Arranged Marriages: Relationships Between Regular and Irregular Forces, During the Early American Revolutionary War in Monmouth County, New Jersey
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph seeks to answer the question of how the relationship between regular and irregular military forces influenced operations in New Jersey during the winter of 1776-77. Much like an arranged marriage, regular and irregular forces can make the best of the situation and make it work, or hold onto preconceived notions and let the relationship fail. Despite occasional innovations by British commanders in combining regular and irregular forces against the rebels, the marriage ultimately failed. In contrast, the rebels found a way to make the arrangement work. This monograph begins with a discussion of irregular units as a topic in academic and popular literature. The winning rebel side presented the Continental Army and the rebel militia as the force that gained independence, while the existence of loyalist units was intentionally ignored. Next, it focuses on the colonial wars to provide background and context, specifically, King Georges War, 1744-1748, and the French and Indian War, 1754-1763. The interaction between colonists and the British Army during these conflicts established the foundation for relationships during the American Revolutionary War. Then key information about New Jersey and Monmouth County is presented to set the stage for the two case study units, the 1st Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers loyalist and the Monmouth County Militia rebel. These units provide a glimpse into how irregular units were employed and how personal relationships and policies affected operations. Finally, it concludes with a few insights to consider when approaching future relationships. The difficulty and necessity of building positive working relationships between coalition partners remains a challenge for militaries to this day, and is reflected in United States Army and Joint doctrine, such as ADRP 6-0 Mission Command, as a priority for commanders at all levels of war.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics