The Institute’s manuscript collection provides primary source documentation of the American Revolution from the points of view of its participants. Official communications transmit military orders and intelligence about the enemy. Personal letters home reveal soldiers’ hopes and fears. Diaries offer details of battles, marches and camp life. Post-war memoirs recount the events with perspective and hindsight.

Muster rolls, clothing and equipment accounts, hospital registers and other records support research on military organization and management. A special strength is a collection of more than forty-five American and British orderly books, which document the day-to-day operations of individual units.

The study of the art of war is reflected in cadets’ exercise books, manuscript extracts from published treatises, and original works on the theory and practice of warfare by military officers. The finely executed illustrations of many of these works demonstrate that the art of drawing was considered an essential part of a military education in the eighteenth century.

 

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