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This duty roster recorded when, where and for how long the men of the Deerfield, Massachusetts, militia served from 1775-1777. It also listed the money some of them paid for substitutes to serve in their place. The states called up militias for periods as short as two weeks or as long as several months. During the American Revolution, these "minutemen" were generally less reliable than the Continental Army. Americans, however, preferred to depend upon militia, fearing that power-hungry officers or government officials could turn a permanent army against the people it was supposed to protect.