Indians along the East Coast disappeared, mostly by about 1800, more specifically after the Battle of Fallen Timbers. After that, the frontier jumped to well beyond the Allegheny Front. However, I don't know in what numbers they existed but they did exist in Virginia, where they were referred to (in some references) as rangers. It probably wouldn't be correct to think of them as regular military units, for they don't seem to have been employed that way. I'm not sure there's much in the way of literature on such troops and such little knowledge (poorly remembered at the moment) as I have of them came from a book from about a hundred years ago about the New River Valley in Virginia and West Virginia, which is the area I'm from.

It would be interesting to learn the early history (17th century) of militias in the colonies. Apparently, the first colonies tended to have a man in charge of military affairs, who would have been John Smith at Jamestown. That's where it all started.
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