Only a few British army orderly books from the American Revolution survive. The document that is presented here has never been published and is the only orderly book known to exist containing British general orders given in Rhode Island. On December 8, 1776, a British army and naval force seized the largest island in Narragansett Bay because of its strategic value (proximity to Boston and to the coastal shipping lanes). The orders address preparations for landing and setting up military operations as well as dealing with problems of discipline, procurement of provisions, interactions with the local population, skirmishes with the Americans, exchange of prisoners, etc. An informative introduction and a chronology of military actions set the stage for the rest of this work. The orders make up the main part of the text, followed by 2 interesting appendices: Courts Martial held in RI in 1777, and documents related to the capture of General Prescott. Mr. Hagist has done extensive research on the British occupation of RI, and on British military organization.
Don N. Hagist
(2001), 2007, 5½x8½, paper, 170 pp.