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Orderly Books content highlights:

  • Over 30,000 pages of original primary source material from two hundred handwritten volumes
  • Content from both sides of the American Revolutionary War, as well as the French and Indian War, the War of 1812, the early frontier, and other various military deployments throughout the young United States
  • Original images which are fully transcribed and keyword searchable

Orderly Book entries include:

  • Information on the day, location and general orders
  • Proclamations from the Continental Congress
  • Calculations about rations, miles and routes traveled
  • Personal expenses and loans
  • “Advertisements” announcing lost items, such as clothing and equipment

Orderly Books once numbered in the hundreds of thousands—today, only a fraction of that number still exist. They were the controlling document of the day-to-day life in the military, most notably during the Revolutionary War. This one-of-a-kind collection offers access to Orderly Books found nowhere else.

The Orderly Books collection—developed in conjunction with the New-York Historical Society—contains handwritten volumes documenting military orders, movements and engagements by brigade, regiment, company and other specific military units between 1748 and 1817. The content provides detailed accounts of troops’ daily lives, documenting everything from court martial cases to the price of necessities charged by locals. Given the dearth of soldiers’ diaries, Orderly Books provides historically valuable information about soldiers’ lives.

Title Lists:


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Col. Rufus Putnam’s Fifth Massachusetts Regime

May 31, 1781

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Capt. Thomas Pierce’s Company

January 1, 1776

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Capt. Benjamin Frothingham’s Artillery Company

March 30, 1780