American Revolutionary War Quiz

Click on the (  ) icon that precedes the answer that you think is correct from the choices following the question.

Question #1   What were the beginning and ending events / dates of the American Revolutionary War?

   Declaration Of Independence (04 July 1776) to Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown (19 October 1781).

   The Battle of Lexington (19 April 1775) to Treaty of Paris (26 November 1783).

   The Battle of Bunker Hill (17 June 1775) to Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown (19 October 1781).

Question #2   What major event of the American Revolutionary War took place over Christmas, 1776?

   General Washington's army crossed the Delaware River and attacked the town of Trenton, capturing most of the Hessians garrisoned there.

   The Battle of Princeton took place.

   British forces under General Howe captured the City of New York.

Question #3   By what name, other than American Revolutionary War, is this war traditionally known?

   The Intercolonial War.

   War For Colonial Independence.

   War Of American Independence.

Question #4   What nation was the first to recognize the independence of the colonies?

   The small Dutch island of St. Eustatius.


   The Swiss Confederation.

Question #5   The Stamp Act issued by the British Parliament in March, 1765 levied a tax on what types of items?

   Postage stamps.

   Official documents, legal papers and printed materials.

   Tea boxes stamped with the crest of the King of England.

Question #6   The dumping of The East India Company's tea (upon which an import duty had been levied) into Boston Harbor, known as the Boston Tea Party was the only instance of the willful destruction of British property by the colonists prior to the actual outbreak of war?

   True; the response the British made to the uprising known as the Boston Tea Party was severe, and no other similar actions were attempted.

   True; Boston was the only port into which the East India Company was licensed to deliver tea.

   False; there were numerous responses throughout the colonies to the Tea Tax, similar to the Boston Tea Party.

Question #7   What was the Galloway's Plan Of Union?

   It was the original version of the Declaration of Independence.

   It was the letter sent to each colony to request delegates to attend a continental congress.

   It was an attempt at reconciliation between Great Britain and the colonies.

Question #8   Who was Nathan Hale, and why was he hanged by the British?

   He was a school teacher, and he was hanged for spying on the British encamped on Long Island.

   He was a tory (a British sympathizer) who changed sides and assisted in Washington's attack on Trenton, but who was taken prisoner by the British in that battle.

   He was a preacher, and was hanged for delivering seditious sermons.

Question #9   How did the British grenadier get that name?

   They were trained to fight primarily with the halberd, a long pole surmounted with a pointed metal tip.

   They threw grenades at the enemy.

   The name was derived from the Spanish word granados referring to the gold braid that was sewn on the shoulders of their bright red coats.

Question #10   Apart from the use of distinctive ensigns, or flags, how were the different Continental Line regimental units identified on the field?

   The cockades that were worn in their tricorn hats were of different color material.

   The fifers and drummers of each regimental unit played a distinct tune when they charged forward.

   The facings on their coats were unique colors.

Question #11   What were the original thirteen British colonies in North America that joined to become the United States of America?

   New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

   New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

   Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Carolina and Georgia.

Question #12   In addition to the thirteen British colonies that united in rebellion against the 'mother country' of Great Britain what were the four other North American colonies in 1775?

   Quebec, Ile St. Jean, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

   Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

   Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Question #13   What is the difference between a flintlock and a matchlock musket?

   A flintlock musket had a barrel that was totally smooth inside, while the matchlock musket's barrel had incised spiral lines down its length.

   A flintlock musket used a piece of flint to strike a spark to ignite the gunpowder while a matchlock musket used a lighted cord to set flame to the gunpowder.

   A flintlock musket used a piece of flint to strike a spark to ignite the gunpowder while a matchlock musket used a percussion cap to ignite the gunpowder.

Question #14   Who defended the British soldiers who fired upon the townspeople of Boston in what was called the Boston Massacre in 1770?

   Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams

   Paul Revere and Parson Mason Weems

   John Adams and Josiah Quincy

Question #15   A tool of punishment used by the Patriots was the cat-o'-nine-tails. What was that tool?

   A cat-o'-nine-tails was a whip consisting of a short wooden handle to which were attached nine short leather cords, each having with nine knots tied in their lengths.

   A cat-o'-nine-tails was a nine-feet long braided leather whip that ended in four or five strands, each of which had a piece of sharp metal attached.

   A cat-o'-nine-tails was a whip made from nine three-feet long reed strips attached to a wood handle.

Question #16   What battle was considered to be the turning point of the American Revolutionary War?

   The battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775.

   The siege of Yorktown between 28 September and 18 October 1781.

   The two battles of Saratoga, between 19 September and 07 October 1777.

Question #17   What were the constituent parts of the Continental Line (the American Army)?

   Department | Division | Brigade | Battalion (later Regiment) | Company

   Regiment | Battalion | Division | Company

   State | Brigade | Regiment | Battalion | Company

Question #18   Which colony, not one of the original thirteen colonies in rebellion, petitioned the delegates in Continental Congress to become part of the 'union'?



   Nova Scotia

Question #19   What foreign nations assisted and/or supported the Patriots in their rebellion against Great Britain?

   France, Spain and Russia

   France, Spain and Netherlands

   France, Mexico and Ireland

Question #20   Samuel Adams, a Boston resident, was accused of fomenting riots in that city against the Stamp Act in August 1765. What else of importance to the birth of the Revolution did he do?

   He was a member of the Massachusetts General Assembly and urged his fellow members for the removal of Governor Thomas Gage in June 1775.

   He negotiated with the Canadians holding Fort Ticonderoga for the purchase of twenty-four twelve-pounder cannon and fifteen mortars.

   He created the Boston Committee of Correspondence in November 1772.

Question #21   Who was the first non-white person to be a casualty of the American Revolutionary War?

   Christian Annicks was an African-born slave who had gained his freedom less than a year before being a casualty in the Boston Massacre of 05 March 1770.

   Christina Alricks was baking bread in her kitchen in a house beside the Boston Old State House when a stray bullet fired from a British musket came through the wall, striking and instantly killing her.

   Crispus Attucks, the son of an African slave father and an Indian mother, was the first of the Boston Massacre participants to be killed in the incident.

Question #22   Who was the British Prime Minister during the American Revolutionary War?

   Lord Frederick North

   Lord William Pitt

   Lord George Grenville

Question #23   What was the shot heard 'round the world ?

   It was the musketfire at North Bridge at Concord.

   It was the first musketfire shot at Lexington.

   It was cannonfire from the British ship, the HMS Cerberus onto Breed's Hill on 17 June 1775.

Question #24   Where did the famous line Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes! originate?

   The militiamen defending hastily constructed redoubts on the summit of Breed's Hill were told that by their commanders in order to save their gunpowder and bullets.

   The militiamen defending hastily constructed redoubts on the summit of Breed's Hill were told that by their commanders in order that their aim would be more accurate.

   The militiamen defending hastily constructed redoubts on the summit of Breed's Hill were told that by their commanders in order to make sure that they identified the attackers as British Army troops and not commit 'friendly fire' on other militiamen who might be making their way up the hill.

Question #25   Who was the foreign national soldier who helped train the colonial troops in proper drills and military techniques at Valley Forge?

   Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

   Kazimierz Michal Wladyslaw Wiktor Pulaski

   Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben

Question #26   Before he became a traitor, for what was Benedict Arnold noted?

   He served with distinction at Saratoga.

   At the Battle of Bunker Hill, he ordered his men to not fire till they saw the whites of the British troops' eyes.

   He served in the New York General Assembly.

Question #27   Is it true that most German mercenaries captured at Trenton, who had served under the British, later changed allegiance and served under General George Washington?

   True ~ After their capture on 26 December 1776 at Trenton, most of the German troops under Colonel Johann Rall were settled in the western regions of New York Province, and many were known to have joined Washington's army.

   False ~ The Hessian troops captured at Trenton were kept imprisoned at Allentown, Pennsylvania until they were tranferred to New York City in October 1783.

   True ~ George Washington's personal guard consisted of Germans he had captured at Trenton, and who sympathized with the Patriot Cause.

Question #28   What was the Edenton Tea Party?

   The Edenton Tea Party was a meeting of women at Edenton, North Carolina during which they declared a boycott on British tea.

   The Edenton Tea Party was, like the Boston Tea Party, the destruction of chests of tea by disguised Sons of Liberty at Edenton, North Carolina.

   The Edenton Tea Party was a gathering of women at Edenton, North Carolina during which they petitioned Governor Hutchins Burton to declare the province of North Carolina a loyalist province.

Question #29   A liberty pole would be erected at some convenient location, such as a town square or in front of a tavern where a seditious meeting was going to be held that evening. How could someone identify a liberty pole from a regular pole?

   A liberty pole would have a 'phrygian cap' at its top.

   A liberty pole would have a pennant, with the word 'Attention' printed on it.

   A liberty pole would have been painted red.

Question #30   What was the origin of the famous line: "These are the times that try men's souls." ?

   Nathan Hale, when captured by the British, gave this quote just before he was hung for espionage.

   This quote comes from General George Washington during the bivouac at Valley Forge.

   Thomas Paine included it in his book, The American Crisis.

Question #31   Why was it Thomas Jefferson who was tasked with writing the Declaration of Independence ?

   Thomas Jefferson was one of only a few of the delegates to the Continental Congress who actually knew how to write.

   Thomas Jefferson received the most votes when a committee was chosen to write the document.

   John Adams was the first choice of the delegates to the Continental Congress to write the Declaration, but he became ill and was incapacitated, so Thomas Jefferson stepped in and completed the task.

Question #32   Why was a twelve-pounder cannon given that name?

   The bore of the cannon's barrel measured twelve centimeters and the word 'pound' was used to represent one centimeter in artillery.

   Cannon 'poundages' referred to the weight of the barrel alone. The type and weight of the carriage would vary greatly, so it was not indicated in the name.

   The cannon ball fired from a twelve-pounder weighed approximately twelve pounds.

Question #33   What was the 'Jersey' that was located at New York City?

   It was a British prison ship.

   It was the affectionate name given to the large mortar aimed toward the Patriots' Fort Lee on the opposite bank of the Hudson River.

   It was a tavern frequented by General William Howe's army of occupation and the many Loyalists who remained in the city.

Question #34   What German principalities were involved in the American Revolutionary War on the side of Great Britain?

   Hesse-Kassel, Wurzburg and Anhalt-Zerbst

   Hesse-Kassel, Bayreuth, Lingen-Hersfeld and Osnabruck

   Hesse-Kassel, Ansbach-Bayreuth, Hesse-Hanau and Brunswick

Question #35   What was the name of the article of clothing that soldiers wore from the waist down to their feet?




Question #36   Who was Molly Pitcher and what did she do of noteworthiness?

   Molly Pitcher was actually Mary Hays, who in the act of carrying water to the artillery troops, took over her husband's role of swabbing the cannon barrel when he collapsed.

   Molly Pitcher was the nickname given to Margaret Corbin who took her fallen husband's place at a cannon at the battle of Fort Washington in 1776.

   Molly Pitcher was the nickname given to any female camp follower who carried water to the troops.

Question #37   The wide brimmed hat with three 'corners' cocked, or raised and attached to the crown was called what?




Question #38   The small sword was what type of bladed weapon?

   The name 'small sword' denoted any single-edged bladed weapon measuring forty centimeters or less in length.

   The 'small sword' was a light bladed weapon designed for thrusting that developed out of the rapier.

   The 'small sword' was a short, single-edged bladed weapon, similar to the Scottish sgian-dubh, worn in the waistband.

Question #39   What site in the region west of the 1763 Royal Proclamation Line was not the site of an engagement during the American Revolutionary War?

   Kaskaskia (in the Northwest Territory, present-day state of Illinois)

   St. Louis (in the Louisianna Territory, present-day state of Missouri)

   Fort Detroit (in the Michigan Territory, present-day state of Michigan)

Question #40   What famous North American island declared neutrality during the American Revolutionary War?




Question #41   What was the last effort toward conciliation with King George III in 1775?

   John Dickinson's Olive Branch Petition

   The first, conciliatory draft of the Declaration of Independence

   The Franklin-Adams Peace Commission

Question #42   Although General Washington's Army might not have been trained properly, what was the first battle in which it became involved following its formation during the siege of Boston?

   Valcour Island (the Quebec Expedition)

   Long Island and Harlem Heights

   Bunker/Breed's Hill

Question #43   The Battle of the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis was variously known as what?

   The Battle of the Saints

   The Battle of Flamborough Head

   The Battle of Valparaiso

Question #44   What was the origin of the phrase: "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death?"

   John Paul Jones during the Battle of the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis, 23 September 1779.

   Patrick Henry at the Second Virginia Convention, 23 March 1775.

   Nathan Hale prior to being hanged on 21 September 1776.

Question #45   What, or who, was the "Swamp Fox"?

   The Swamp Fox was the codename given to John Andre by Benedict Arnold.

   The Swamp Fox was Francis Marion who outwitted the British army under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton.

   The Swamp Fox was the nickname given to Henry Lee by General George Washington after the Battle of Paulus Hook.

Question #46   What was a 'caltrop'?

   It was the leather strap that fastened under the belly of a horse and secured the saddle.

   It was the wooden rod used to tamp a bullet and black powder into the barrel of a musket.

   It was an iron object having four points that was used to cause injury to horse hooves and men's feet if stepped on.

Question #47   Who was the commander-in-chief of French forces in North America during the American Revolutionary War?

   Francois~Joseph Paul, Comte de Grasse

   Marie~Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

   Jean~Baptiste~Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau

Question #48   The American Revolutionary War, like the Seven Years War that preceeded it, was an international war. What historic battle took place on the night of 27 November 1781 on foreign soil?

   The Great Siege of Gibralter

   The Battle of Cuddalore

   The Second Battle of Louisbourg

Question #49   Which of the Amerindian nations participated in the American Revolutionary War on the side of the American colonists?

   Cherokee, Miami, Mohawk and Seneca

   Creek, Cayuga, Mohican and Wyandot

   Delaware, Micmac, Oneida and Tuscarora

Question #50   Was the Siege of Yorktown, culminating in the surrender of General Charles Cornwallis on 19 October 1781, the last battle of the American Revolutionary War?

   No, after Yorktown there were over thirty-five engagements / battles world-wide.

   No, after Yorktown the War continued for four years in the Ohio Valley and the Northwest Territory.

   Yes, all armed resistance came to a halt throughout the thirteen colonies and elsewhere in the world.