Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
David Bradish Orderly Book, 1745-1818

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, September 2009

Summary Information
Title: David Bradish orderly book
Creator: Bradish, David, 1745-1818
Inclusive dates: 1778-1786
Extent: 1 volume
This orderly book was kept by Major David Bradish during the Revolutionary War, when he was stationed in Providence, Rhode Island, at the headquarters of General John Sullivan.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1937. M-346.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

David Bradish Orderly Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


David Bradish (1745-1818) was born in Falmouth, Casco Bay (now Portland), Maine, and died there in 1818. He married Abiah Merrill on July 19, 1767. They had several children including two sons, Levi and David, and a daughter, Mary (Wheeler). Bradish was a captain in Colonel Phinius' regiment in 1775, and a major in Timothy Bigelow's 15th Regiment from January 1, 1777, to July 26, 1779.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Major David Bradish was stationed in Providence, Rhode Island, at the headquarters of General John Sullivan, from August 16, 1788, to April 3, 1779. The orderly book (210 pages) contains general orders, brigade orders, regimental orders, reports of courts-martial, punishments apportioned to soldiers, extracts from acts of congress, and other entries. Of note is the entry from January 15, 1779, which records General Washington's court-marshalling of Major General Lee, Major General St. Clair, and Major General Schuyler. Lee was charged for disobedience of orders in not attacking the enemy, for misbehaving (retreat) in front of the enemy June 28th, [1778], and for disrespect of the Commander-in-Chief, June 28 and July 1, 1778. He was found guilty and relieved of command for 12 months. St. Clair was charged for neglect of duty, treachery, in-attention to progress of the enemy, and for shamefully abandoning Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. He, however, was cleared of these charges, with honor. Schuyler was found not guilty of neglect of duty for not being at Fort Ticonderoga.

After the last orderly book entry, a number of pages are missing, following which are brief notes on loan payments from 1782-1786.

Subject Terms

    • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry--United States.
    • Lee, Charles, 1731-1782.
    • Providence (R.I.)--History.
    • Rhode Island--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
    • St. Clair, Arthur, 1734-1818.
    • Schuyler, Philip John, 1733-1804.
    • Sullivan, John, 1740-1795.
    • United States. Continental Army--History.
    • United States. Continental Army. Massachusetts Regiment, 15th.
    • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Military personnel--American.
    Genre Terms:
    • Orderly books.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    David Bradish orderly book,  1778-1786 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library's Schoff Revolutionary War collection contains:

    • 1. A commission document for David Bradish from the U.S. Continental Congress, signed by John Hancock
    • 2. David Bradish's Co. Massachusetts militia muster roll, August 1, 1775

    Willis, William. The History of Portland from 1632 to 1864. Bailey and Noyes, 1865.