Seth Tinkham diary  1758-1759
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Seth Tinkham diary has 138 pages of entries, covering May 29, 1758-October 28, 1759. The first few pages of the diary contain a list of officers in Colonel Thomas Doty's Regiment, recorded in 1758, followed by a list of officers in Colonel John Thomas' Regiment in 1759.

The pages numbered 1-18 make up a book of orders given June 28-September 27, 1758. The entries concern provisions, the repair of arms and artillery, the trying of prisoners, the delivery and outfitting of boats, courts martial and punishments for disobedience, and daily routines. They document an oar shortage, resulting in an order that "Each Battoo will be allowed from Coll Bradstreet only 5 oars" (p. 2); the banning of gambling and the instatement of a 300-lash punishment for violators, (p. 3); and the destruction of "Lines made by the French Last year" by a party of 400 men (p. 10). During June and most of July, Tinkham and his company camped at Lake George, near Fort Ticonderoga, but by late July, they moved to Loudoun Ferry and later, Schenectady, New York.

Pages 19-57 contain diary entries by Tinkham, covering May 29, 1758-October 28, 1759, with a gap between December 8, 1758 and April 9, 1759. In early entries, he described mustering and leaving Middleboro, camp activities, movements, battles, and notable incidents. On July 6-8, 1758, he wrote about the Battle of Ticonderoga (also known as the Battle of Carillon), describing the newly-built French defenses, the "hedious yelling of the Indians," and a piece of artillery that killed 18 grenadiers on the spot. He also referenced British losses and being "ordered back" for an unknown reason (pp. 23-24). On September 5, 1758, he recounted receiving advice and aid from three Oneida Indians, who warned of enemies in the area and gave the men corn and salmon. In several entries throughout, Tinkham described hunting and fishing, his health, the capture of prisoners, and travel by boat. The later entries, covering April-October 1759, recount a measles outbreak in late April, intelligence received from the Dutch (May 20, 1759), and daily duties and activities.

The second half of the volume is an orderly book for April 16-October 28, 1759. It contains basic orders, like requirements that soldiers remove their hats when speaking to officers (p. 73) and that they march two deep (p. 76), as well as calls for courts martial (p. 96), and restrictions on the use of ammunition (p. 105).

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