Manuscript Group 230, Nathaniel Heard’s Brigade, New Jersey Militia Record book, 1776-1782 (Bulk dates: 1776)


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

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

Record book, 1776-1782 (Bulk dates: 1776), 0.05 linear feet / 1 volume

Call Number: MG 230


Orderly book of Colonel Philip Van Cortland’s regiment in Nathaniel Heard’s Brigade, July 7 – September 24, 1776.  The volume also includes a record of court cases involving soldier in the militia, February 2, 1781 – May 9, 1782.  Heard’s Brigade was formed in June 1776 in response to a Continental Congress resolution asking New Jersey to provide 3, 300 militia troops to help reinforce the army at New York. The brigade was under the command of General Nathaniel Heard.  Colonel Philip Van Cortland commanded a battalion consisting of three companies from Bergen County, three from Essex, and two from Burlington.

Historical Note:

When the British were forced out of Boston in March of 1775, they first retreated to Halifax.  Washington, however, sent the Continental Army to New York City on his surmise that this was where the next attacks would likely occur.  British ships landed 9300 troops on Staten Island in June of 1776 and continued to receive supplies and reinforcements from England.  The invasion of Long Island had begun by August, and by September, the Continental Army, outnumbered and ragged, were driven back to New York City, and then into the Bronx and Westchester.

The Continental Congress called upon New Jersey in 1775 to form a militia to support Continental forces in New York.  Early in 1776, the New Jersey Militia under Colonel Nathaniel Heard was ordered to take about 500 men to Long Island to disarm dissenting Loyalists.  While encamped in New York City, Heard was promoted to brigadier general.  His brigade, composed of sixteen companies of 160 officers and 1762 enlisted men, took part in Washington’s evacuation of New York City on September 12, 1776.  They were camped in the Kingsbridge area of the Bronx.


Striker, William S., Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War, (Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1967).

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

Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume 1607-1896, (A. N. Marquis, Chicago, 1963).

Provenance Note:

The source of this collection is unknown.

Scope and Content Note:

This volume is an orderly book kept by Colonel Philip Van Cortland’s regiment of Nathaniel Heard’s Brigade of the New Jersey Militia from July 7, 1776 to September 24, 1776.  Orders were issued from New York City until September 10th and then from Kingsbridge.  Included in this volume is a list of the troops in Captain Jedidiah Swan’s company and a record of court cases involving soldiers in the militia from February 2, 1781 to May 9, 1782.

An 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 formations, guard duty, repair of arms, and court marshal proceedings.

Related Collections:

For other orderly books see:

Manuscript Group 91, First Continental Artillery Regiment Orderly book

Manuscript Group 222, Francis Barber (1750-1783), Officer, 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, The New Jersey State Troops Military record book

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

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

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

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