Dueling used to be (and theoretically is still) a way to defend ones honor by being willing to sacrifice death. Two duelers would stand back to back, walk a set number of paces, turn, and shoot. There could be many variations to the basic rules, and before pistols, swords were used.
A famous colonial era duel was between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. What makes this increasingly dramatic is that Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury, and Aaron Burr was the Vice President. It would be unheard of today for figures at those levels would duel, yet on July 11th, 1804, they dueled and Hamilton was mortally wounded.
There were many ways to solve disputes in colonial America, if the situation was significant enough, would you choose to be involved in a duel?
Given the propensity of officers in the British Army to duel I have been surprised to find no mentions of this in the books I have read. There were a number of famous duellists in this period “Humanity Dick” and “Fighting Fitzgerald” being just two. Does anyone know of any British Army duels in the AWI?