Guide to the Alexander Scammell (1747-1781), Adjutant General in the Continental Army Orderly Book 1780 MG 228


Descriptive Summary
Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note
Access Points
Related Material
Administrative Information

Container List

Orderly Book

Guide to the Alexander Scammell (1747-1781), Adjutant General in the Continental Army Orderly Book
MG 228
The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2006 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Luis Delfino, May 2001, as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. March 2006. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Scammell, Alexander, 1747-1781.
Title: Alexander Scammell (1747-1781), Adjutant General in the Continental Army

Orderly Book

Dates: 1780
Abstract: Contains orders issued March 23-June 6, 1780 at Morristown, Short Hills, Connecticut Farms (Union Township), Springfield, Whippany, Ramapo, and Preakness.
Quantity: .2 linear feet (1 volume)
Collection Number: MG 228
Location: Located in Ely Collection, Call number: EN 267

Biographical Note

Alexander Scammell (1747-1781), the son of a prominent doctor, grew up in Mendon, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard University in 1769. He studied law in the office of John Sullivan in Durham, New Hampshire, and when the Revolutionary War began, he became a major in Sullivan’s Brigade of the New Hampshire Militia. In October 1776, Scammell became brigadier major in Charles Lee’s Division, and in November of that year he was promoted to colonel of the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment. He was present at the evacuation of Ticonderoga, and led his regiment in the two battles of Saratoga. He became Washington’s aide de camp and served as adjutant general from January 5, 1778 to January 1, 1781, when he resigned to take command of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment. In the Yorktown Campaign, he led 400 light infantry and was badly wounded, possibly after having been taken prisoner. He died from his injuries in October 1881 after being released and brought behind the American lines.

Background Historical Note: On December 1, 1779, the Continental Army under General George Washington encamped in Morristown, New Jersey. General Washington chose this area for its logistical, geographical and topographical military advantages, in addition to its proximity to New York City. The Army, after years of supply shortages, was just beginning to feel changes brought about by new Quartermaster General Nathanael Greene, but the overall conditions at the winter encampment in Morristown was perhaps the most brutal of the entire war. On June 22, 1780 the Army broke encampment and the following day, they defeated the British in the Battle of Springfield. Afterwards, the Continental Army continued to advance through eastern New Jersey toward the coast and New York City. The encampment for the following winter began in November 1780 in the Hudson Highlands.

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Scope and Content Note

This volume is an orderly book kept by Alexander Scammell, adjutant general and aide de camp to George Washington, for the Continental Army in New Jersey dating from March 23- July 23, 1780. Orders were issued at Morristown from March 23-June 6, 1780, and then from Short Hills, Connecticut Farms (now called Union Township), Springfield, Whippany, Ramapo, and Preakness until July 23, 1780. An orderly book is usually used by the orderly sergeants or the aide de camp to enter general and regimental orders, and there is usually one for each company. Typical orders recorded regard troop movements and formation, rations of food and rum, and court martial proceedings. Most of the court marshal proceedings were held for relatively minor offenses, such as leaving camp at night or unofficer-like behavior. Of note, however, is the July 22, 1780 proceeding against Thomas Brown of the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment, who was charged with “’Plundering the Inhabitants,’ while on Command at Paramus, and ‘Abusing a Woman.’” He pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to death.

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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Scammell, Alexander, 1747-1781.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
Subject Organizations:
United States. Army–Military life
United States. Continental Army.
Subject Topics:
Adjutants–New Jersey.
Courts martial and courts of inquiry–New Jersey.
Military camps–New Jersey.
Military maneuvers–New Jersey.
Military supplies–New Jersey.
Subject Places:
Morristown (N.J.)
Ramapo (N.J.)
Short Hills (N.J.)
Springfield (N.J.)
Union Township (N.J.)
United States–History–Revolution, 1775-1783.
Whippany (N.J.)
Document Types:
Orderly books.

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Related Material

Manuscript Group 91, First Continental Artillery Regiment Orderly Book

Manuscript Group 222, Francis Barber (1750-1883) Orderly book

Manuscript Group 223, Continental Artillery Brigade Orderly book

Manuscript Group 224, 7th Rifle Regiment of the Pennsylvania Line / Patton’s Additional Regiment Orderly book

Manuscript Group 225, Continental Army Artillery Regiment Orderly book

Manuscript Group 226, First New Jersey Continental Regiment Orderly book

Manuscript Group 227, Jersey Brigade Orderly book

Manuscript Group 229, New Jersey State Troops Military record book

Manuscript Group 230, Nathaniel Heard’s Brigade, New Jersey Militia Record book

Manuscript Group 233, Jabez Campfield (1737-1821), Military surgeon, Journal and Orderly book

Manuscript Group 257, Second Dragoon Regiment, Continental Army Orderly book

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 228, Alexander Scammell (1747-1781), Adjutant General in the Continental Army

         Orderly Book, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

This volume was the gift of Edwin A. Ely in 1923.

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Pennington Family File, The New Jersey Historical Society.

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Container List

Orderly Book

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Alexander Scammell orderly book 1780 Mar 23-July 23

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