In Defense of Hearth and Home is an analytical history of the thirteen colonial militias from their inception up to the American Revolution. This work chronicles the experiences of each individual militia system, how it interacted with its opponents, how and when it gained war time experience or decayed from a lack of such experience during long periods of peace. Uses a combination of first person accounts, historical narrative, and combat analysis to weave together a comprehensive history of the thirteen colonial militias through the colonial period.
A major theme of this work is that each colonial militia developed differing capabilities in response to the differing immediate threats each colony had to defend against. Each individual colony's war time experiences differed from that of its' neighbor, even when both participated in the same war. For instance, Queen Anne's War was a life and death struggle to Massachusetts and South Carolina, but barely merits a footnote in North Carolina's history. Through this process, chronicled herein, a patchwork of differing militias developed on the eve of the Revolution. Each individual militia system developed different levels of expertise, different capabilities, and became unique militia systems in response to differing histories. At the beginning of the American Revolution thirteen separate militia systems of varying quality opposed the English attempt to conquer the rebelling colonies. It was their experiences in the colonial period, or lack thereof, account for their differing quality in 1775. These differences explain many of the widely varying militia performances during the Revolution.
Another major theme is that the first colonists brought European methods of warfare to the New World. Over the next one hundred and seventy years their experience fighting against the Indian nations, the French, the Dutch, and the Spanish forced the colonies to create a unique fusion of Indian and European warfare. The process of this change occurred over generations and differed greatly from colony to colony. When the Revolution began the American militias had become the finest light infantry in the world, employing a unique form of warfare against the English Army.
In Defense of Hearth and Home will give the reader a greater appreciation of the sacrifices and sufferings of his or her colonial forefathers, and unique perspective on the militias that went on to fight the American Revolution.