I was educated in America, so I have a pretty good understanding of the overall war and the events leading up to it. I know a bit about each of the Founding Fathers and some about each of their roles in the Revolution and the creation of a new country that took place. That's great and all, but my characters, the people that populate Colonial Baltimore needed to have not just and "overall understanding" but a passionate interest. For them, this war isn't some touchstone in history, but a living breathing thing that affects their daily lives and their futures.
In order to bring that sense of daily obsession I needed a more thorough breakdown of events and I found it in The World Almanac of the American Revolution. This book is basically a timeline of events starting before the war and going all the way through to Washington resigning his commission after the war. But, better than an overview, there's a day-by-day breakdown of events. My book starts in September 1776. The colonies are at war. And because I know exactly what is happening during this time, down to the day, my characters can discuss events or mention things in passing that I can know without a doubt have happened. I do have to be careful to avoid the 24-hour-news-cycle mentality and not have them mentioning things that just happened. There has to be several days lag for news to reach them.
That news lag will also play a role in the book, though I can't give that part away. But I thought about how odd it would be to go back to a time when you didn't know everything that was happening in the world as it happened. You had to wait, even if you knew something big had happened, it could be several days or even weeks before you could get details. It is something that I explore in this book a bit.
So, if you're writing about or even just interested in the American Revolution, I can't recommend this book enough. It's out of print, but there are plenty of used copies available at reasonable prices. I bought mine used and it was still almost pristine, which is more than I can say for it now! It is well-worn and well-loved and a daily reference for me in my writing.