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Collection Reference Number GLC05983
From Archive Folder Documents Relating to 1776 
Title British adjutant's orderly book
Date 6 January 1776-4 September 1777
Author Howe, William Howe, Viscount (1729-1814)  
Document Type Military document; Book
Content Description Orderly book of British Commander-in-Chief William Howe, oblong quarto, in the handwriting of six or seven soldier-clerks. Details daily orders, official memoranda, court martials, provisions, directives on the control of civilians, embarkations and landings of troops, and more. Among the historic events described are the siege and evacuation of Boston (from 5 March 1776 for 20 pages) and the execution of Nathan Hale (22 September 1776) who is unnamed. "A Spy from the Enemy by his own full confession, apprehended last Night was this day Executed at 11 oClock in front of the Artillery Park." Also includes the Battles of Long Island and Princeton, and other British activities and significant events in Halifax, Boston, Staten Island, Long Island, New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The last entry is dated "Aickins Tavern 4 Sept., 1777," in Pennsylvania when Howe was marching to take Philadelphia, which was accomplished 26 September 1777. The orderly book shows that the British evacuation of Boston actually began 5 March 1776, not 17 March as was commonly believed. Unpaginated. There are a few unusual pieces, for example page 1 has a "Memorandum for making Sour Crout [kraut]."
Subjects Revolutionary War  Revolutionary War General  Orderly Book  Military History  Court Martials and Courts of Inquiry  Military Law  Siege of Boston  Spying  Death Penalty  Death  Battle  Battle of Long Island (Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights)  Canada  Diet and Nutrition  Military Provisions  
People Howe, William Howe, Viscount (1729-1814)  Hale, Nathan (1755-1776)  
Theme The American Revolution; Law; Foreign Affairs; Health & Medicine
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859