United States. Continental Army

Alternative names
Dates:
Active 0017

Biographical notes:

In response to the expansion of the Continental Army the number of staff was increased and reorganized in 1776. Changes included the creation of a new unit to supplement George Washington's personal staff. This special unit, the Commander in Chief's Guard, was formed on March 12, 1776 with Captain Caleb Gibbs (formerly adjutant of the 14th Continental Regiment and appointed Aid to Major General Greene) as commander. The unit protected Washington, the army's cash, and official papers.

From the description of Orderly book kept by Major Gibbs, 1778. (The South Carolina Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 32141558

In December of 1777, after the Battle of White Marsh (or Edge Hill), the Continental Army, under General George Washington, encamped at Valley Forge, 20 miles north of Philadelphia. The army setup headquarters, defenses, and temporary troop barracks, in what was then commonly referred to as the "Great Valley." They stayed at Valley Forge from December 19, 1777, to June 19, 1778, and suffered a harsh winter, during which the army and the civilians in the area experienced food and clothing shortages. During the long winter, over 4,000 men became sick and as many as 2,000 died from disease and exposure. Because the Continental Congress refused to send more supplies to the camp, the soldiers relied on family and friends (mostly women) to provide nursing care, and to help clean and mend the troops' uniforms. While the Continental Army did not engage the British over the winter, the officers maintained their administrative duties (including disciplinary actions) and the troops practiced drills and battle formations. This orderly book documents their activities from January to February 1778.

From the guide to the Valley Forge Headquarters orderly book, 1778, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)

The Second Continental Congress voted to create the post of Adjutant General of the Continental Army on June 16, 1775. The first adjutant general, Major General Horatio Gates, was given the task of creating and maintaining the records of the Continental Army, including statistics on soldiers. After Gates received a field command in June 1776, eight men served successively as adjutant general during the Revolutionary War, including Colonel Alexander Scrammell, (January 5, 1778, to January 1, 1781) and Brigadier General Edward Hand (January 8, 1781, to November 3, 1783), who initiated use of the United States Continental Army record book.

From the guide to the United States Continental Army record book, 1778-1783, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)

Robert Howe (1732-1786) was a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He was born in New Hanover County, North Carolina, to Job Howe. In 1756 he became justice of the peace in Bladen, North Carolina, and between 1760 and 1775, he represented Bladen and Brunswick Counties in the North Carolina Assembly. During this time, Howe also served in various military raids on the North Carolina frontier and was the commander at Fort Johnson. Howe frequently clashed with Royal Governor Josiah Martin and became a proponent for American independence. At the outbreak of war against the British in 1775, Howe was appointed colonel of the 2nd Regiment of North Carolina Continentals. The Continental Congress appointed him brigadier general of the Continental Army in March 1776, and he served under Major General Charles Lee in South Carolina and Georgia. Howe was promoted to the rank of major general in early 1777, and was soon appointed commander of the Southern Department. In 1778, Howe partnered with the governor of Georgia John Houstoun to attack the British in East Florida, but disagreements of command resulted in a splintering of forces and the Continental Army's eventual defeat in the South. In 1779 he served under General George Washington in New York and Connecticut. Next he commanded Fort West Point in 1780, and after the war led frontier raids against various Native American tribes. Howe died in 1786.

From the guide to the Robert Howe orderly book, Howe, Robert, orderly book, 1776-1778, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)



Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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SNAC ID:
15427906

Subjects:

  • American loyalists
  • Treason
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry--United States.
  • Rhode Island, Battle of, R.I., 1778
  • Long Island, Battle of, New York, N.Y., 1776
  • Military hygiene
  • Military discipline--United States.
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry--United States--History--18th century.
  • Orderly books
  • Military maneuvers
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  • Engraving--18th Century
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry--Revolution, 1775-1783
  • Military discipline
  • Military hospitals
  • Military discipline.

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