Dale Watson

American Battlefield Trust and Daughters of the American Revolution Launch Digital Exhibition Exploring People and Places of the Revolutionary War

The American Revolution Experience charts the journeys of 13 individuals caught up in the turmoil and ultimate triumph of America’s struggle for independence

Jim Campi, American Battlefield Trust
Bren Landon, DAR

(Washington, D.C.) — As tensions mounted in the 13 American colonies during the 1770s, an entire generation was faced with a momentous choice: would these ordinary citizens risk rising against a great colonial power in pursuit of liberty? Or would they remain loyal subjects of the British crown, coming into conflict with neighbors and family? A new digital exhibition from the American Battlefield Trust and Daughters of the American Revolution examines the lives of 13 men and women who witnessed the dawn of a new nation, and how their decision shaped the journey they faced in those tumultuous years.  

The American Revolution Experience

Trust President David Duncan further emphasized the role of individuals in the nation’s origins. “Independence may have been declared in Philadelphia by the Declaration’s 56 signers, but it was won on the battlefield with the blood of thousands of patriot soldiers. The experiences of ordinary people, soldiers and civilians alike, and what they sacrificed for the promise of a new nation must be remembered.” 

The American Revolution Experience marries the two organizations’ respective grounding in the fascinating people and places of the Revolutionary era. It brings to life diverse viewpoints and experiences, touching on the fates of Patriots and Loyalists, men and women, Black and Native populations and even international allies. Rather than focusing only on generals and famous statesmen, it introduces audiences to drummer boys, military mapmakers and other ordinary people who were impacted by global events. 

Users are invited to watch the physical journeys of the Revolution’s participants unfold across the map, discover thematic connections between the lives of subjects and explore contemporary connections via namesakes, descendants and other mechanisms. The exhibit links throughout to the Trust’s industry-leading battle content and makes use of incredible documents and artifacts in DAR collections. It is richly illustrated with custom, impeccably researched artwork by South Carolina artist Dale Watson.  

American Revolution Experience
Dale Watson

The Trust and DAR are united in understanding the power of tangible links to the past, the way that landscapes, objects and family legacy can bind us across the centuries to the essence of the American story. Earlier this month, they came together for a symbolic planting to initiate the DAR Pathway of the Patriots, a 250-tree commemorative grove honoring individual Revolutionary War participants on one of the battlefields where they fought. In April, when the Trust announced its goal to protect 2,500 acres of Revolutionary War battlefield land during the 250th anniversary period, DAR enthusiastically embraced the vision. 

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With nearly 190,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world's largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today's DAR, visit www.DAR.org

The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today.  The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 55,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.