Guide to Federal Records

War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records


(Record Group 93)
1709-1915
809 cu. ft.

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 93.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 93.2 GENERAL RECORDS 1709-1915 (bulk 1775-83) 187 lin. ft.
  • 93.2.1 Federal records
  • 93.2.2 State records
  • 93.3 RECORDS RELATING TO MILITARY ORGANIZATION AND SERVICE 1775-1912 (bulk 1775-83) 2,689 lin. ft.
  • 93.4 RECORDS RELATING TO SUPPLIES AND STORES 1775-1814 (bulk 1775-83) 9 lin. ft.
  • 93.4.1 Selected volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series (1775-98)
  • 93.4.2 Other records
  • 93.5 RECORDS RELATING TO MILITARY PAY AND THE SETTLEMENT OF INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS 1775-1803 1 lin. ft.
  • 93.5.1 Selected volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series (1775-98)
  • 93.5.2 Other records
  • 93.6 RECORDS RELATING MAINLY TO NON-REVOLUTIONARY WAR ACTIVITIES 1774-1895 (bulk 1775-1833) 1 lin. ft.

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93.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Finding Aids: Mabel E. Deutrich, comp., and Howard H. Wehmann, rev., Preliminary Inventory of the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, PI 144 (1970).

Related Records: Records of the Veterans Administration, RG 15.
Records of the Bureau of Accounts (Treasury), RG 39.
Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library, RG 45. Records of the Bureau of the Public Debt, RG 53.
General Records of the Department of State, RG 59. Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917, RG 94.
Records of U.S. Army Commands, 1784-1821, RG 98.
Records of the Office of the Secretary of War, RG 107.
Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, RG 217. Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention, RG 360.

COLLECTION HISTORY

Most records in War Department custody were destroyed by fire, November 8, 1800. Many of the remaining Revolutionary War records were lost during the War of 1812. As a result there were, until 1873, few records for the period before 1789 in War Department custody. In 1873 Secretary of War William Belknap purchased for the Federal Government the papers of Timothy Pickering, who between 1777 and 1785 had been a member of the Board of War, Adjutant General of the Continental Army, and Quartermaster General; the papers of Samuel Hodgdon, Commissary General of Military Stores for several years during the war; miscellaneous contemporary papers; and some minor groups of records and single record items. In 1888 these records were transferred to the Department of State. By acts of July 27, 1892 (27 Stat. 275) and August 18, 1894 (28 Stat. 403), Congress authorized the transfer to the War Department of all military records for the Revolutionary War period then in the custody of other Executive branch departments. These military records were transferred between 1894 and 1913 from the Departments of State, the Interior, and the Treasury. In 1914 and 1915, under authority of an act of March 2, 1913 (37 Stat. 723), the War Department made photographic copies of Revolutionary War records in the custody of public and private institutions in VA, NC, and MA. The entire collection was transferred to the National Archives in 1938. Although its contents span the period 1629-1915, the bulk of the information deals with the period 1775-83.

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93.2 GENERAL RECORDS
1709-1915 (bulk 1775-83)
187 lin. ft.

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93.2.1 Federal records

Textual Records: Selected volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series (1775-98), including letters sent, mainly by Brig. Gen. Edward Hand, 1778; an orderly book, October 9-18, 1776; records of Capt. Thomas Mighill, 1775-77; and miscellaneous records relating to soldiers and activities in New York State, 1781-82. Miscellaneous numbered records ("Manuscript File"), 1775-84, with indexes. Miscellaneous unnumbered records, ca. 1709-1913, consisting mainly of returns, registers of muster rolls, account books, lists of officers and enlisted men, and reference aids compiled by employees of the War Department after the Revolution for use in providing reference service on the original records. Unidentified indexes, n.d. Lists and other reference materials relating to the Revolutionary War records, n.d. "Printed Books Relating to the Revolutionary War," n.d. Card list of general information, n.d.

Microfilm Publications: M847, M853, M859, M926, T42.

Related Records: Additional volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series, some with indexes, UNDER 93.3, 93.4.1, 93.5.1, and 93.6.

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93.2.2 State records

Textual Records: Photographic copies, 1914-15, of records (ca. 1775-83) in the custody of VA, NC, and MA, with indexes, consisting of minutes of boards, including boards of war; reports and letters sent and received by state boards of war, governors, and military officers; court records; prize vessel accounts; rolls and returns; and receipts for money and stores. Certified copies, 1851, 1853, of South Carolina legislative enactments (1778-1836).

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93.3 RECORDS RELATING TO MILITARY ORGANIZATION AND SERVICE
1775-1912 (bulk 1775-83)
2,689 lin. ft.

Textual Records: Selected volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series (1775-98), including letters sent by Brig. Gen. Edward Hand, Adjutant General of the Continental Army, 1781-83; letters sent by Gerrit H. Van Wagenen, Deputy Commissary of Prisoners, 1779-81; orderly books, 1775-83; a British orderly book, 1779; oaths of allegiance and fidelity and oaths of office, 1778; commissions and resignations, 1775-80; and rosters of state and Continental troops, 1775-83. Card indexes to orderly books, oaths, and commissions, 1775-83. Records relating to military service, 1775-83, with indexes. Compiled military service records, 1894-ca. 1912 (2,240 ft.), with indexes. Copies, ca. 1905, of rolls of officers of the Continental Army (1775-79). Registers of army returns, 1775-83; and of muster rolls and payrolls, 1777-83. Returns of a British brigade of foot guards, 1776-79; and of the 6th Massachusetts Battalion, 1779-80. British orderly books, 1777.

Microfilm Publications: M246, M257, M860, M879, M880, M881, M913, M920, M922, M1051.

Related Records: Additional volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series, some with indexes, UNDER 93.2.1, 93.4.1, 93.5.1, and 93.6.

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93.4 RECORDS RELATING TO SUPPLIES AND STORES
1775-1814 (bulk 1775-83)
9 lin. ft.

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93.4.1 Selected volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series
(1775-98)

Textual Records: Records of Quartermaster General Timothy Pickering, consisting of letters sent, 1780-87; a register of letters received, 1781; and miscellaneous accounts and receipts, 1781-83. Records of Commissary General of Military Stores and Assistant Quartermaster Samuel Hodgdon, consisting of letters sent, 1778-84; a ledger, 1777-98; receipts, 1778-89; and records of disbursements, 1780-81. Records of Capt. Charles Russell, Assistant Deputy Quartermaster, VA, 1781-82. Account book of Thomas Grant, Assistant Quartermaster, PA, 1780-83. Records of the Quartermaster General's Department, including ledgers, 1776- 79; estimated requirements for quartermaster stores, 1780-93; and records of receipts and disbursements, 1780-84. Records of the Commissary General of Military Stores Department, including ordnance ledgers, 1780-85; and records of receipts and disbursements, 1780-81. Ledger of accounts of the United States with various states for military stores, 1780-83. Records of military stores issued and received, 1777-84. Quartermaster records of miscellaneous units, 1779-83. Records of accounts, Assistant Commissaries of Issues, 1776-83, 1786. Ration record, Eastern Department, 1776-77.

Related Records: Additional volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series, some with indexes, UNDER 93.2.1, 93.3, 93.5.1, and 93.6.

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93.4.2 Other records

Textual Records: Registers and wrappers to letters received, 1776-1814. Miscellaneous records of the Quartermaster General's Department, 1775-83. Quartermaster returns, 8th and 9th Massachusetts Regiments, 1779-82. Ledger of military stores for the main army in the field, 1780-83. Ledger of Quartermaster General accounts, 1780-83. Records of disbursements by the Commissary General of Military Stores, 1780-81. Orders for deliveries by the Superintendent of Military Stores, 1799-1801. Return of Quartermaster property, 1782.

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93.5 RECORDS RELATING TO MILITARY PAY AND THE SETTLEMENT OF
INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS
1775-1803
1 lin. ft.

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93.5.1 Selected volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series
(1775-98)

Textual Records: Records of Paymasters General and Commissioners of Army Accounts John Pierce and Joseph Howell, consisting of letters sent, 1784-89; and receipt books, 1783-85, 1787-90. Ledgers and records of accounts, 1775-92, including records of accounts of Quartermaster General Timothy Pickering, 1781-90; and of the Pay Office, Paymaster General's Department, 1783-84. Records of pay and service, VA, NY, and GA, 1781-87. Monthly registers of quartermaster accounts settled, 1780-84. Receipt books of Assistant Commissioners of Army Accounts John White, Annapolis, MD, and George Reid, Charleston, SC, 1785-86.

Related Records: Additional volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series, some with indexes, UNDER 93.2.1, 93.3, 93.4.1, and 93.6.

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93.5.2 Other records

Textual Records: Ledgers of accounts, 4th New York Regiment, 1775-77; and 1st Regiment, British Brigade of Foot Guards, 1777- 79. Return of unreceipted money, 1798-1803. Lists of certificates issued for depreciation of pay for Revolutionary War service, NH and PA, n.d. Records relating to pensions and claims for pay, n.d.

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93.6 RECORDS RELATING MAINLY TO NON-REVOLUTIONARY WAR ACTIVITIES
1774-1895 (bulk 1775-1833)
1 lin. ft.

Textual Records: Selected volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series (1775-98), consisting of a ledger of personal accounts of B.H. Phillips, 1778-83; and a memorandum, account, and orderly book, Capt. Thaddeus Weed's company, 2d Connecticut Regiment, 1781, 1785-1813. Personal accounts and military records of Capt. Eleazer Curtis, 4th Connecticut Regiment, 1775-1833. Copies, ca. 1895, of records pertaining to soldiers and activities in New Hampshire (1629-1774). Miscellaneous printed records, 1774-1830. Music book, n.d.

Related Records: Additional volumes of the "Numbered Record Books" series, some with indexes, UNDER 93.2.1, 93.3, 93.4.1, and 93.5.1.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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