Northern Campaign of 1777 Primary Sources

 

General John Burgoyne, ca.1784
preparatory painting for The Funeral of General Fraser at Saratoga, by John Graham (1754-1817)
National Army Museum

 

There are hundreds of extant letters, journals, orderly books, and memoirs recorded by the British forces participants of the Northern Campaign of 1777, and many of those can be found here for the purposes of primary source research. Transcriptions (in HTML or PDF formats) of these sources are provided with the compliments of our regiment. Some sources offered below are PDF page-per-page scans of entire publications, and were extracted from such websites as Google Books.

More documents will continue to be added over time

 

LETTERS

JOURNALS

ORDERLY BOOKS

MEMOIRS AND MEMORIALS

 

 

 

 

 

 

LETTERS

 

Ensign Thomas Anbury24th Regiment of Foot
PDF: Travels through the Interior Parts of America. In a Series of Letters. By an Officer, Volume 1 (Printed for William Lane, London: 1789).

PDF: Travels through the Interior Parts of America. In a Series of Letters. By an Officer, Volume 2 (Printed for William Lane, London: 1789).

The author of this famous Northern Campaign of 1777 British narrative was Thomas Anbury, who began the campaign as a volunteer with Captain Charles Stanhope, Viscount Petersham's grenadier company of the 29th Regiment, and ended up receiving a free ensigncy in the 24th Regiment. Despite claims of higher rank made by later editors, Anbury never advanced beyond the rank of ensign. Like Digby's "journal," Anbury's "letters" contain many later additions—and even what would now be considered plagiarisms—by the author before publication. It should be noted, however, that these plagiarisms were added with the consent of the original uncited writers who provided the material, such as James Murray Hadden. This was not an uncommon practice during the period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOURNALS

 

2d Lieutenant James Hadden3d Battalion, Royal Regiment of Artillery
PDF: Hadden's Journal and Orderly Books. A Journal Kept in Canada and Upon Burgoyne's Campaign in 1776 and 1777, by Lieut. James M. Hadden, Roy. Art. and Orders kept by him and issued by Sir Guy Carleton, Lieut. General John Burgoyne and Major General William Phillips, in 1776, 1777, and 1778. With an explanatory chapter and notes by Horatio Rogers. Munsell's Historical Series No. 12 (Joel Munsell's Sons, Albany, NY: 1884).

2nd Lieutenant James Murray Hadden was a subaltern in Captain William Borthwick's company of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Artillery. His daily journal and orderly book transcripts are some of the best British records of the 1776 and 1777 Northern Campaigns, expertly edited by Horatio Rogers.

 

Lieutenant William Digby53d Regiment of Foot
PDF: The British Invasion from the North. The Campaigns of Generals Carleton and Burgoyne from Canada, 1776-1777, with the Journal of Lieut. William Digby of the 53d, or Shropshire Regiment of Foot. Illustrated with Historical Notes by James Phinney Baxter. Munsell's Historical Series No. 16 (Joel Munsell's Sons, Albany, NY: 1887).

Lieutenant William Digby was the senior subaltern of Captain John Wight's grenadier company, 53rd Regiment of Foot. While contemporarily written, Digby later added more information to his journal, and therefore the contents of this source must be taken carefully ("hindsight is often 20/20"). The publication's editor, James Phinney Baxter, added content which is often inaccurate and should not automatically be taken for face value.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ORDERLY BOOKS

 

Lieutenant-General Burgoyne's Orderly Book
PDF: Orderly Book of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne, from his entry into the state of New York until his surrender at Saratoga, 16th Oct., 1777. From the original manuscript deposited at Washington's Head Quarters, Newburgh, N.Y. Edited by E.B. O'Callaghan, M.D. Munsell's Historical Series No. 7 (Joel Munsell, Albany, NY: 1860).

Certainly the core of any study of Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne's 1777 Army from Canada, this 1860 publication of an extant headquarters orderly book covers the general orders of the army for the entirety of the 1777 campaign. Editor Edmund O'Callaghan's footnotes, while often useful, are sometimes erroneous due to his reliance on assumptions born from a lack of source cross referencing.

 

Garrison Orders, Forts Ticonderoga and Independence, 10 July-11 August 1777
PDF: Garrison Orders, Forts Ticonderoga and Independence, 10 July-11 August 1777.

This is a rare example of a "garrison" orderly book from the American War for Independence. After being captured by Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne's Army from Canada on 6 July 1777, Forts Ticonderoga and Independence were placed under the command of Brigadier-General James Hamilton. These orders cover the garrison, which consisted of the 62nd Regiment of Foot, Braunschweig Regiment Prinz Friedrich, Captain William Borthwick's company of the 3rd Battalion Royal Regiment of Artillery, and a host of civil departments. Transcription and historical notes by Eric Schnitzer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMOIRS AND MEMORIALS

 

Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne
PDF: A State of the Expedition from Canada, as Laid Before the House of Commons by Lieutenant-General Burgoyne, and Verified by Evidence, with a Collection of Authentic Documents, and An Addition of many Circumstances which were Prevented from Appearing before the House by Prorogation of Parliament. (Printed for J. Almon, London: 1780).

Encompassing the most important and popular single document concerning the entire campaign, Burgoyne's A State of the Expedition from Canada contains a combination of personal narrative, letter, journal, and order transcripts, and most importantly, testimony by principle officers associated with the Northern Campaign of 1777: General Sir Guy Carleton (commander-in-chief of Canada), Major Alexander, Lord Balcarres (53rd Regiment and commander of the British light infantry battalion), Captain John Money (9th Regiment and deputy quarter-master general), Captain Charles, Lord Petersham (29th Regiment and supernumerary aid-de-camp), Major Gordon Forbes (9th Regiment), Captain-Lieutenant Thomas Bloomfield (3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Artillery), Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Kingston (deputy adjutant-general).

 

Corporal Roger Lamb—9th Regiment of Foot (1809)
PDF: An Original and Authentic Journal of Occurrences During the Late American War, from its Commencement to the Year 1783. (Printed by Wilkinson & Courtney, Dublin: 1809).

Corporal Roger Lamb served in Burgoyne's army as senior corporal of Major Gordon Forbes's company, 9th Regiment of Foot, in which he saw extensive action in 1777. In actuality a memoir, this "journal" covers the entirety of Lamb's service in the British army with a focus on serving in the 9th Regiment in 1777 and the 23rd, or Royal Welch Fusiliers, in 1780-1781. This 1809 publication was Lamb's first book, and was soon after followed by another title in 1811 (see below) because of Lamb's dissatisfaction with this one.

 

Corporal Roger Lamb—9th Regiment of Foot (1811)
PDF: Memoir of His Own Life. (Printed by J. Jones, Dublin: 1811).

After publication of An Original and Authentic Journal of Accuracies During the Late American War, from its Commencement to the Year 1783 (above), Lamb had this second volume published "as an accompanying volume to that work."

 

Baroness Frederika Charlotte Louise von Massow, Baroness Riedesel
PDF: Letters and Journals Relating to the War of the American Revolution, and the Capture of the German Troops at Saratoga. By Mrs. General Riedesel. Translated from the Original German by William L. Stone. (Joel Munsell, Albany, NY: 1867).

No doubt the most famous narrative by a woman from the entire war (and one of the most famous from the Northern Campaign of 1777), the Baroness's account (originally published in Berlin in 1800) is in fact a later recorded memoir and not a journal as is often stated. Her's is an excellent account of the events she was witness to, and William Stone's translation is sound.

 

2d Lieutenant John Dalgleish21st, or Royal North British Fusiliers
HTML: Extract from Lieut. Dalgleish's Journal (as published in Journal of Captain Pausch Chief of the Hanau Artillery during the Burgoyne Campaign. Translated and Annotated by William L. Stone. Munsell's Historical Series No. 14. Joel Munsell's Sons, Albany, NY: 1886).

2nd Lieutenant John Dalgleish was the "shepard" of his regiment's additional company recruits, which joined General Burgoyne's army in early September 1777, only weeks before the bloody Battles of Saratoga. Dalgleish's memorial of American War service (1777-1780) is transcribed here in full. Referred to as a "journal," this service account was written with a streaming narrative style clearly compiled long after the events had occurred. To write this account, Dalgleish may have used extracts from various letters or a journal kept during the course of his service.

 

Richard Cartwright, Junior—civilian Royalist refugee
PDF: A Journey to Canada by Richard Cartwright, Jr. (1759-1815).

Following the rebel's victory over Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne's army at Saratoga in October 1777, an Albany citizen named Richard Cartwright, Jr, requested permission from the rebel military to remove himself, his ten-year-old niece, and servants to Canada in order to attain the protection of legitimate government. The rest of the family followed the next year. Cartwright's narrative, written ca.1777, is the earliest description of the invasion corridor (including the Saratoga battlegrounds) in the aftermath of Burgoyne's defeat. Although transcripts are available in various forms, this is the only one which encompasses the entire narrative, unabridged, including lengthy passages scratched out and modified by the original author.

 

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