Manuscript Group 222, Francis Barber (1750-1783), Revolutionary War officer Orderly Book, 1779


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 222, Francis Barber (1750-1783), Revolutionary War officer
Orderly book, 1779, 0.3 linear feet / 2 items
Call Number: MG 222


Orderly book kept by Lieutenant Colonel Francis Barber of the 3rd New Jersey Continental Regiment during Major General John Sullivan’s expedition against the Indians in 1779.  The book covers the period May 26-September 6.  In this expedition Barber was Adjutant General on Sullivan’s staff.  Printed in NJHS Proceedings 65 (April 1947): 61-82; 66 (April 1948): 48-57; 66 (1948): 122-125; 66 (July 1948): 194-203; 67 (April 1949): 158-165.

Gift of Augustus Coddington, ca. 1871.

Biographical Note:

Francis Barber of the 3rd New Jersey Continental Regiment (part of the Jersey Brigade) was an adjutant general on General John Sullivan’s staff during the Iroquois Campaign (May-September 1799). By the time of the Yorktown Campaign in 1781, Barber had been promoted to lieutenant colonel and commanded the Jersey Light Infantry. George Clinton Barber (1778-1828) was Francis Barber’s only son.

Historical Note:

The Iroquois Confederation was a Native American political and military alliance that stretched from the Chesapeake Bay to Ontario and included the Seneca, Cayuga, Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, and Tuscarora tribes.  Prior to the Revolutionary War, the confederation disputed land claims of settlers in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. The Revolution brought a temporary end to this dispute, but eventually the tribes in the confederation, with the exception of the Oneida and Tuscarora, openly sided with the British to protect their lands.  These tribes joined with a small number of Loyalists forces led by Colonel John Butler (1728-1796) to attack colonist settlements.  The bloodiest of these attacks occurred in 1778 in Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania and Cherry Valley, New York.

In early May 1779, General George Washington sent a force of 4500 troops led by General John Sullivan (1740-1795) up the Susquehanna River Valley to break the Iroquois Confederation and its alliance with the British.  This force consisted of Enoch Poor’s Brigade of three New Hampshire and one Massachusetts’s regiments; General William Maxwell’s New Jersey Brigade consisting of Colonel Israel Shreve’s 2nd New Jersey Regiment, and Colonel Elias Dayton’s 3rd New Jersey Regiment; Colonel David Forman’s Regiment of New Jersey and Maryland; Edward Hand’s Brigade of Pennsylvania troops; James Clinton’s Brigade of four New York regiments; a company of Virginia riflemen; and two independent artillery units.

Problems with supplies and transportation delayed Sullivan’s expedition in Easton, Pennsylvania until June 16, at which time Sullivan’s troops destroyed the Iroquois’ crops and supplies during harvest time.  This destruction deprived the British of a significant source of supplies and forced the Iroquois and loyalist settlers to depend on the British during the subsequent winter.  This added burden strengthened the revolutionary cause during a critical phase of the war.


Adamiak, Stanley J., The 1779 Sullivan Campaign, at:

The Wyoming Valley Massacre,” of July 3, 1778, at:

“The Boston Gazette and Country Journal””History of the Jersey Brigade” at:

Boatner III, Mark Mayo, Encyclopedia of
the American Revolution,
(David McKay, New York, 1966)

Provenance Note:

This collection was the gift of Augustus Coddington, circa 1871.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of an orderly book kept by Lieutenant Colonel Francis Barber (1750-1783) on the Iroquois Campaign from May 26 to September 6, 1779, and of an unrelated military document dated December 17, 1825 and signed by George Clinton Barber, Barber’s son.

This orderly book covers the period from the formation of Sullivan forces in Easton, Pennsylvania to their arrival at Seneca Lake in central New York. A n orderly book is usually kept by the orderly sergeant or aide de camp to enter general and regimental orders.  There is usually one for each company.  Typical orders recorded regard troop movements and formations, rations of food and whiskey, distribution of horses and boats, and court marshal proceedings.  Accompanying this volume are notes debating the origin and authorship of the volume, dated from 1871 and signed by William S. Stryker and William Nelson.

A transcript of this volume was printed in Proceedings of The New Jersey Historical Society, Vol.65, (1947), No. 2, pg. 61-82; No. 3, pg. 143-152; No. 4, pg. 209-219; Vol. 66 (1948), No. 1, pg. 48-57; No. 2, pg. 122-125; No. 3, pg. 197-202; No. 4, pg 194-203; Vol. 67 (1949), No. 2, pg. 158-165.

The 1825 document appears to be a list of 23 members of a military outfit that are delinquent in paying fines.  It is signed by George Clinton Barber, “Paymaster of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment.”

Related Collections:

For other orderly books see:

Manuscript Group 91, First Continental Artillery Regiment 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 228, Alexander Scammell (1747-1781), Adjutant General in the Continental Army, 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

Folder List:

Folder Title Dates
1 Orderly book 1779
2 George C. Barber – List of delinquents 1825

Processed by Luis Delfino, June 2001 as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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