A Proper Sense of Honor

By Caroline Cox,

Book cover of A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington's Army

Book description

Armies are the products of the societies that create them. In 1775, when patriot leaders formed the Continental army, they were informed by their own experiences and their knowledge of the British army. Thus, the Continental Congress created a corps of officers who were gentlemen and a body of soldiers…

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Why read it?

1 author picked A Proper Sense of Honor as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

When I wanted to start understanding the culture of the Continental Army, this was the first book I read. Cox shows that General Washington wanted a hierarchical army, modeled on the British system, with gentlemen to lead the way as officers. He got much of what he wanted. Officers were recruited differently, rewarded differently, and punished differently than enlisted men. They experienced illness and injury differently (they were much more likely to be cared for in a private home, not left to suffer in camp), and they even died differently, with their names recorded for posterity while ordinary soldiers rarely…

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