Forty-First Regiment United States Infantry orderly book  1814-1815
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The 41st Regiment United States Infantry orderly book (165 pages) contains orders kept at Fort Lewis, Fort Greene, and Harlem Heights, in New York, for Captain John L. Clark's company of the 41st Regiment, United States Infantry. Entries span from November 1, 1814, to May 31, 1815, and consist of brigade, regimental, division, and garrison orders, as well as a variety of provision returns, court martial records, and a list of officers of the 41st Regiment.

The first 112 pages contain 116 orders and 14 court martial records. The orders document the activities of the regiment, often mentioning the responsibilities of specific soldiers. The court martial records document various crimes committed by the officers and soldiers in the 41st regiment. Offenses included desertion, drunkenness, failure to request a countersign while on sentinel duty, violence toward fellow soldiers, threatening a superior officer, being absent without leave, and neglect of duties. Punishments included demotion, hard labor, pay and whiskey allowance reductions, and execution. Of note is the trial of a ten-year-old African American servant, named Prime, who was accused of impersonating, and therefore disrespecting, an officer (pages 20-21). In another case, a soldier was punished for “striking and abusing” a corporal’s wife, and was “Drummed Round the Garrison With a Woman’s petticoat on” (page 27). Also of interest are charges of four soldiers for starting a “riot” in a house inhabited by two Brooklyn women (page 53). These entries offer insights into the daily activities of New York soldiers, and provide evidence of women at the forts.

The back of the book (pages 1a-53a) contains absentee records, provision returns for men and women (February-April 1815), clothing returns, ordinance reports, and inventories for Harlem Heights concerning artillery, bedding, construction equipment, fuel, and other sundries. Also present are troop roll calls and a list of officers for the regiment, and a copy of a discharge letter.

The volume also contains 4 loose items:

  • July 25, 1814: A resignation letter from members of the Committee of the Albany Republican Artillery to John L. Clark
  • Undated: A resignation letter from John L. Clark to the Albany Artillery
  • Undated: A “Descriptive Roll” for five men in the 8th Company, 41st Regiment, United States Infantry
  • September 27, 1824: A letter from Job Clark to John L. Clark of Elizabeth Town concerning plans to travel on the Mississippi River

Note: this volume was formerly cataloged as "War of 1812 Orderly Book."

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