COLLECTION GUIDES

French and Indian War Orderly Books at the Massachusetts Historical Society

FIND Keywords

1758-1760

Guide to the Microfilm Edition


Collection Summary

Abstract

This finding aid describes the microfilm edition of French and Indian War orderly books kept in America from 1758-1760, taken from the manuscript collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The microfilm contains ten books, including orders for Mass. Provincial troops and one regiment of the British Army.

Sources

A good overview of British operations in Canada during the French and Indian War, with maps, is given in Douglas Edward Leach's Arms for Empire (The Macmillan Company, New York, 1973). For a further description of the activities and makeup of a colonial militia regiment in the war, see Fred Anderson's A People's Army (published for The Institute of Early American History; Williamsburg, Virginia, 1984.

Collection Description

This microfilm edition contains orderly books kept in America during the French and Indian War (1755-1763) selected from manuscript collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Loose orders, returns, muster rolls, etc. have not been included, although some orderly books contain these items.

This guide contains full descriptions of each orderly book including the name or number of the regiment, who the book was kept by or for, the dates of the book, where the book was kept, any engagements or campaigns the regiment was involved in, the manuscript collection in which the book is found, and a description of its contents.

Some of the books can be found on the "Pre-Revolutionary War Diaries at the Massachusetts Historical Society" and the "John Thomas papers" microfilm editions, both available for use at the Society. When this is the case, a statement has been added to reflect the location of the orderly book on the other microfilm.

Arrangement

The orderly books described in this guide are arranged by the name of the regiment, first the Massachusetts provincial regiments in alphabetical order by unit name, followed by other state units, and finally by British regular army units. Provincial regiments in the French and Indian War were named after the colonel who commanded them (i.e. Col. John Thomas's Massachusetts Provincials), and the companies were named after the captain who raised them, with each level of command having a separate orderly book. Because units were raised for specific campaigns only, it is possible that a regiment with the same name over a period of time was made up of different men over the course of the war.

Detailed Description of the Microfilm

The descriptions which follow reflect the order of the volumes on the microfilm.

1. Orderly book, 13 May - 7 August 1759

Unit Name: Josiah Thacher's Company, Thomas Doty's Regiment [of Massachusetts Provincials(?)]Recordkeeper: James HamiltonCollection: Josiah Thacher

Orders given by Lt. Col. Nathaniel Thwing and Maj. F.D. Whore of Josiah Thacher's company of Col. Thomas Doty's regiment, kept by James Hamilton at Halifax, N.S. from 13 May - 7 August 1759 (possibly preparing for the Quebec Campaign) concerning hygiene, weekly and daily routines, weapons maintenance, labor relations with civilian employers, punishments for disobedience, parade orders, work details, stationing in area fortifications, religious observances, and provisioning procedures. Also includes orders regarding embarkation onboard ships for deployment, and passwords.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the Pre-Revolutionary Diaries microfilm, reel 13.7.

2. Orderly book, March 1759 - 3 May 1760

Unit Name: Joseph Frye's Regiment [of Massachusetts Provincials]Recordkeeper: Erastus HarrisCollection: Erastus Harris

Orders given by Governor Thomas Pownall and Col. Joseph Frye (mostly the latter) of Frye's regiment of Mass. Provincials, recorded by Erastus Harris at Castle Island, Boston and Fort Cumberland, N.S. while on garrison duty from March 1759 - 3 May 1760 concerning organization and assembly of new recruits, equipment requirements, general organization parameters, discipline, hygiene, criminal activity, court-martials, battle stations around the fort, religious observances, roll lists, general supply, civilian-soldier commercial relations, and treatment of the French population in the area. (This book also contains orders for a Revolutionary War regiment around Boston from 4 April - 26 June 1778. See the guide to the Revolutionary War Orderly Books.)

3. Orderly book, 31 August - 9 October 1760

Unit Name: Silas Brown's Company, Timothy Ruggles's Regiment of Massachusetts Provincials (Second Battalion?)RecordKeeper: Nathaniel SawtellCollection: Silas Brown

Orderly book of Capt. Silas Brown's Company of Col. Timothy Ruggles's regiment, kept by Nathaniel Sawtell during the Montreal campaign with orders concerning daily encampment and duty details; weekly roll call and account for detached elements; victualling returns; and soldiers' casualty lists. The orders were given at Crown Point, N.Y.; Isle au Noix, N.Y.; "the Shambles" [possibly Fort Chambly, N.Y.]; Fort St. John, N.Y.; and opposite Montreal, Canada from 31 August - 9 October 1760. Book also contains references to detachments of forces to Crown Point, New York with Maj. [John] Burk, Lake Champlain, Ticonderoga, Hudson River, and hospitals.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the Pre-Revolutionary Diaries microfilm, reel 13.6.

4. Orderly book, 26 March 1759 - 2 February 1760

Unit Name: John Thomas's Regiment of Massachusetts ProvincialsRecordkeeper: AnonymousCollection: John Thomas

Orderly book kept from 26 March 1759 - 2 February 1760 containing instructions, commissions, and authorizations received by Col. John Thomas when in Boston, Mass.; Castle William, Boston; Boston Harbor aboard a transport schooner; Lunenburg and Halifax, N.S. from Gen. Charles Laurence, Brig. Gen. R. Burton, Brig. Gen. Timothy Ruggles, and Gov. Thomas Pownall for the raising of a regiment of men, the appointment of staff officers and commission junior officers. The book also contains the rosters of the regiment broken down into each captain's company listing the names of the men, places of birth and residence, age at time of enlistment, date of enlistment, and date of death.

The book continues to give the commissions and instructions by Col. Thomas to each captain in his regiment, the general instructions for the regiment as a whole, the lists of regimental officers and staff, and the daily passwords while in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the microfilm of the John Thomas papers, reel 1.

5. Orderly book, 18 April 1759 - 24 February 1760

Unit Name: John Thomas's Regiment of Massachusetts ProvincialsRecordkeeper: AnonymousCollection: John Thomas

Orders given by Col. John Thomas at Boston, Mass.; Castle William, Boston; Boston Harbor aboard a transport schooner; Lunenburg and Halifax, N.S. from 18 April 1759 - 24 February 1760 while performing garrison duty in Nova Scotia during the Quebec Campaign. Orders concern the manning of area fortifications; hygiene and weapon maintenance; religious observances; muster and provision returns; marching, parade and embarkation orders; and court-martials. The book also contains certificates of leaves of absence, discharges and liberty passes.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the microfilm of the John Thomas papers, reel 1.

6. Orderly book, 7 August - 29 August 1760

Unit Name: John Thomas's Regiment of Massachusetts ProvincialsRecordkeeper: AnonymousCollection: John Thomas

A small pad containing orders given by Col. Thomas from 7 August - 29 August 1760 at Crown Point, N.Y.; Lake Champlain; Isle la Motte, N.Y.; Schuyler's Island, N.Y.; and near Isle Au Noix, N.Y. Orders regard the embarkation and movement of the regiment north through the Lake Champlain waterways during the Montreal Campaign of 1760.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the microfilm of the John Thomas papers, reel 1.

7. Orderly book, 11 April 1759 -5 June 1760

Unit Name: Jotham Gay's Company, John Thomas's Regiment of Massachusetts ProvincialsRecordkeeper: Nathaniel BangsCollection: Nathaniel Bangs

Orderly book for Jotham Gay's company of Col. John Thomas's Massachusetts Provincials kept by Nathaniel Bangs from 11 April 1759 -5 June 1760, and with roster returns to 1762, while on garrison duty at Castle William, Boston; Fort Edward, Pizquid (sic), [ICS.); Halifax, N.S.; and aboard a pilot schooner. Orders concern hygiene; weapons handling and maintenance; rules aboard ship and ashore; treatment of French civilians; commercial activity between troops and civilians; court-martials; and daily worship practices. Book also contains ration muster roll returns, wage schedules for soldiers in 1759, rules governing discipline, and casualty lists.

Note: This volume also includes an account book, 1777-1845, which is not included on this microfilm edition.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the Pre-Revolutionary Diaries microfilm, reel 13.5.

8. Orderly book, 4 June 1758 - 12 May 1759

Unit Name: David Holmes's [Company of the Third Connecticut Regiment]Recordkeeper: [David Holmes]Collection: David Holmes

Orders given by Capt. David Holmes for his company of the Third Connecticut Regiment, perhaps written by Holmes from 4 June 1758 - 12 May 1759 at Woodstock and Hartford, Conn.; Fort Edward, Saratoga, Halfmoon, Ticonderoga and Lake George, N.Y. during the assault on Ticonderoga and after. Orders concern work details, detachments and deployments; casualty figures for individual engagements including regiments involved, casualties inflicted and operations undertaken; diary-like entries recording daily events and deaths; minutes of court-martials; provisioning and supply returns; plans for a breast work to be built; names of officers in the Third Connecticut regiment; and receipts for wages paid.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the Pre-Revolutionary Diaries microfilm, reel 13.8.

9. Orderly book, 14 August - 21 October 1759

Unit Name: David Holmes's [Company of the Third Connecticut Regiment]Recordkeeper: [David Holmes]Collection: David Holmes

Orders given by Capt. David Holmes from 14 August - 21 October 1759 at Crown Point, N.Y. while on garrison duty during the Quebec campaign. Orders are concerning work details fortification construction and calls for specially skilled workers; court-martials; hospital organization; provisions and supplies; detachment orders; sick lists and camp returns.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the Pre-Revolutionary Diaries microfilm, reel 13.9.

10. Orderly book, 2 June - 24 September 1759

Unit Name: 47th Regiment of Foot, British Army, under Peregrine LascellesRecordkeeper: [Thomas G. Willorn?]Collection: Miscellaneous Sedgwick Family Papers, Volume 3

Orders given by Gen. Townshend, Gen. Wolfe, Gen. Monckton and Admiral Boscowen from 2 June - 24 September 1759 at Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island and Isle d'Orleans, Pont d'Orleans, Montmorencie, and Pont Sevy, Canada during the Quebec campaign. Orders regard provisioning and supply, marching, and parading; care for the sick and wounded; creation and construction of encampments and fortifications; general guard and picket duties; treatment of civilians and camp followers; and court-martials, appointments, behavior of officers and men.

Also contains a general description of the goals for the campaign as well as Admiralty instructions for the captains and master of the transports.

Note: This orderly book also appears on the Pre-Revolutionary Diaries microfilm, reel 13.2.

Preferred Citation

French and Indian War orderly books at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Organizations:

Great Britain. Army--Order-books.
Massachusetts. Militia--Order-books.

Subjects:

Orderly books.
Massachusetts--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763.
United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763--Campaigns.
United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763--Order-books.
United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763--Regimental histories.