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The Minute Men saw action against the British at the Battle of Great Bridge in December 1775, which marked the first fighting in Virginia. The militia disbanded soon after that, and many of the men joined the Continental Army.

The battalion was home to future leaders and statesmen, including a young John Marshall, who would become arguably the most influential chief justice in history, overseeing the landmark decisions that set the stage for expansive court powers.

The Minute Men formed again in 1860 ahead of the Civil War, and then again during the Spanish-American War.