Generals

British & Germans

Continental Army, Militia & French

  • William Alexander, Lord StirlingContinental Army general — one of Washington’s best
  • Benedict ArnoldTalented Continental Army general who defected to the British
  • Horatio GatesContinental Army general, won the Battles of Saratoga
  • Nathanael GreeneContinental Army general; key to winning the war in the South
  • Henry KnoxContinental Army general, chief artillery officer, first Secretary of War
  • Tadeusz KosciuszkoPolish patriot, fought seven years in the American Revolution
  • Marquis de LafayetteFrench aristocrat, Continental Army officer, like a son to Washington
  • Charles LeeContinental Army general, formerly a British officer
  • Richard MontgomeryIrish-born Continental Army general, formerly a British officer
  • Daniel MorganMilitia soldier, military tactician, Continental Army general
  • Israel PutnamMilitia general, fought with distinction at the British at Bunker Hill
  • comte de RochambeauCommander-in-chief of French forces
  • Philip SchuylerContinental Army general, U.S. Senator for NY
  • Arthur St. ClairContinental Army general, surrendered Fort Ticonderoga to the British
  • Baron von SteubenContinental Army general from Prussia, drilled the troops at Valley Forge
  • John SullivanContinental Army general, Continental Congress delegate, NH governor
  • George WashingtonCommander-in-chief of the Continental Army; first President
  • Anthony WayneContinental Army general, defeated the British at Stony Point

The French years provided Franklin’s detractors precisely what they needed: proof that the ur-American was un-American. Franklin was the Founding Father who had come the furthest, which makes him today the most compelling; he was also the Founding Father who traveled the farthest, which in his own century made him the most suspect. Few other homes in Philadelphia sported both Réaumur and Fahrenheit thermometers. The story goes that when Franklin proposed that Congress open its meetings with a prayer, Alexander Hamilton quipped that that body had no need of foreign aid. The story may be apocryphal but the sentiment was real. The expatriate patriot, Franklin was associated in many minds with the dependent chapter of American independence, one better expunged from the record.

Stacy Schiff
A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2005)