Civil War Compass
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Civil War Compass

The American Revolution, a major military conflict between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain, began in 1775 and ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. A loosely connected group of states struggled for and won the right to become a nation.

As hostilities with the British began to rise, the colonists organized protection. Initially, a number of independent companies formed and began military training on their own. By 1776, the Continental Congress resolved to raise a standing army in preparation for war against England. Regiments of soldiers from each colony reported to this new Continental Army. George Washington was appointed commander in chief. On the battlefield, Washington relied on trial and error, eventually becoming a master of improvisation. Often accused of being overly cautious, he could be bold when success seemed possible. He learned to use his militia skillfully and to combine inexperienced troops with veterans to produce an efficient fighting force.

To win, the Patriots had to outsmart and outfight the formally trained and usually better equipped British Redcoats. The Continentals' military strategy depended upon good intelligence on the movement of the British troops and adroit maneuvering into battle positions. To evade their enemy, the American troops avoided main roads. A compass allowed them to find their way through unfamiliar territory and complicated waterways. The magnetized needle of the compass always pointed north, so men could use it to gauge their direction. They could determine their position and direction of travel in fog, night, or low visibility due to heavy rain. At any time, they knew where they were and could communicate that to anyone who needed to know.


  • Measures 5.25 in H x 1.5 in W x 2.5 in L
  • Fully functional compass in brass-hinged wood case. Meets CPSIA safety standards.

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Brooks, ME

Richland, WA
I like the compass! Reasonably priced for gift giving and the wood used is great. For a "show and tell" item a side opening compass would be better. Overall - nicely done.

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