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HISTORICALLY, the American militia was the first permanent armed force in the original 13 British colonies of the future United States. As Howard L. Peterson wrote in his History of American Artillery, Round Shot and Rammers in Virginia, “the Lost Colony of 1587 on Roanoke Island boasted falcons, sakers, and small breechloaders,” which were types of 16th-century British cannon. Under the command of soldier of fortune John Smith, Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the United States, established a militia company as a protection from Virginia's Native Americans.

Prerevolutionary Militia

In Arms and Armor in Colonial America, Peterson documented the continual shipments of arms which London sent out to the militia companies, set up as quickly as the new colonies or plantations were established. ...

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