Adjutant-General is an officer of distinction who aids and assists the general in his laborious duty: he informs the several details of the army, with the brigade majors and keeps an exact state of each brigade and regiment. He every day at head quarters received orders from the general officer of the day and distributes them to the majors of the brigades from whom he receives the number of men they are to furnish for the duty of the army and informs them. On marching days, he accompanies the general to the ground of the camp. He makes a daily report of the situation of all the posts placed for the safety of the army, and of any changes made in their posts. In a day of battle the adjutant-general sees the infantry drawn up, after which he places himself by the general to receive any orders. In a siege he visits the several posts and guards of the trenches, and reports their situation and how circumstanced: he gives and signs all orders for skirmishing parties (if time permits) and has a serjeant from each brigade to carry any orders which he may have to send. This definition is taken from An Universal Military Dictionary by Capt. George Smith (1779).
The War Office in England organised four military departments in North America during the American Revolution to conduct operations: Central (New York City_, Southern (Florida), Eastern (Nova Scotia), and Northern (Quebec).
The Adjutant Generals for the years concerned, included: Lt. Col. Allan Maclean of the Royal Highland Emigrants, May 11, 1776-June 6, 1777; Capt. Edward Foy of the Royal Artillery, June 6, 1777-July 1780; and Capt. Richard B. Lernoult of the 8th Regiment of Foot, also known as the King's Regiment of Foot, July 18, 1780-1784.
The Orderly Book (184 pp) contains general headquarters, brigade and regimental orders kept by the Adjutant General of the Army for the Northern Department at Quebec. Orders and Instructions were generated by General Guy Carleton, Major General Phillips, Lieutenant General Burgoyne, General Haldimand, King George III, War Office and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Lord North. The Orders were issued at Quebec, Sorell, St. Sulpice, La Prairie, Three Rivers (Trois Rivieres), Montreal, Chambly, Isle aux Noix, Crown Point, and St. John's. They were generally regarding rules and regulations established by the War Department, organisation of brigades, general procedures for regiments, general orders (Indians, prisoners and discipline), courts-martial, supplies, personnel appointments and promotions, troop (deployments, movements and formations), and troop despatches. There are also entries pertaining to: sick, local inhabitants (ex. pp 9 & 20), Indians (natives), rebels (ex. pp 18, 20), traitor/deserters (ex. p 22), children (ex. p 28) and women (ex. pp 25, 31).
A selection of the regiments named includes the following:
Some notable entries include the following:
- Regiments of Foot - 7th,8th, 9th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 26th, 29th, 31st, 34th, 47th, 53rd, 62nd, 84th, Grenadiers and Light Infantry
- Provincial Units - Royal Highland Emigrants, Royal Artillery, Sir John Johnson's Corps, King's Royal Regiment of New York, and Edward Jessop's Corps of Royalists
- German Units - Brunswick Troops
Also included at the end of this reel is the following material, as organized on the reel:
- State of the British Troops in their different Cantoonments 1 Dec 1780; State of the German Troops .... (tabular format, page 91; for 1781, see page 105)
- Copies of Orders and Instructions Received by the Commander in Chief from the War Office the 17 Nov 1783 via Halifax (re detailed plans for reduction)
- Extracts of Letters from Lord North and of His Majesty's Instructions to His Excellency General Haldimand for Granting lands to the Provincial Troops and Refugee Loyalists in the Province of Canada (page 178)
- Cantoonment of the American Army on the Hudson 10 May 1783; Proposals for establishing a Society...whose members shall be officers of the American Army...(re. Society of Cincinnatus)
- Remarks on Board the Gage, May 23 to June 17, 1783, written by Alexander Harrow. This forms part of the Harrow Family Papers . In 1779 Harrow was commissioned Lieutenant and Commander in the Naval Armament of the Great Lakes. From 1782 to 1785 he commanded the schooner/brig, Gage, which had been built in Detroit in 1776. His remarks include the following: weather, description of courses taken between Detroit and Fort Erie, duties all hands busy at - cutting and bringing wood on board, and drying provisions for the vessel, mentions passengers and prisoners on board, loading and unloading of merchandise, other vessels: Angelica, and Dunmore Hope & Faith, and Lt. Windgrove arrived to command.
- Account of the Prize Brig Adventure (August 15, 1782), written by Henry S. Packard. This forms part of the Henry S. Packard Papers. Henry was the town clerk of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. This is one accounting sheet with debits and credits relating to accounts against the Adventure. At the top of the page it is written “to Howland & Coil”, and Christopher Champlin & Co. has a notation attached: concern in said brig (1 page).
- Appointment as Master Builder (October 29, 1776), given to Richard Cornwall. This forms part of the William S. McCormick Papers. Cornwall was appointed master builder for lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Michigan by Guy Carleton, Commanding Officer of his Majesty's troops at Niagara. (1 page)
- General Israel Putnam (1718-1790), Correspondence, 1777-1792. This forms part of the Putnam Family Papers, 1777-1893. The material includes 9 items, 7 letters concerning military activities from 20 September to October 4, 1777. The correspondents include Samuel H. Parsons, Governor Trumbull, General George Clinton, and Henry Ludinton (Ludington) and mostly concern his want for reinforcements to the militia after receiving intelligence that the British might be planning an attempt on the posts in the Highlands. There is a personal letter to his brother David (1792), and a loan document pertaining to Rufus Putnam (1782).
Putnam was a veteran of the French and Indian War and during the American Revolution, joined the Continental Army becoming brigadier of the Connecticut Militia. He was one of the primary figures at the Battle of Bunker Hill. In 1777 when this correspondence was generated, he had received a military command in the Hudson Highlands. During that year, Putnam had to abandon Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton to the British.