Revolutionary War Era Orderly Books from the New-York Historical Society

Orderly Books were the controlling document of day-to-day military life. Revolutionary War Era Orderly Books from the New-York Historical Society is a unique archive of Orderly Books from between 1748 and 1817. It includes thousands of pages of primary source material providing valuable information about soldiers' lives. 

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At a Glance


Subject Area: History
Ideal For: Academic Libraries

Title List:
Coverage: Excel | HTML

Content Includes:

  • Over 30,000 pages of original primary source material from two hundred handwritten volumes
  • Original images, fully transcribed and keyword-searchable
  • Orderly Books found nowhere else

Subjects Include:

  • Both sides of the American Revolutionary War
  • The French and Indian War
  • The War of 1812
  • The early frontier
  • Other various military deployments throughout the young United States

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

During this time period, much communication was in written format, making these records crucial to historical research. This is an excellent resource for collections specializing in Colonial era history.

— Choice Magazine

This one-of-a-kind collection offers access to Orderly Books found nowhere else and contains handwritten volumes documenting military orders, movements and engagements by brigade, regiment, company and other specific military units between 1748 and 1817.

The content in Orderly Books 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.