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Howe, William (1729-1814) [British adjutant's orderly book]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05983 Author/Creator: Howe, William (1729-1814) Place Written: s.l. Type: Manuscript document Date: 6 January 1776-4 September 1777 Pagination: 286 p. ; 16 x 21 cm.

Summary of Content: 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]."

People: Howe, William Howe, Viscount, 1729-1814
Hale, Nathan, 1755-1776

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralOrderly BookMilitary HistoryCourt Martials and Courts of InquiryMilitary LawSiege of BostonSpyingDeath PenaltyDeathBattleBattle of Long Island (Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights)CanadaDiet and nutritionMilitary Provisions

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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