A heady survey of the Continental Army which covers the years 1775 -- 1783 gives a three dimensional portrait of the soldiers and their leaders, uncouth in the beginning, who drove European regulars from the field. There in the rebellion, which was a preliminary to the real battles, and which taught both Americans and British much of the pattern of future clashes; the early, brightly burning patriotism; the endurance and hardihood of the English troops, totally unaccustomed to the outdoor life the colonists had known; the committees and paper warfare; the battles, skirmishes, feeding problems and conflicts with the loyalists; and the emergence of Washington whose generalship was beset by unceasing paper work. With the second and third phase, when the decision to continue the fight for independence rather than bargain for it had become firm, come campaigns and tactics, the strategy of expediency rather than experiences, the privations which resulted in cohesion and comradeship, and the long, weary march to a decisive victory. From contemporary, personal documents and records come the sketches of officers and men, not always herote, comments on events and incidents and the whole has a candid camera atmosphere. An up-and-cheer historical rendering which has an appendix, chapter references, index and is illustrated with maps and panoramas.