Title: William Howe orderly book Creator: Great Britain. Army Inclusive dates: 1776-1778 Extent: 1 volume Abstract:
The William Howe orderly book contains copies of orders for a brigade under British Commander-in-Chief Sir William Howe, from March 9, 1776, to May 1, 1778. Entries record the progress of Howe's army, from their embarkation at Portsmouth, England, through New York and New Jersey, to the end of their occupation Philadelphia.
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: www.clements.umich.edu
Sir William Howe (1729-1814) was the British commander-in-chief in North America from October 1775 to 1777. Taking over the office from Thomas Gage, he concentrated the British army around New York City, and in 1776, fought the rebels at Long Island, Kip's Bay, White Plains, and Fort Washington, eventually forcing the American troops out of the area. The British, however, lost battles at Trenton (December 1776) and Princeton (January 1777). In September of 1777, Howe and his forces moved into Pennsylvania, where they were victorious at the Battle at Brandywine (September 11, 1777). Focusing on Pennsylvania, however, came at the expense of supporting Burgoyne's army at Saratoga, where the British forces surrendered to the Continental troops on October 17, 1777. Under severe criticism, Howe submitted his resignation to London at the end of 1777, and in May 1778 transferred his command to Sir Henry Clinton. During this period of inactivity, Howe's headquarters remained in Philadelphia.
The William Howe orderly book (554 pages) contains copies of orders for a brigade under British Commander-in-Chief Sir William Howe, from March 9, 1776, to May 1, 1778. Entries record the progress of the British Army under Howe from their embarkation at Portsmouth, England, through New York and New Jersey, to the end of their occupation of Philadelphia. Included are general orders from a moving headquarters, standing orders, brigade orders, regimental orders, morning orders, after orders, and memoranda. The orders contain reports on the following: troop movements and the activities of specific units; the planning and execution of attacks, including troop formations and details on command decisions; courts martial deserters and rebel prisoners; surgeons, hospitals, and accounting for the sick and wounded; instructions for working parties and recruiting troops; and promotions. Also present are detail lists with counts of troops and officers and information on food, water, liquor, arms, bedding, and other provisions. The memoranda are typically records of lost or stolen goods. Though the anonymous clerk recorded entries daily, no orders were kept from April 28 to August 2, 1776.
The volume has three sections of orders. The first section contains embarkation orders from the Earl of Loudoun and other commanders, given before the army left England. The battalion boarded the Royal George transport in April 1776, and arrived at Staten Island almost 4 months later in August 1776.
The second section consists of orders from various headquarters in Boston (January 27-February 12, 1776), Halifax (April 26, 1776), and finally, from on board the HMS Greyhound at Sandy Hook, New Jersey (June 29, 1776).
The third section, which comprises the bulk of the volume, documents the activities of Howe's army in America, including their landing on Staten Island, preparations at New Utrecht for the advance on New York, occupation of Manhattan, battles in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the taking of Philadelphia. Of note is a copy of a November 3, 1777, letter from Burgoyne to Howe relating his account of the Battle of Saratoga and his surrender to General Gates, with a detail of each article of the terms of surrender (dated October 20, 1777). The volume ends on May 1, 1778, when Howe was still headquartered at Philadelphia. See additional descriptive data for a list of headquarters throughout the volume.
The back of the volume contains returns of a detachment from the brigade of foot guards commanded by Brigadier General Edward Mathew (March 22-August 13, 1776), a list of casualties from the summer of 1776, and 44 memoranda of general orders issued while the British were in Philadelphia (December 31, 1777-April 6, 1778).
The William L. Clements Library has vast holdings related to the Revolutionary War, many of which relate to Sir William Howe. Among them are the papers of Henry Clinton, George Germain, Shelburne, and the George Augustus Howe and William Howe papers. The Clements Library also has many books, maps, a graphic materials related to Howe and his role in the Revolution, including seven engraved portraits of the general.
Gruber, Ira D. "Howe, William." American National Biography . Oxford University Press, 2000.
List of Headquarters:
Wandsworth, England: March 15, 1776
Fulham, England: March 16, 1776
Wimbledon, England: March 18, 1776
Kingston, England: March 19, 1776
Putney, England: March 20, 1776
Portsmouth, England: March 21, 1776
Clapham, England: March 22, 1776
Royal George Transport ship: March 23, 1776
Petersfield, England: April 1, 1776
Portsmouth, England: April 25-28, 1776
Royal George Transport ship: August 2-11, 1776
Staten Island, New York: August 14, 1776
Boston, Massachusetts: January 27-February 12, 1776
Halifax, Nova Scotia: April 26, 1776
HMS Greyhound at Sandy Hook, New Jersey: June 29, 1776
Staten Island: July 4, 1776
New Utrecht, Long Island: August 22, 1776
Bedford, Long Island: August 28, 1776
Hell Gate, Long Island: August 31, 1776
Newtown, Long Island: September 1, 1776
Manhattan [New York Island]: September 16, 1776
New Rochelle, New York: October 22, 1778
White Plains, New York: October 29, 1776
Dobbs Ferry, New York: November 6, 1776
Delancy's Mill, New York: November 15, 1776
English Neighborhood: November 21, 1776
New Bridge, New Jersey: November 25, 1776
Acquackanonk, New Jersey [Acquancaneugh]: November 27, 1776
Newark, New Jersey: November 28, 1776
Spanktown, New Jersey [Spangton]: December 1, 1776
Woodbridge, New Jersey: December 3, 1776
Raritan Landing, New Jersey: December 11, 1776
Trenton, New Jersey: December 14, 1776
New Brunswick, New Jersey: December 16, 1776
Middlebush, New Jersey: June 14, 1777
Brunswick, New Jersey: June 19, 1777
Perth Amboy, New Jersey: June 24, 1777
West Field, New Jersey: June 26, 1777
Rahway, New Jersey [Rawey]: June 27, 1777
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, June 28, 1777
Bankers House, Staten Island: July 3, 1777
New York, New York: July 9, 1777
Elk Ferry, Maryland: August 25, 1777
Akins Tavern, Delaware [Aickens]: September 3, 1777
Pencader, Delaware: September 7, 1777
Nichols' House, [Pennsylvania]: September 8, 1777
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania: September 9, 1777
Dilworth, Pennsylvania: September 11, 1777
Brandywine, Pennsylvania: September 13, 1777
Goshen, Pennsylvania: September 16, 1777
Tredyffrin, Pennsylvania: September 18, 1777
Charlestown, Pennsylvania: September 22, 1777
Norristown, Pennsylvania [Norringtown]: September 23, 1777
Germantown, Pennsylvania: September 25, 1777
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: October 19, 1777-May 1, 1778