Founding the Nation

Exhibit Information
  • Clock60 minutes
  • agesApproved for all ages
  • calendarPermanent Exhibit
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Colonial Warfare

1607-1835
The Founding the Nation Gallery covers the Army’s history from the colonial period to the War of 1812. Visitors explore the origins and formation of the Continental Army, its role in the Revolutionary War and the Army’s development as a professional force. This gallery also covers key events of the War of 1812 such as Chippewa, the burning of Washington, the assault on Fort McHenry and the Battle of New Orleans.

Artifact Highlights

Unique Artifact

American Long Rifle -This iron-mounted rifle was made by gunsmith Thomas Tileston of Dorchester, Mass., in 1773. This rifle is perhaps one of the earliest American long rifles manufactured in New England.

Unique Artifact

Congressional Gold Medal -Congress presented this gold medal to Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott for gallantry and conspicuous service at the Battles of Chippewa and Lundy’s. Scott’s Army career spanned six decades.

Unique Artifact

Militia Artillery Officer’s Saber -This sword is one of the few objects known to have been used during the defense of Baltimore in 1814. It belonged to Capt. John Berry, commander of the Water Battery at Fort McHenry.

Unique Artifact

Marker Flag, Webb’s Regiment -Marker flags were carried on the right and left flanks of a regiment as guides. Col. Samuel B. Webb’s regiment fought at Newport, R.I., in 1778 and Springfield, N.J., in 1780.

Unique Artifact

King Howitzer Tube -This light bronze field howitzer, designed to be carried by pack horse, was cast by Daniel King of Philadelphia. A battery of King's Howitzers opened the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794.

Unique Artifact

American Army Officer’s Sword -Josiah Harmar used this silver-mounted sword with a lion's-head pommel during the Revolutionary War. He served from Pennsylvania and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel by the war’s end.

“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.“

Capt. Nathan Hale

Soldier Profiles

Soldier Profiles
Chaplain James Caldwell

In July 1775, the Continental Congress, acting on a recommendation from George Washington, authorized chaplains…

Soldier Profiles
Brig. Gen. Pushmataha

Pushmataha was chief of the Mississippi Band of the Choctaw Nation, one of three regional…

Soldier Profiles
Brig. Gen. Henry Knox

Knox was active in the Massachusetts militia and joined the Continental Army in 1775 at…

Soldier Profiles
Lt. Col. Seth Eastman

Eastman was an Army officer and noted painter who served on the western frontier and…

Soldier Profiles
Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene

On June 16, 1775,  the Continental Congress authorized a “quartermaster general for the grand army”…