Earlier this week, I noted that a certain headline-grabbing organization styling itself "the" Army of the United States claimed as its birthday June 14, 1775. I linked this date to an assumed beginning for the old Contintal Army. I had jumped to conclusions without reading the underlying Congressional proclamation on that date. To make matters worse, I did this after publicly lashing slack pop historians for their mistreatment of sources.
"Bastard!" you cry. "Hypocrite!"
I get the point.
Timothy Reese, author of a book on the the Regulars in the ACW, pointed out some problems with this date and my implied lineage, chief of which is that Congress abolished the Continentals after the Revolution. Broken line equals no lineage.
Here's the Congressional resolution concerned and it hardly seems the beginning of any kind of army at all. I don't understand how "the" Army of today links its birth to this resolution.
Tim Reese suggests a starting date of 1784: "In that year the First American Regiment was created from remnants of Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army for the sole purpose of garrisoning a handful of frontier forts." He is correct. If the modern standing army is going to identify with a continuous tradition, this origin makes sense.
I appreciate the correction and I like the proposed revision.
What I cannot understand why "the" Army dissasociates itself from "our" armies - armies of colonial militia, of regular British Army regiments (of American origin), of USVs, or Indian auxiliaries, and of all the other various land forces that waged war for hearth and home.
If "the" Army wants to hold a private birthday party, should not "the other" American armies celebrate their beginnings?