[REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINENTAL ARMY]. Manuscript Orderly Book for an unidentified unit of the Continental Army, kept at Boston and Fort Ticonderoga, 2 July to 8 November 1776. 132pp., folio, written in several different officers' hands, several leaves evidently removed (for 7-31 August), a few leaves with portions torn or clipped away, bound loosely in a copy of The Massachusetts Spy and Country Journal, 25 August 1783 (part of masthead cropped away), later paper label "Sundry War Expenditures 1776 to 1781."
FROM THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE TO THE SHORES OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN: "LIVE VICTORIOUS OR DIE"
A fine, extensive orderly book, recording activities in the camp at Boston, where the army was inoculated with Small-pox, and an extended sojourn as part of the garrison at Fort Ticonderoga (31 August-8 November). The daily entries record the place they were stationed, the officer of the day, and the secret "parole" (password) and countersign. All general, brigade or regimental orders of note are carefully transcribed, and the findings of courts-martials are recorded, furnishing an exceptionally detailed picture of the day-to-day lives of the Continental soldiers at this key fort, in this period under command of General Arthur St. Clair.
4 July: "...As the smallpox prevails in Boston" the Officers at Dorchester and Castle Island "are not to suffer any of their men to come to town except those that have had the small pox..." 5 July: "The commanding officers...are to send their men...who do not incline to be inoculated...to Dorchester...to be employ'd in compleating the work on the heights..." [7 July]: Special rations are ordered for those infected, and surgeons admonished "to take the best care of the men under the operation of the Small pox; the General expects & orders the utmost attention be paid to this important concern..." 15 July: "Sargents and Hutchinsons Regiments are to march for Ticonderoga...next Thursday morning..." 16 July, THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE PROCLAIMED: "The Honourable Continental Congress having declared the united Colonies Free & Independant States and ordered that their declaration be published at the Head of the Armys...The General [Washington] directs Cols. Sargent & Hutchinson to cause the said declaration to be published at the head of their respective regiments next wednesday morning..."
3 August: "In pursuannce of orders from General Washington the route of the regiments is altered, they are to march to Ticonderoga..." 3 September, at Ticonderoga: General St. Clair complains of "the shameful dillatoriness with which the Publick works are carried on upon Mount Independence [across Lake Champlain] at a time when our friends and countrymen are ingaged with the Enemy, & every moment bleeding in the cause of Liberty...shall Americans, whose all is at stake, want that firmness to animate them to arms...to defeat the unprincipaled mercenaries of an unrelenting tyrant..." 4 Sept: A number of men are assigned as marines "to the fleet" on Lake Champlain: "they will proceed directly to joyn Genl. [Benedict] Arnold..." 13 Sept: "The Independant Company of Indians from Stockbridge" are posted "at the saw-mill," and are required to wear "a blue & red cap as a distinguishing mark from the Enemy Indians," so that "we may not by mistake kill our friends..." 23 Sept: "From intelligence received yesterday," the enemy "meditate an immediate attack on this post. The genl. entreats the officers and soldiers...to shew...that they are not only determined to defend their country from invasions, but either live victorious or die..."
In fact, Benedict Arnold's valiant naval operations at Valcour Island (11-13 October 1776) offered unexpected resistance to the British naval vessels on Lake Champlain, and it was not until the following summer that an expeditionary force under Burgoyne moved against Fort Ticonderoga, forcing its evacuation by St. Clair in July 1777.