Author: Henry Archer


Henry Archer (dates unknown) was a Scotsman who was educated at a military school in England. Inspired by the cause of the colonists, he emigrated to America in 1778 to serve as a volunteer in the Continental Army. In addition to his service in the fight for American independence, Archer is credited with writing one of the best-loved songs of the Revolutionary War-era, “The Volunteers.”

The Volunteer Boys

Henry Archer

Many of the songs sung during the Revolutionary War were originally drinking songs or toasts. This is true of this song (1780) attributed to Henry Archer (dates unknown), a Scotsman who came to America in 1778 and volunteered in the Continental Army, and of the next, a drinking song favored by Tories and British military men called “The Rebels.”