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Numbered Record Books

The title, Numbered Record Books, doesn’t reveal much about this significant new collection of Revolutionary War documents on Fold3.
Yet, anyone familiar with these military records—oaths of allegiance, supply records, orderly books, letters, account ledgers—knows they contain revealing and rather extraordinary documents from the early days of our nation’s military history.Whether you have Revolutionary War ancestors, or simply an interest in military activities and history of this time period, you will be well rewarded when searching or browsing the Numbered Record Books.

Several of the volumes were used to create compiled service records. This card from the service record of Corporal Thomas Ferguson was abstracted from information on the fifth line of this roll of the 2nd New Jersey Regiment, January 1, 1777.

Orderly BookOrderly books include rosters, instructions relating to troop movements, camp regulations, reprimands, promotions, and findings of courts martial. A 1778 orderly book from Providence Headquarters details the results of three courts martial where one man was pardoned for falling asleep at his post; another sentenced “to be shot to death” for “stealing, insolence, disturbing the camp,” and additional violent actions; and a third was “to be whipped one hundred lashes on his naked Back” for stealing a rifle.

“Oaths of Allegiance, Fidelity, and of Office” are in volumes numbered 165-168. There we find the Oath of Allegiance of Abraham Rand, in which he declares he owes “no allegiance or obedience to George the Third King of Great Britain” and will “defend the said United States against the said King George Third.” It is followed later by Rand’s Oath of Office, in which he swears to “faithfully, truly and impartially execute the Office of Sub Conductor of Waggons.”

Within a 1779 list of military requisitions, we learn that fifes were delivered to one brigade, sheepskin and lead aprons to another, while Artillery Artificers received a bolt of duck cloth and a pound of twine. Other items seen frequently within the supply accounts include drum sticks, muskets, belts, and bayonets.

More information and examples are available within Fold3’s description of this title. Documents discovered in the “Numbered Record Books” round out stories and fill in gaps. They are overlooked evidence, underappreciated records, and hidden tales from our nation’s history. They now await your discovery.

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