The America that emerged from the War of Revolution in 1783 as an independent nation was very different from the one that had entered it eight years earlier. At the beginning of the war America was divided between anti-British revolutionaries and pro-British loyalists: there was no regular army as such, and militia units were made up of untrained, often unarmed civilians. America was also divided between north and south, and in some respects the war of revolution was also a civil war. The other combatant nations in the conflict were equally complex, with German mercenaries fighting on behalf of the British, and the French coming in to support the Americans along with Spanish, Dutch and official German forces. Native American Indians also fought on both sides of the conflict, as did Afro-American slaves. In this crucible of war, Americans hammered out a new republican and democratic nation as well as shaping a regular standing army. The men who fought in this multi-faceted war span the whole spectrum of American and European society, from farmers in the US Militia to highly experienced British and French generals, and from Native American warriors to German soldiers of fortune. The uniforms of the fighting men of the period are a vivid illustration of the difficulties and complexities of the conflict, and this book brings together for the first time a sweeping survey of what they should have worn, what they really wore, how they were armed, and what they carried with them. There is an additional section on the war at sea, in which Britain's vastly superior and experienced navy was gradually over-stretched and beleaguered by distance from home, lengthy delays in strategic orders, and the vast expanse of the American coastline. As well as illustrations of the soldiers, equipment and kit - with over 600 colour pictures in total and an unrivalled level of detail in the depiction of the uniforms - the campaigns and battles are explained with specially commissioned maps and plans, and colour plates and fine-art paintings of the period. The expert text, a collaboration of renowned military historians Kevin F. Kiley and Digby Smith, examines the organization, tactics and experience of the men-at-arms of these pivotal and formative times. This comprehensive volume presents not only a unique visual directory of uniforms, but an evocative portrait of the political, military and social contexts of the soldiers of the time.