Our Revolutionary War veteran was actually most likely a band organ figure carved in Europe, possibly France. We do not know how or when he acquired his paddles and entered the market as an American folk sculpture, but I would guess that the change coincided with the emergence of a folk art market in the 1940s.
At any rate, our figure is now officially demoted from Important Folk Sculpture to Interesting Study Piece. I think that now, as a piece documenting the popularity of folk art in mid-20th-century America, it might be an even rarer example of its kind. But for now it will have to get used to life behind the scenes, rather than in our galleries.