John U. Rees
May 19 at 6:48pm
Todd W. Braisted, James L. Kochan, Donald M. Londahl-Smidt, and Garry Wheeler Stone, eds.,
“CROWN FORCES 28 JUNE 1778: Return of wagoners, women and children with British, German, and Loyalist Forces at Monmouth Courthouse, New Jersey.”
At least twenty years ago a remarkable document was discovered listing, in the midst of the Monmouth Courthouse campaign, numbers of wagoners, women, and children with British, German, and Loyalist troops, (The dependents are listed by individual units, down to general staff.)The army was in on its way to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, where they would wait for transports to carry them to New York City, Staten and Long Islands. I've long thought this document has not been given the attention it properly deserves. At the very least a return mentioned in army orders at the time, noting the compiling of a document listing "The Names, Country, and Profession of all followers of the Army" should have set someone on a search for said document, which possibly still exists in the Clinton Papers. Clements Library, University of Michigan. If someone has sought that list and failed (or succeeded) in locating it, please let me know.
Substantial numbers of women disobeyed orders, following the overland instead of traveling by ship from Philadelphia, instead . This despite threats they would be drummed from their corps if discovered. The number of permitted women was laid out in army orders dated “Camp at Mount Holly, 20th. June, 1778. … The Regiments to draw for their Women at the rate of two per Company only, and all provisions Returns to be signed by the Commanding Officer.”
The preceding order made no mention of children.
Army orders dated “Camp at Crosswicks, 23d. June, 1778 … Many of the Women who were sent on board the Transports from Philadelphia being at present with the Army, the Commanding Officers [of corps] will give in returns as soon as may be convenient of the number of such Women in their respective Corps, and they will specify by whose permission those Women rejoined the Army.
The Names, Country, and Profession of all followers of the Army, who are not already registered, must be give in to Capt. [Edward] Madden of the 15th. Regiment [who had been Acting Town Major of Philadelphia upon capture of that city], before to-morrow morning. Any person not giving in his [or her?] name according to this order will be liable to be imprisoned.”
Still no mention of children, though their numbers do appear on the June 1778 Monmouth return. Too, it is uncertain whether men and women had to register their names, countries and professions with the army and whether this document still may be found in the Clinton Papers at the Clements Library in Ann Arbor.
“Journals of Lieut.-Col. Stephen Kemble, 1773-1789; and British Army Orders …” New-York Historical Society (Boston: Gregg Press, 1972), 595, 596, 598.
“Return of the Number of Men, Wagoners, Women & Children victualled at Monmouth the 27 & 28th June 1778 inclusive,” (Sir Henry Clinton Papers, vol. 36, No. 5, William L. Clements Library, the University of Michigan); “State of the Forces under . . . Sir Henry Clinton, 3 July 1778,” (Library of Congress, Mss. Division: PRO CO 5:96, p. 77). Edited by Todd W. Braisted, James L. Kochan, Donald M. Londahl-Smidt, and Garry Wheeler Stone.
For context see:
Mark Edward Lender and Garry Wheeler Stone, Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle (Norman, Ok.: Oklahoma University Press, 2016)
The Monmouth Courthouse return has also been appended to:
Don N. Hagist, “The Women of the British Army in America”
(FB posting accompanied by 4 photos of reenactors)
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