This volume represents an important part of the U.S. Army Center of Military History's contribution to the celebration of the Bicentennial of the Constitution. This Bicentennial, like the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1976, is producing a resurgence of interest on the part of the Army, the scholarly community, and the general public in understanding the formation of our republic and the principles on which it is based.

The mission of the Center of Military History is very explicit in such matters. In part, we are to "serve the Army and the nation by ensuring the complete and appropriate use of military historical experience relevant to professional issues of today and tomorrow." To mark the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, we produced five volumes on the role of the Army in the Revolution. In 1987, through this volume and a series of lectures and brochures, we are taking a systematic look at the evolution of the role of the U.S. military as defined by the Constitution, focusing in particular on the individual parts played by key Revolutionary War veterans- the Soldier-Statesmen- in the shaping and elaboration of that role.

Today's servicemen and women can hear a special resonance in the stirring words of the Constitution's Preamble. They are the inheritors of the responsibility to serve the government of the people by providing for the common defense, a responsibility that closely binds them to the intentions of the Soldier-Statesmen of two hundred years ago who penned those words.

The Constitution is revered by all of us, but no more so than by the men and women in uniform who have given their solemn oath to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic." To them especially we dedicate this book, with the hope that it will strengthen their devotion to the Constitution and increase their appreciation for the contribution made by their military forebears, not only to independence but also to the art of governance.
Washington, D.C.
5 February 1987 
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History


Return to the Table of Contents