Ornamental Separator

To Arm Against An Enemy: Weapons of the Revolutionary War

On view in the Helen Zadarlik and Bruce Sogoloff Gallery
This exhibition was made possible through the generosity of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Colonial Williamsburg’s exciting new arms exhibition illustrates the weapons used by American, British, French, and Hessian troops during the French & Indian and Revolutionary Wars. During the first half of the 18th century, firearms in the colonies were a mix of the obsolete, the old and the odd. Most were privately owned and better suited for shooting game, while others were outdated relics captured in earlier military conflicts. With the outbreak of the French and Indian War in the 1750s, thousands of British and French soldiers came to North America, providing the first large-scale influx of up-to-date military weaponry into the colonies. A fresh wave of cutting-edge weapons accompanied the Revolution. This international jumble of muskets, swords and bayonets armed soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

Silver Hilted Smallsword (detail), London, England and America, 1765-1770

“Over the last ninety years, Colonial Williamsburg has assembled one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Revolutionary-era weaponry. That gives us the rare opportunity to explore this subject in an unbiased fashion, from every partisan perspective: American, French, British and Hessian.”

~Ronald L. Hurst, Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator and vice president for collections, conservation and museums

Model 1763 Infantry Musket and Bayonet maker Royal Manufactory at Maubeuge, Maubeuge, France, 1763-1766
British "Dog's Head" Infantry Hanger, Birmingham (probably), England, 1750-1770
Model 1763 Infantry Musket and Bayonet (detail) maker Royal Manufactory at Maubeuge, Maubeuge, France, 1763-1766
Infantry Musket, Rappahannock Forge, Falmouth, Virginia, 1778-1781
Early Land Pattern "Shield" Bayonet, Birmingham (probably), England, 1720-1730

Read the press release to learn more about this exhibition.


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