- from American Revolution
Patriots who wanted to fight had the option of enlisting in Washington’s Continental Army or joining their state militia. The militias were less organized and less disciplined but provided crucial support for the army in many battles.
Minutemen were special groups of militia, formed just prior to the Revolution. They were ready to respond to a British attack “in a minute.” Boys as young as 14 could enlist in the army with their parents’ permission. There was no upper age limit. Loyalists—colonists who remained loyal to Great Britain—either joined the British army or formed their own militias.