16 July 1761 - 21 July 1775
Thomas, Joshua (fl. 1775-1776)
Manuscript document signed
Title: [Massachusetts regimental orderly book]
Massachusetts regimental book regarding recruiting, movements, provisions, court martials, etc. The first 23.5 pages cover entries and accounts made by an unnamed leader of a regiment from Middleborough, Massachusetts, stationed mostly at Crown Point, New York in July-November 1761. Crown Point had been captured by the British in 1759, and since that time served as a defensive outpost. The entries speak to Jeffrey Amherst's military strategy of maintaining a military presence in the newly won territory and the difficulties-particularly with preventing desertions and maintaining provisions-with implementing that strategy. The last 8.5 pages were made by Adjutant Joshua Thomas while stationed at Roxbury, Massachusetts during the American Revolution. His entries cover June and July of 1775, beginning on June 21, five days after the Battle of Bunker Hill. Entries on reviews, parades, equipment maintenance, personal cleanliness, and a reiteration that all former orders must be obeyed emphasize the newness and disorderliness of the force. Another entry from Roxbury is dated the same day that it was attacked in one of the early skirmishes in the American Revolution. At the time of his writing in the orderly book, Thomas was in Colonel Theophilus Cotton's regiment; he later became a 2nd Lieutenant and Adjutant in the 23rd Continental Infantry, and, in 1776 an Aide-de-Camp to General John Thomas.