Massachusetts Militia orderly book  1805-1811
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Massachusetts Militia orderly book (325 pages) consists of general, division, brigade, infantry, sub-legion, and company orders sent to the 1st Division Massachusetts Militia, organized by Captain Daniel Badger of the 5th District of Boston. Entries span from March 2, 1805 to May 7, 1811, and were copied almost daily between 1806 and 1809. The orders provide information about the operation of the militia and the day-to-day lives of the soldiers. Entries touch on a wide range of topics, such as: dress requirements, arms maintenance, company drills and exercises, parades, inspections, attempted mutinies, courts martial, punishments, discharges, recruitment, and promotions. Also mentioned were meeting times and places for the officers, which often took place in the evening at concert halls and captains' houses. While several clerks copied orders into the volume, the majority were recorded by Sergeant Samuel Howe. A label on the item’s inside cover reads: “1812 Relic of the Revolution property of Mrs. S. P. Badger.”

Orders span many levels of command, from the state-level to the company-level.

Below is a list of order types and the officers who gave the orders:

  • General orders: Commander-in-Chief William Donnison and Governor James Sullivan
  • Division orders: Major General John Sargeant, Major General Simon Elliot, Major General Elijah Crane, and Aide-de-camp Minott Thayer
  • Brigade orders: Brigadier General John Winslow, Brigadier General Charles Clement, and Major Bryan P. Tilden
  • Infantry orders: Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Badger
  • Sub-legion/regiment orders: Major Peter Osgood and Major Jacob Stern
  • Company orders: Daniel Badger and Adjutant George Bass

Entries of note include:

  • Page 21: Description of soldiers' clothes
  • Page 25: Regulations for number of band musicians allowed per regiment
  • Page 41: Punishments for soldiers discharging muskets in the streets while parading
  • Page 135: An order from the President of the United States (Thomas Jefferson) to fill state troop quotas
  • Page 204: General order from the President, by Congress’s Insurrection Act, to secure troop levels for state militias
  • Page 222: Funeral orders to commemorate the death of Governor James Sullivan
  • Page 248: Detailed instructions for multiple companies of Massachusetts militia, including captains Binney, Rhoads, Hudson, Cutler, Canterbury, Badger, Crookens, Homer, Dean, Howes, Curtis, Ellery, and several new companies

The ordely book contains reports on the following courts martial:

  • Page 49: Lieutenant John F. Valentine
  • Page 51: Lieutenant Nathan Bacon
  • Page 62: Lieutenant Reuben Sanborn
  • Page 111: Captain Joseph Loring, Jr.
  • Page 200: Captain Amos Binney
  • Page 287: Captain Thomas Howe
  • Page 324: Lieutenant Colonel Calvin Hubbell

The volume contains 3 loose items: a small card with a ribbon labeled "1778 Mrs. S.P. Badger #13 Fort Green Place"; a printed general order from June 15, 1807); and a printed company order from April 19, 1810.

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