The 1777 Continental Army Diary Of

Sergeant John Smith, First Rhode Island Regiment

(Colonel Christopher Greene commanding, Varnum’s Brigade)

With Selected Excerpts From The Unpublished 1777 Diary Of

Colonel Israel Angell, Second Rhode Island Regiment

July 18, 1777 - January 9, 1778

The content that follows has been transcribed from a microfilm copy of the manuscript diary of Sergeant Smith within the collections of the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester, Massachusetts, by and for which all rights of reproduction and/or publication are reserved. Internet publication on this web site has been authorized by the American Antiquarian Society.

Excerpts from the diary of Colonel Angell that follow have been transcribed from a microfilm copy of the manuscript within the collections of The Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, by and for which all rights of reproduction and/or publication are reserved. Internet publication on this web site has been authorized by the Massachusetts Historical Society. To be cited as: Angell, Israel. Journal entries, 1 Oct. 1777 - 28 Feb. 1778. Israel Angell, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Transcribed by Bob McDonald
© 1998, 2002


Within the collections of The American Antiquarian Society are two contemporary diaries of Sergeant John Smith, the first relating to his service during 1776 in Colonel Christopher Lippitt’s Rhode Island State Regiment (in Continental service) and the second recording his 1777 service with Colonel Christopher Greene’s First Rhode Island Regiment, Continental Line.

The complete manuscript, in addition to the two contemporary diaries, contains a post-war copy (with minor revisions) of the 1776 volume. It is this later rewrite which was published under the title “Sergeant John Smith’s Diary of 1776”, Louise Rau, editor, within The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 20 (1933): 247-70. The content of particular interest within this earlier of the two diaries is that describing the conclusion of the New York Campaign, the retreat through New Jersey and closing with the Trenton Campaign.

The 1777 diary describes the service of the First Rhode Island Regiment while stationed near Peekskill, New York and its subsequent participation in the Philadelphia Campaign after joining with General Washington’s main army. Of particular note, Smith’s recording of the Hessian attack on Fort Mercer at Red Bank, New Jersey on October 22, 1777 is the finest known to exist from the perspective of an enlisted Continental. Following that service, the diary records the reduction of Fort Mifflin, the Whitemarsh encampment and skirmishing, and the first several weeks of the Valley Forge winter. None of the content of the 1777 diary has been previously published.


Edward Field, historian of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, first brought the writings of Israel Angell to scholars and the public in 1899. Published under the title Diary of Colonel Israel Angell, Commanding the Second Rhode Island Regiment during the American Revolution, 1778-1781, Fields’ annotated transcription presented six volumes of Angell’s wartime diary. In his preface, Fields noted that all six of the manuscript volumes were, at that time, owned by two Angell descendents. The periods of coverage of these volumes are particularly worth noting:

-- August 20 - September 23, 1778


-- December 12, 1778 - February 11, 1779

-- June 19 - August 14, 1779


-- October 3 - December 13, 1779

-- August 10 - September 30, 1780


-- February 14 - April 3, 1781

The content of the first four of these volumes relates to the Rhode Island Campaign, while the two final ones relate to the regiment’s service in the area of the Hudson Highlands of New York. Immediately obvious in the date ranges noted above, of course, are the gaps between the volumes and the absence of any pairs of consecutive manuscripts. Given the regularity of entries within these volumes and the quite typical length of both the completed volumes and the gaps between them, it is certainly a logical theory that Colonel Angell maintained a quite complete diary, several volumes of which had been lost. In addition to the gaps noted above, it is particularly intriguing to speculate as to manuscript volumes pre-dating the entire series noted above.

Angell was in service within three weeks following the Lexington Alarm, being commissioned major of Hitchcock’s Rhode Island Regiment and serving as such throughout the remainder of 1775. Under the reorganization of January 1, 1776, the unit became the 11th Continental Regiment, Angell continuing as major. During the corresponding realignment one year later, he became the lieutenant-colonel of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment, succeeding to colonel commandant on January 13, 1777. From the Boston siege of 1775, through the New York-New Jersey campaigns the following year, and from the Philadelphia Campaign of 1777 through the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778, Angell had certainly witnessed many events worthy of recording. Once again, the volumes published by Field in 1899 seemed to be but a random sample, and made little logical sense in considering the totality of the Angell diary.

Thus, while not completely surprising, it was in all other ways a remarkable and greatly important discovery when, in 1996, three additional volumes of the Angell diary were correctly identified. Long held within the manuscripts collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the three volumes had been erroneously attributed and were finally recognized by the Society’s curator of manuscripts, Brenda Lawson. Beyond the significance that would have accompanied the discovery of any Angell diary volume at this late date, the material that Ms. Lawson correctly identified is particularly important in providing the Colonel’s observations of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment’s participation in the 1777-78 Philadelphia Campaign and the winter cantonment at Morristown two years later. Specifically, the Massachusetts Historical Society’s volumes relate to the following periods:

- October 1, 1777 - January 20, 1778
- November 1 - December 11, 1778
- January 25 - April 14, 1780

For the purposes of highlighting and enhancing the Smith diary, only selected passages of the first of the above three Angell volumes have been sampled within this transcription. In particular, although the Smith manuscript suffered damage across one two-page spread associated with the mid-November fall of Fort Mifflin, Colonel Angell’s diary coverage of that event is notably rich in detail, and has been provided in full.


The 1777 Diary Of Sergeant John Smith

First Rhode Island Regiment, Continental Line

July 18th [1777] -- a Party Belonging to Booth [i.e., both] Battalions about 70 Privats March’d for Boston Neck -- we went out of Greenwich [Rhode Island] about two miles & Loged [i.e., lodged] at a tavern [of] one hall & Lieut. Pearse with a party of men went on a scout to Look for a Deserter one Jones Hazzard & Returnd Back in the Morning & found him not

[July 19] -- we march’d from this house Down upon the Neck to Colo. Gardners & Loged in his Barn where I went on Guard the first time since I inlisted in the Service

Next morning we Remov’d further Down to Cottrells farm & pitched tents in his Pasture -- this was Sunday the 20th

Munday 21st July -- I saw a ship Go in to Newport -- we heard that a fleet was seen off of watch Point a Coming to Newport -- we taried a few Days & Returnd Back to Coventry where I Got a furlow & went home & munday the Enemy Landed on Boston Neck & took some Prisoners of the Millitia & Returnd Back to Conanicut again -- our Regt. went Down on the alarm to Greenwich after they Retreated -- they Returned to the hospatel to Get Ready to March towards Peeks Kills [i.e., Peekskill, New York] & on wensday the 13 of August in the afternoon we march’d from Coventry hospatil to watermans tavern 10 miles & Loged in his Barn that night

[August 14] -- in the morning we marched to Noxxs & Eat our Breakfasts -- I Bought three Pints of Rum and Sold Enoch Jones half -- then we marchd to Plainfield [Connecticut] to Captian Eatons 11 miles & taried until [al]most Night then went to Canterbury & Loged in the meetinghouse 4 miles further

Next Day march’d Early in the morning the 15th of August from Canterbury to Scotland 6 miles to widow flints & Breakfasted at a Privat house on Coffee -- cost 1 Shilling Lawful money -- then we march’d to windham 4 miles & Drew 3 days Provisions & Taried that Night in the Court house & Bought Diner & super at a Privat house -- Cost 6 pence Pr. meal

Saturday 16th -- March’d Early from windam about Sun Rise 6 miles to Hills at Lebanon Crank & Eat Brakefast and about 11 O clock march’d from Sd. [i.e., said] Tavern to Coventry 10 miles to whites Tavern & Dined on Rosted Lamb & went off without Paying him -- after Sun set set off to Bolton 3 miles further & Loged in the School house

Sunday the 17th -- as soon as it was Light marchd from Bolton to East herford [i.e., Hartford] 8 miles & halted & Eat Breakfast -- then March’d over to west herford -- Drew three Days Provisions & march’d four Miles [and] 1/2 out of town where we was Loged By partys at Privat houses -- this Day march’d 18 & 1/2 miles

munday 18 -- it Rained all Night untill morning -- then we march’d thro the Clay mud & Bad Rhoads to farmingtown & Passd thro the town two miles to a Tavern where we Could Get no Entertainment [i.e., provisions] -- I Bought a Gill of Clove water & went away & Did not Pay for it -- then we marched 6 miles further over the worst Rhoad in this Country -- we put up at Coles Tavern -- we taried all Night at this house -- in the Night I was teaken Verey Ill -- held me [until] Almost Day Light -- we Broke our waggon on the Rhode & had it mended

[August 19] -- Next Day march’d Early on our way to Harwinton 5 Miles further where we Eat Brakefast & Receiv’d a Jill of Rum Pr. man -- then march’d to Litchfield 10 miles further & taried all night in the Court house

Wensday 20th -- march’d Early forward towards New Milford -- we halted twice Before Noon -- we Dined 8 miles from Litchfeild Court house at a tavern & taried untill Late in the afternoon -- then Marchd on to a tavern whear was a Church & forge where we took the Ronge Rhode & was obligd to Draw our waggon up the hill Stern for most [i.e., backwards] for we Could not turn it & went towards New milford & marchd Late over some Verey bad hills & was Obligd to Put up at a Privat house that Night in the Edge of New milford where I was on Guard over the waggon -- we march’d 13 miles to Day

thusday 21st -- Marched Early to New milford where we taried awhile & Eat Breakfast and a Gill of Rum Serv’d to Each man -- then march’d 7 miles & Dined -- then march’d 6 miles & Taried on the Edege of Danbury all night

[August 22] -- in the morning we Set out Befor Sun Rise for town 4 miles further -- here we Drew 4 Days Provisions & Cooked it & at 4 O Clock march’d forward after [having] Received a Jill of Rum pr. man to a Tavern where we taried all Night where some of our Soldiers Robed the Land lord of some watermelions

[August 23] -- Next Morning we March’d Early as soon as Day thro Rige Burey [i.e., Ridgebury] where we made a short halt -- we then went to Salem & halted at a tavern where Our Officers Could Get no Entertainment -- then we march’d By two taverns & Could not find any Entertainment -- we went to a Privat house & halted where I Bought half Pint of Rum of the Q[uarter] Master & here we Drew a Gill of Rum pr. man again -- then we march’d two miles & taried all Night

Sunday the 24th -- we taried at this tavern & washed our Clothes & Clean’d our Armes untill 4 o Clock -- then we Receivd Another Gill of fatigue Rum & march’d to Crompond [New York] Meeting house & Loged in it -- here I had the Guard again of the Baggage

Munday the 25th -- we turnd out Early & march’d forward as far as Capt. Drakes where we halted a while & Receiv’d a half a Pint of Rum Pr. man -- the Drum major & fife major mett us with two or three Drum[mer]s & waited upon us in to Camps [at “Barracks Number 2” northwest of Peekskill] -- it Began to Rain & Rained Almost all the afterpart of the Day -- in the Evening the Party Returnd home from the white Plain -- they Lost a Docter teaken Prisoner By the Light horse & five more Diserted to the Enemy -- this Party took several Prisoners

Tusday 26th -- it Raind Verey much

wensday [August 27] -- I sent home two Letters by Parson Thompson to my wife & to Sister Crapon

thirsday 28th -- I heard from fort Clinton that the Soldiers Belonging to Colo. Green[e’]s Regemt. had Laid Down their Armes & Refus’d to Do any Duty on acct. of their Clothing that they had not Receiv’d according to Promis made them when they inlisted

fryday 29th -- Lt. Hicks of our Regemt. took a Party of men & boats & Crosed over the [Hudson] River & fetched over our Regemt. & brought 14 Prisoners 7 Searjts. & 7 Corporals or Privats who was Confind for the Mutiny above said & was Confind under the Provost Guard

Saturday the 30th a.D. 1777 -- when the whole Brigade Paraded at the Grand Parade & went thro the firings & at Noon was Dismis’d till 2 O: Clock -- then the whole Brigade & Artilery with the Light horse met on the Parade Again & had a Sham fight -- the foot Companys fired 16 Rounds & artilery 16 -- then we Returnd home -- the General Gave us his thanks & a Jill of Rum Pr. man -- we was Dismis’d & went to our tents

Sunday 31st -- Nothing Remarkable

Septemr. the 2d -- Seven Searjts. 5 Corporals one Drums. & one Privat was tried By a General Court Martial Whereof Colo. Angel[l] was Presedent for Behaving Disorderly -- the Searjts. were Ordred to Be suspended During the Pleasure of the Commanding Officer -- the Corporals & Drum & Privats was Reprimanded & Dismisd & one henery forsigtte was tried & sentenced to Receive 100 Lashes & sent on Board one of the Ships to Serve During the war -- John fly for Disserting was tried & sentenced to Receive 100 Lashes on his Naked Back & william Taylor provost Martial tried for Disobeying General Orders & was aquitted from further Punishment -- sd. Taylor was Released

Septemr. 4th -- James Gduggen was tried By a Genll. Court Martial for Attempting to fire his Gun at a Party of fategue men as they was Coming in from work thinking their was one Barns who had threatned to Kill his wife was their -- he was Sentenced to sit on the Gallows half an hour & to Be whipt 50 Lashes on his Naked Back at the Gallows

Septemr. the 6th [5th] -- the above sd. Prisoners Gdaggen & forsight & fly & one Stadwant was whipt & Sat on the Gallows & Received his other Punishment at sd. Place & was Ordred Back to the Provost Guard -- in the after noon the Searjts. & Corporals was Brought out & Reprimanded -- the Searjt. was suspended the others Aquited & went to their tents

Septemr. 6 -- the Genll. Orders that all the Disserters from the Brittish army who had Inlisted in the Continental Service to Be a Return made of them and [...

...] Sunday the 7th they were all sent Down on the Grand Parade & were inlisted & Enrold in a Regemt. By themselves according to General washingtons orders that they may have oppertunity of Distingishing themselves Persuant to the Noble Spirit they have shewn in Coming to us -- this Day Colo. Green & the Pay master Griffen Green & Philip Drown Came into Camps from New England

Munday [September 8] -- nothing Remarkabel happned

Tusday the 9th -- the Several Brigades to Parade on the hill at the Gallows to see the Execution of amos Rose who was Condem’d to Be Shot for Cocking his Gun at a Leiut. who struck him with his Cane & abuse’d him when in Liquor & Lemmuel Arkly who is an Enemy to his Country & took a Commission under General howe to inlist in the Service of the King of Great Brittian is under the sentence of Death to Be Executed at sd. time & Place -- the Regmts. Paraded & the sd. Prisoners were Brought up & their sentences were Read -- the Minesters Pray’d with them & they for themselves & Kneeld Down by their Graves to Be Shot -- then the General sent them a Pardon & they were to be Carried on board of the Ships in the River their to Serve During the Present war -- then they was Conducted By the Guards to the Provest Guard again -- then we all went to our tents again

fryday [September 12] -- Capt. flagg set out for Providence for to see about our Clothing & to Get some Inlistments [i.e., recruits]

Saturday the 13th -- three men Belonging to Col. Greens Reget. was whipt for Being Absent on muster Day & Frances Baptist for staying out of Quarters all night Received 30 stripes [i.e., lashes] [the] other[s] 25 Each & william Telley was tied to a tree Naked & to stand ten minits -- John Congden & Daniel Ellice & Amos Gardner [were tried] for Letting the Cattle out of the Pen at Peeks Kills when on Guard & was acquitted

Sunday 14th -- an Express Arivd from Philedelphia from General washingtons who Brought an Account of a Battle [i.e., Brandywine] fought Between the Kings troops & the Continental wherein we lost about 1000 men and 7 feild Peces [i.e., field pieces] the Enemy 2000 -- this afternoon one Joseph Owens & one [blank] was teaken up about 6 miles from this incampment & Confind under the Provost Guard -- sd. Owens Belonged to Col. Greens Reget. & Deserted on the march to this Place & went to the Enemy and Came as a spy with the sd. [blank] -- Likewise Edward Murfey who Diserted from this Place & was teaken up over Kings ferey & Brought here & put in irons -- this Evening Capt. talbut Came Back from Philadelphia & this morning I sent home some Letters to my wife & sisters By Lt. Dexter & the Prisoners was sent on board the ships in the River them who was Repreiv’d from the Gallows on the 9th of this instant [i.e., this month] -- Several Others was sent to Sopas Goal [i.e., jail]

Munday 15 to wensday 17th--Nothing Remarkable

the 18th -- a Detachment from booth [i.e., both] Regemts. Came in to Camp from New England two Captians about 60 men

Septemr. 18th [19th] -- John Wise Drum Major was appointed Provost Martial & is to be Obey[ed] as such -- the General Orders that no Non Commissiond officer or soldier shall Pass the Creek to the south[w]ard of this incampment when off Duty without a written Pass from a Commission[ed] officer & the Prices of washing and Tayloring stated -- washing a shirt & stock 6 pence -- Befor they took a shilling for washing Do. [i.e., ditto]

20th -- Samll. Bennet was appointed Orderly Drum[m]er for the 1st Battalion from the state of Rhoad Island -- Capt. Clarke took Command of the Last Detatcht. [i.e., detachment] that Came the 18th with Capt. Tew -- the Genll. orders all the Searjts & Corporals Belonging to his Briggade to appear Every day at 10 O Clock at his Quarters to Exercise -- the Generall Orders the Regemts. to march By Divisions when the Ground will admit of it -- a General Court martial is Ordred to sit to Try the above sd. Prisoners Murfy & williams & several others

Sunday 21 -- I Sent home a Letter by Capt. Gilbert Grant to my wife & the 19th or 20th one By Philip Drown who went with Major ward

24th -- we had the news of Ticonderogas Being teaken By our army their in that Department

fryday the 26th -- at 8 o Clock A M. Edward Murfy & Epraham Simmons Receiv’d 100 Lashes Each on his Naked Back & sent on board the ships of war in the River to serve During the war & william Mathews & Frances Foster both whipt 100 Lashes Each & foster sent on board the Galley from whence he Disserted & Joseph Codose sentenced to Receive 50 Lashes for getting Drunk & Leaving his Post when on sentry was acquitted & Joseph Owens tryed at the same Court martial is Condemd to Die the 3 Day of October next

Sunday the 28th -- we had orders to march for Philadelphia & Drew Provisions & amunition for our men

Munday 29th -- Colo. Angels Regemt. struck their tents at 10 O Clock A M & march’d after noon to Kings ferey & the Sun Most Down [i.e., at dusk] Colo. Greens Regemt. struck their tents & Loaded them in waggons -- Loged By fires & in huts that they Built with Boards

[September 30] -- we all Turn’d out at Gun firing & Paraded for the march -- we marchd Befor sun an hour high to Kings ferey 9 miles Befor 10 O clock & halted for our Baggage to Come up & their Eate some victuals -- Saturday Last we had a frost here & Every Day till tusday & then we Crosd the North [i.e., Hudson] River at 11 o Clock AM -- we heard that the Enemy were in Philadelphia -- we halted [on] the west side of the River while the Baggage Came over -- in the meen while their Came a man who Sold Cyder 9 pence Pr Quart & our Soldiers took 2 Balls. [i.e., barrels] & part of another from him without Pay -- the Coll. Enquired into the matter But found out nothing nor Did he want to -- a Little befor night we marchd forward 6 miles in Haverstraw & Loged in a Barn

[October 1] -- turnd out at Revalle Beat & Cook’d our Provisions -- then marchd 4 miles further to the meeting house & halted & eat Diner where Coll. Angels Regimt. was halted & their we heard News that the [British] Regulars had Landed on this side the River -- at this Place Colo. Angel had 6 men Diserted from his Regemt. & one was teaken & Brought Back again & a Little Befor night we heard the Enemy had Imbarqued on Board the ships again -- the scout brought one Tory Prisoner here at Kacaiat [i.e., Kakiat] -- then we marchd away three or 4 miles & Loged in a Barn

[October 2] -- the Next morning [we marched] by Day Light & halted at the Clove & Drew 2 Days provisions & march’d forward to Pom[p]ton Plains [New Jersey] & Loged in the woods with out tents -- this Night John Owens made his Escape from the Guard -- he was to Be Shot the Next morning

the 3 Day -- we turnd out Early By Day Break and march’d Beyond the Plains 4 miles & made a halt & took out a Guard to sho[o]t Owens & waited for the Guard to Bring him up -- they Came & informed us of his Escape -- then we marchd forward Emeadiately & march’d to Percipany [i.e., Parsippany] & halted two hours -- then marchd into Morristown 7 miles & Pitched tents & Drew one Days Provisions

[October 4] -- Next morning turnd out at Revelle Beat & Cookd Break fast and Drew a Gill of Rum Pr. man & at 8 O clock struck tents & Loaded them in waggons -- here I Put my Pack in the waggon in the Care of Thos. Andrew -- Saturday the 4th -- in the afternoon about 3 o clock we marchd out of morristown thro Veal town & about 10 miles from morristown & halted -- we made up fires & Lay our Selves Down & Sleept on the Ground

in the morning Sunday the 5 Day we arose by Day Light & march’d 6 or 7 miles & halted & Eate what we had to Eat & while we halted here Coll. Angel had three of his men Punished for [offense omitted] -- Each whipt 100 Lashes Viz. Peter martin a frenchman & Charles McClaggen & William Barney -- then we marchd again to the white house tavern & made another halt to Eat what we Left at Brakfast -- at the Tavern New Cyder was sold at 2 Shillings L. [i.e., lawful money] Pr. Quart & [when] the Sun [was] about 2 hours high at Night we march’d towards the ferey -- we went about 4 miles & halted & Pitched our tents & Loged in the woods & supt on the same we Dind or Eat all Day

[Colonel Angell’s diary entry for the day specifies the place of encampment: ... we went as far as Redding there took up our lodging in the woods for that night.]

Munday morning [October 6] -- we Struck tents at Day Break & Loaded them in waggons & marchd 5 or 6 miles & waded over a River & marchd thro flemington 2 miles & halted to Draw Provision But Got none -- then we march’d to the Stone Church & halted again But Got none here -- then we march’d one mile & halted & Drew 3/4 lb. of flower Pr. man & fresh Beaf & Cook’d it -- the Name of this Place is [blank] about 5 or 6 miles from Corols [i.e., Coryell’s] ferey -- then we march’d [when] the sun [was] an hour high at Night about 3 miles & halted & Pitched tents & Loged well this Night

[October 7] -- we march in the morning by Day Break -- the ferey we Came [to] about Sun Rise & Crosed over [the Delaware River] & Drew fresh Beaf & hard Bread & salt Heren [i.e., herring] -- we heard that the Ships had Blocked up Kings ferey at the North River since we Came here and had Landed & took the Continental Stores & the [Continental] Village at [Barracks] No. 2 -- we then march’d about a Mile & Cooked Diner & Rested until Late in the afternoon & marchd Some way -- halted and Drew Cartriges & fild all our [cartridge] Boxes & then the Sun was most Down & we march’d untill [al]most midnight thro the woods & took up four men who the Genll. thot was not friendly to us. Loged this Night on the Cold Ground without any tents but by the fire

[Angell’s diary clarifies the terminus of this day’s march: ... marched untill twelve O’Clock at night then turned in to the woods at a place called plumstead in pensylnania.]

[October 8] -- we turnd out Early & Eat some victuals & marchd 6 or 7 miles & halted to incamp -- we onloaded our waggons & Began to incamp when an Express Came to Genll. Varnum which Causd a stop to be Put to our Encamping untill further Orders -- we march’d from Plumsteed [i.e., Plumstead, Pennsylvania] to this town which is New Britian or night town this Day -- we halted till almost night then we marchd 7 or 8 miles Back to our old Ground and Loged this Night in the Same Ground again

[Colonel Angell’s entry for the day further specifies the redirection of the two Rhode Island regiments: ... but before we had Encampt Recd. orders from head quarters for Colo. Greens Regt. and mine to march to Red Banks, in the jersies. Col. Printis and Colo. Burr the remainding part of General Varnoms Brigade was ordered to head quarters....]

[October 9] -- in the morning it Looked Like Rain but we march’d from this Place to McCaleys tavern two miles where our Butchers were a killing beaf & halted & it began to Rain and we march’d away into the woods & they sent the beef to us there & we Cook’d in the Rain & Eat our Victuals & march’d about a mile & Put our Packs into a Waggon & march’d in the Rain & a Verey Severe Storm as far as Newton [i.e., Newtown] where we Got as much Cyder as Every man Could Drink -- then we went to Look [for] Loging -- some Companies Got Good Quarters -- I was obliged to Loge in a barn amongst the hay with all my wet Clothes & Loged something Comfortable

[October 10] -- I turnd out Early in the morning -- we marchd for Bristol and we march’d about 8 miles & filld our Boxes with New Cartriges our Old ones being all wet with Rain -- then march’d farther and an Express Came for one battallion to Return back & Colo. Angel went & we Proceeded forward -- we went to Bristol & Crosd the ferey over to Burlington [New Jersey] Befor Breakfast & halted their to wait for our baggage waggons to Come over where we waited untill sun set & after we had impressed a No. of waggons to transport our Baggage we march’d forward all Night untill Day break

[Angell’s diary further details the two regiments being separated: ... went within three miles of Bristol then was Overtaken by an Express which ordered my Regt. back to the Grand Army. We parted with great Reluctance;....]

[October 11] -- we halted at Mount Holley [i.e., Holly] & Drew fategue Rum -- this town is 7 miles from burlington -- then we march’d thro Mores town [i.e., Moorestown] 9 miles farther -- then we march’d to Hatten feild [i.e., Haddonfield] & Called Up the people & made fires & Rested a while for we were Verey much fategued with marching -- then we marchd again for the Red Bank -- we march’d 6 miles & made another halt & Drew half Gill of Rum Pr. man -- then marched into the fort [i.e., Fort Mercer] about 4 miles farther & Pitched our tents & Loged Quiet this night -- their hath bin a Continuel fire of Cannon all Day Between the Enemy & our Galleys in the River

Sunday the 12th -- we turn’d out Early & Paraded our Regemt. under armes -- the Enemy fired several times at our Barges in the River as they went in towards the shore -- about 10 o Clock in the fore noon Capt. Elijah Lewis with a Party of 50 Volinteers from Colo. Greenes Regt. went over in boats to the other side the River to storm the Enemies works that they were throwing up for a fort -- a Cannonade began Early from our Galleys & floating battrys & fort at the Enemys works this morning & Continiued untill Night with but a Verey Little intermission & about one O Clock P.M. Capt Elijah Lewis Return’d back from his Expidition having one searjt. wounded Namely wardel Green belonging to Colo. Greene’s Regemt. & one belonging to the fort on the other side [i.e., Fort Mifflin] & 4 or 5 Disirted to the Enemy being fritened at their Numbers as they were much Superiour for Numbers. the whole of our Regemt. were Employd on fategue this Day & in the Night of the 12th instant I waked and heard a Verey heavy Cannonade in the River which Continued till Day

Munday morning the 13th -- the ships belonging to the Enemy fired several Guns at our men on the Shore -- we heard a firing of small Arms below Verey Brisk about Eight O Clock in the morning -- this afternoon Lieut. Whitmarsh with about 23 men went over to mud Island fort [i.e., Fort Mifflin] to work & Returned back at Night munday

14th -- in the morning after the Guards had march’d off the Parade Every man went about Cleaning his Gun & Clothes -- Tusday 14th we heard the News of the Success to the Northward & [...

...October 15] wensday we fired 13 Cannon at fort Miffilen & fort Mercer & from the fleet in the River for Joy & that Night the whole of Colo. Greens Regemt. off Duty was Detachd to fort Miffilin officers waiters none Excepted about 1020 [Note: This figure is far in excess of the total strength of the First Rhode Island Regiment. Its citation by Smith is unexplainable.]

fryday 17th -- we had wounded at fort Miffilin 4 men & one Kild out Right by a bomb Breaking in one of our Barracks -- wounded Davis drum[m]er & freman fifer Allen Palmer Killd out Right for whome I made a Coffin -- this was the first work I Did of my Calling since I Came here -- he was buried this Evening -- the other[s] were Slightly wounded -- this Day arrivd here Major ward Capt. flagg & Griffen Green the Pay master from Rhode Island state & henery holden Commissary to the fort -- the Enemy hath bin Continiualy bomb barding all Day fort Miffilin -- the Guard Boats Belonging to the Continental Army Burnt some stores belonging to the Enemy on the River & at Night we turnd in Pe[a]c[e]able & in the Night I heard the Sintenals hail some boats & fired

Saturday the 18th -- we hoisted the flag stafe [i.e., staff] at fort Mercer & hoisted the flagg -- the Colo. Gave 6 of us a bottle of Rum & we went to our tents & at Noon we Punished a Negro man who set over to the Enemy a man who Promis’d him 10 shillings when he Returnd back -- the Negro Receiv’d 40 Lashes & was Drummd out of Camp with a fellow who Receivd 10 Lashes at the same time & Place -- this Day we heard the News that our army had teaken 100 waggons from the Enemy Loaded with stores & 300 men that Guarded them as they were a going to Philadelphia -- Yesterday a Boats Crew Deserted to the Enemy with the Boat from fort Miffilin where they Landed their Officer & put off immeadialty to the Enemy -- several shot was fired at them from a Blockhouse but Did them no Dammage & this Day has Been a Considerable firing on both sides bombbarding etc. -- about noon too boats from the Enemy Came out to Reconnitre & was fired at by our Shipping & Galleys & floating Battrys in the River -- Saturday 18th -- towards night we heard a considerable smart firing of Cannon towards Philadelphia supposd to be Genll. washington & howes army that had meet & in the Evening Colo. Angels Regemt. Came into this fort from head Quarters to Reinforce ours

[Colonel Angell’s diary entries document that the 2nd Rhode Island, on October 16, ... Marched this morning at Seven O’Clock on a Separate Command agreable to orders Recd. last Evening ... via the route from Towamensing, through Buckingham and Bristol in Pennsylvania, then crossing the Delaware to Burlington, New Jersey that night, and on October 17 ... marched through Burlington Drew provisions and Cookt, then marched on all the Night following ... until on the 18th ... we arived at Red Banks about Seven o Clock in the Evening after marching Sixty miles without Sleep.]

Sunday morning [October 19] -- after sun Rise a smart fire began again up the River with Cannon & Musquets & Continiued for some time -- the Enemy fired at them & the Boats Returnd the fire -- this afternoon an Express ariv’d from head Quarters & brought the News that Genll. Gates was a Coming with 6000 men & that Genll. Burgoin was made Prisoner & his army Defeted -- this afternoon the Enemy threw a bomb into fort Miffilin & blew up our Laberterey [i.e., laboratory] & two Boxes of Cartriges -- this Night we turnd out at 10 O clock under armes & Struck our tents & Remov’d into the Citidel & went to work on the fort to fortifying the same untill Day Light & [...

[Angell’s entry expands on Sergeant Smith’s reporting of late night activity: ... Rested this Day after Pitching our tents untill ten o Clock in the Evening, then both officers and Soldiers went to work and workt all night on our fort, as we Expected an attack that night or in the morning.]

... October 20] then Exercisd at the Brest work a while & was Dismisd & then Removed our tents into their Ground again & at 12 o clock the Cannon was fired from the fleet & forts belonging to the United States for the Joyful News from the Northward & at 3: o clock the Regemts. turnd out to work as Usual -- the Enemy hath Been bombarding all this afternoon our fort & about the midle of the afternoon the Enemy sent two or 3 ships in Close Under a Point opposet our fort & 5 or 6 Galleys & a Number of small Boats went Down against them & a Smart fire began from on board the Galleys & Small Crafts which Causd them to towe away their Ships from our shore -- the[y] Receiv’d Considerable Dammage -- we took one or two of their Guard Boats in the affray -- this Evening one Man was brought over from fort Miffilin who was Killd by a bomb & two more wounded & after Night we turn’d into Sleep with all our accouterments by us in Case we should be alarmd -- the wind shifted to N:West & blew Verey hard all Night & [...

...October 21] Next Day untill Night -- we were Inform’d that a Party of Regulars had Landed at [blank] ferey to attacke our fort -- we Remov’d all our tents & baggage into the Citidale & Every man was Employd at worke on the fort to fortify the same -- between 3 & 4 o Clock 300 more troops Came here to Reinforce us -- we Cut Down an orchard by the fort & hald trees Round the fort to Keep off the Enemy -- we had no Disturbance from the Enemy this Day -- this is tusday 21st of October -- Mr. Henery holden [departed] for home by whome I sent a Letter to my wife Dated the 20th of sd. Instant

Wensday 22d -- we turnd out Early in the Morning & struck tents & Cleared away for an attackt & Every man at work to strengthen our Selves -- we sent Partys out to fetch in all the stock & horses into the fort which was Done & Every Person in the fort by 2 O clock & about 3 or 4 O Clock the Enemy advanc’d to the woods adjoining the fort when the Hesian Genll. or Commander Sent a flag & Demanded the fort or they were ordred to Show no Mercy but Put all to Death if they overcame us -- Colo. Olney Gave them Answer that we ask’d no mercy nor Did we Expect any [;] we was Determind to fight or Die in Defence of the Garrison -- the flag Returnd & the Enemy began the Attackt immeadiately -- they began a brisk fire with their feild Peces & then advancd up to the fort with Each a fascein [i.e., fascine] with him & all of them with Entrenching tools with him such as spades Peckaxes Saws to Cut Down our Pickets -- we began a smart fire with our Artillery & our small armes & Continiued firing 47 Munites [i.e., minutes] as smart as Ever was Known -- the firing began [when] the sun [was] half an hour high & Continued till Dark -- we Lost Killd one Captian Shaw two Serjts. of Colo. Angels Regemt. two Searjeants & one fifer of Colo. Greens Regemt. & the Colos. Clerke [i.e., the colonel’s clerk] Captian Oliver Clarke teaken Prisoner as he was out with a Party of Discovery teaken by the Light horse & Several Privats Killd Belonging to both Regemts. -- We Killd Dead of the Hesians on the spot one Lt Colo. & several Officers 70 or 80 Non Commissiond Officers & Privats Included -- one Colo. who was Cheif Commander & a briggade Major who was the Officer who Came with the flag befor the battle was wounded & teaken Prisoners & about 70 or 80 wounded Privats teaken Prisoners -- the Rest of the [enemy] army made the best of their way off teaking with them 3 or 4 wagons Loaded with the wounded Hesians & Empressd all the waggons on the Rhode to Carey their wounded off -- they Left 20 at a house on the Rhode as they went back & we heard that they Carreyd over the ferey about 300 wounded men that Night -- this Intelegence we have had by two men that Disserted to us who fereyd them Over & by the inhabitants who saw them Goe back -- the ships Came Up in the time of the action & fired at our Galleys all the time of the action -- we had a small Reinforcement but Came too Late -- the whole Garrison were up all Night Dressing the wounded & teaking Care of them -- we had no Disturbance this night

[October 23] -- in the morning we began to strip & bury the Dead of our men & hesians -- we buried 75 hesians in one Grave in the intrenchment & Covered them over & 8 or 10 more below the bank by the River -- it took us all Day to bury the Dead -- this morning the Ships began to Come towards us & our fire ships began to move down -- they were set on fire but Did the fleet no Dammage -- the Galleys & floating batries Keept a Continiul fire & by a hot shot from one of them they set a 64 Gun ship on fire which burnt up & a 20 Gun Ship was Set on fire who was a Ground lest she should fall in[to] our hands -- the River seemd all on fire the Whole Day & at Night we heard of a flag of truce a Coming to Exchange Prisoners but Did not Come -- a Docter & a searjeant Came here to teake Care of their wounded -- a Party of British Troops was sent to Cover their Retreat but Returnd back with them -- they Left behind them some field Peces which we have not yet found -- this Day 10 Hesians Died of their wounds -- we took a Negro man belong[ing] to Gloster [i.e., Gloucester, New Jersey] who was Pilot to the Hesians & a white man who was another & Confind him in Irons -- the Negro went out in the Woods with Capt. Tew to Look for the feild peces but found them not

the 24th -- the whole Garrison was imployd in fortifying the fort Expecting another attact Soon as we heard of a Reenforcment of Brittish troops a Coming to attack us again but heard they had Returnd Back with the Hesians after the Defeat

the 25th -- 5 Hesians Died of their wounds & a waggoner was shot thro the body by accident a Gun Going off accidentely -- we are all imployd at work on the fort & out works -- this Day a flage of Truce -- Major Thayer went to Philadelphia & Returnd about noon -- we have had but Little Disturbance from the Enemy to Day -- the ships fired a few shot at our Galleys

[Colonel Angell’s diary entry adds detail: ... One Malencully Accident happened this day in the afternoon Mr. James Haden a worthy young Gentleman belonging to my Regt. was Shott through his Bowels and Expired the night following, this accident happened by the overhauling Some Hessian Guns that was loaded.]

the 26th -- we heard in the Morning that we heard of an accident that happned -- a waggon Crosing a bri[d]ge overset & went Down the River & lost horses & waggon & all the Amunition -- A Little befor noon a flag Came from Philadelphia to our fort & another went back -- we heard of an Attackt on fort Miffilin a Demand being made of that fort by the Enemy Last Night

twenty Seventh to the 30th -- Nothing Remarkabel hapned these Days Except a Rain Storm that Lasted 3 Days & Nights which over flowd the Land here abouts and Drove the Enemy from their batterys for some time -- Drove them up in the trees for Shelter & Some tory Prisoners & two of the Regulars have Ben brought here & Confind under our Guard then Sent on board the Commodore in the River & about 150 Continental Soldiers & Millitia Came here the 30th of this month

[Angell’s diary clarifies the severity of the storm and its effects: ... by the abundance of rain and an Excessive high tide all the low country was laid under water, our people was all Drownded out of the fort.]

the first Day of Novbr. -- John muclevain an Irishman & Dick Ellise was hanged at Red Banck for Traytors to their Country & for Piloting the Hesians to this Garrison the 22d of Octor. Last -- they were hanged Between the hours of 10 & 11 O clock A.M -- they hanged untill [al]most Night then they were Cut Down & buried under the Gallows -- Colo. Dunnam [i.e., Donop] the Hesian Colo. who was Cheif Commander of the Hesian Party who Came against us the 22d Died of his wounds he Receivd in Battle -- Died the 30th Instant [should be “ultimo”, that is, of the preceding month] & was buried under arms at Night & 5 Hesians Died of their wounds and was buried in one Grave the first Day of November -- Saturday Night we Received orders after Dark for Every man to have 50 Rounds of Cartriges & for Every man to Lie on his arms this Night

[The cause for the alert this evening is specified by Angell: ... we Recd. news this afternoon from General Varnom that the Enemy had Sent two thousand men to attack fort Mifflin which occationed an Alarm among us.]

Sunday the 2d -- we arose Early in the Morning & went to our Alarm Post & Taried awhile & after Breakfast we all went to our work again as usual -- General Varnum Came here this Day & some Troops who went on board the Galleys in the River -- we heard Newes that Some of our army had teaken 19 waggons Loaded Going from Philadelphia town to the shipping -- one waggon was Loaded with money to pay off their Soldiers -- Last Night Ensign Danll. Green & Searjt. William Hutton of Colo. Greens Regemt. went out on a Patroleing Party & were both teaking [i.e., taken] Prisoners by the Kings Troops as they was a Sleep in bed as we heard

Munday morning the 3 Day of November -- Early in the morning befor Day a Gun was fired as a Signal and the Galleys Got under way & went over to fort Miffilin & in Returning back in the morning the Ships & Galleys Below Sent a few Shot at them by way of Present but they Did not Receive any for they Could not Reach them -- Last Night some Troops Came in after Dark & went out in the morning after Sun Rise -- Last Night Deserted from the Sommerset Man of war three Blacks & Came to our fort where they was Confind awhile -- this afternoon we Received Tidings from Rhode Island State by a man who Came from their that the Island was in our hands & that we took some feild peces & Eight hundred men were made Prisoners & a Little befor dark the Galleys went Down below towards the Enemy & fired some shot at them & Returnd Back befor Dark -- we have seen the Enemy Crosing over acrose Scullcill [i.e., the Schuylkill River] all Day & several Days past -- this Night a Detachment is a going Down against the Enemies Lines -- they Did not Goe for Reasons I Know not

Tusday morning [November 4] -- we heard a firing Down below Chester but what I Cannot yet Learn -- this afternoon a Lieut. Belonging to one of the Continental Ships was Buried under armes at this fort who was Burnt by accident & Died of his wounds

wensday 5th of Novemr. was Verey Pleasant -- A Party of our Artillery & an 18 & 12 pounder was sent Down towards Billings fort -- their was several shot Exchanged Between our Galleys & our artilery on the shore with the Kings ships -- Keept a fire up at our men on shore for a Considerable Time & at Night Befor Dark the wind Died away when the Galleys went down against the Kings ships & Keept a Continiual fire at them for the space of an hour & then Returnd home without Receiving one shot from them in Return -- it soon began to Rain & Raind all Night & [...

...] was wet & Cold all Next Day [November 6] -- wind was at N.West & blew hard -- This Evening I went Down with Ensign Blanchard & Searjt. Davis to Reconoiter Down below at Sand town

Returned back in the morn after sun Rise & Discovered Nothing -- the 7 Day of Novemr. -- I sent a Letter home by Mr. Thomson & Searjt. Green Dated Novr. 7th -- Nothing Remarkable this Day -- this Evening Returnd back to this fort the Artilery Party who went Down towards Billings fort the 5th of this Instant & the two Guns the 18 & 12 pounders etc. -- about Midnight we was Alarmed & Every man turnd out & Dressed himself & put on his accouterments & Lay with them on till Day

Saturday 8 -- we had no Disturbance from the Enemy -- we took 2 highlanders Prisoners below towards Billings Port & brought them here & Confined them here

Sunday the 9th -- we drew fategue Rum a Gill Pr. man -- Nothing more Remarkable

Munday the 10th -- the Briggade Paraded & a Resolve of Congress was Read which was their thanks for the Gallant Defence of fort Mercer on Red Bank & a Present of an Eligant sword for Colo. Green as a Present for his Valour -- the Briggade Gave three Cheers & Dismisd -- the Enemy began a heavy Cannonade from their Batterys at Fort Miffilin & sent several shot over to the Red Bank fort but Did no Damage -- we Returnd the Compliment munday 10 o clock & the fire was Keept up until Night

Tusday 11th -- the Enemy Began to Cannonade Fort Miffilin & Continued the whole Day & after also -- we fired several shot from fort Mercer at them & about 9 o Clock we split an 18 pounder which was Teaken out of the wreck of the A[u]gusta who was burnt in this River the 23 of Octr. -- Killd Benjn. Ross the bombardier & wounded the Boatswain [?] Class & put out one of his Eyes & wounded one or two others Slightly -- Colo. Smith was wounded at fort Miffilin -- the same Day a Captn. of the Artillery was wound[ed] & brought here & buried at Night -- we heard the Engeneer a frenchman was also wounded the same Day -- the Number of the Slain is not Known yet by us -- a Man was Killd by the Enemy as Genll. Varnums men was Erecting a battery below on this River between this & fort billings -- a hot Cannonade from the Enemys Battereys was Keept up all the whole Day at our forts Miffilin & Mercer & in the Evening three or four Vessels belonging to the Enemy went up this River behind the Island & Came thro by fort Miffilin & the fleet belonging to the Continent & went up the River -- one was Ran a Ground [near]by their battreys on the west side of [the] Delaware [River] -- two Brigs & one sloop went into [the] Scullkill [River] & anchored safe -- I have heard that the Galleys took 3 or four Vessels from the Enemy Loaded with Provisions one with Butter & brought them here to anchor under our fort

[Colonel Angell recorded his own reactions to both the burst artillery piece and the great intensity of the day’s attack on Fort Mifflin: ... a Shocking accident happened...killed one Benjamin Ross belonging to Colo. Greens Rgt. and wounded Ten more men. this Gun I believe was Split through the ignorance of the Enginear...in the length of this day I believe there has bin Six hundred Shott and Shells fired at fort mifflin....]

[Note: Sergeant Smith’s manuscript at this point contains a two-page spread which is essentially unreadable, even with the attempted use of ulraviolet light. It is evident that these pages were exposed at some time to extremely detrimental conditions. Fortunately, Colonel Angell’s diary entries for the missing days provide a detailed and dramatic account of the furious attacks on and final reduction of Fort Mifflin as he observed events from Fort Mercer. They are here presented in full.]

12 -- the cannonading and Bumbarding Still Continues very heavey on fort mifflin, and Remained So during the day. General Varnom ordered a battery errected down the River about two miles from Red banks against the English Ships which was fired upon the whole Day by the English Ships. I believe not less than Eight hundred Shott have bin fired at the Battery this Day. in Yesterdays Jornal I mentioned three men being killd [at Fort Mifflin] but am Sinc informed it was five.

13th -- the Seige of fort mifflin Still Continues as Sevear as it has bin any time before, though we had but one man killed and three wounded this day. the Siege Continues night and Day.

14th -- this Morning the Seig was hotter than it had bin before as the Enemy brought a Large floating Battery out of the Schyulkill, but She was Soon Silenced, by our fort, and Sunk, also a two Gun Battery they had Erected on the Shore was Soon Silenced. we had four men killd and wounded at Fort mifflin this day. Major Thayer went over to fort mifflin last night to take the Command of that post. the french Enginear burst a 24 pounder in the fort at Red Banks this afternoon, in prooving her. he had no more judgment than to put in 20 pounds of powder and two wads and two balls.

15 -- this Morning the Enemy Run up a large Ship, which they had Cut Down and made a battery of, mounting 20 : 24 pounders, but drew but little water. She came up between hog Island and the main[land] and run along the Side of our fort [i.e., Mifflin], within pistol Shott. She Carried a number of men in her tops, who Could heave hand granads into our fort also fired in with their Small Arms which drove all our people from their platform. there Came up with the Ship a Sloop With Some Brass Eighteen pounders. Three men of war Came up as near the Chevax de frize as they durst. All those Ships with all their Batteries on the land were playing at a time on fort mifflin. Several Ships were firing on General Varnoms Battery Down the River. Our Ships, Battries and Galleys wer all Engaged at the Same time. Such a thunder of Cannon Never was heard in America before I believe. the Galleys Refused to go and Destroy the Ship though they had positive orders from the Commodore, to go at all Events. by this means the fort was obliged to be given up that is our men Avacuated it at night, bringing off all their Ammunition and Stores and Setting fire to the barracks. our loss this day is not yet known, but Suposed to be Sixty or Seventy killd or and wounded.

16th -- We Saw the Enemy Early this morning on Mud Island Where fort Mifflin Stood a Viewing the Ruins but Nothing Remarkable happened this Day.

17th -- Colo. Greene has this Day wrote to his Excellency [i.e., General Washington] Representing the State of our Garrison as the garrison Appears to be of little Consequence Since fort Mifflin is lost. our fleet is all on the wing up to timber Creek. we are a fortifying with all possible Speed against the River, as we Expect an attack Soon.

18th -- There has bin a great Movement of the Enemy to day at Schyulkill ferry[,] province Island, and mud Island. at billings port they have bin burning All the Buildings but what their Design is Cannot be Easily known. this Afternoon General Knox Came to our Garrison from head quarters with Genl. St. Clair and one or two more frenchmen. there was a movement of the Enemy at billings port this aftrenoon.

[Note: Sergeant Smith’s diary here resumes.]

the 18th -- in the morning I was imployd all Day at Capt. Arnold’s Tent writing & About 10 O Clock I was ordred to turn out the Company & Deliver them 50 Rounds of Cartriges Pr. man which I Did & after that I went to wood Berey [i.e., Woodbury] with Ensign Blanchard and upon an Express [arriving] Blanchard Left me Behind at Genll. Varnums Quarters where I Taried all the Night untill [...

...November 19] Next morning the Sun half an hour high at which Time I Came away for the fort for Befor I Came away I heard the fort was Avacuated -- I hurreyd along as fast as I Could go till I Came to Mr. [?] -- he tolde me the fort he heard was avacuated which I Did not Beleive -- then he hurrydly was Telling me he Beleived it was Best to make my way to see for fear what might happen which I Did & when I Came there I saw what I had A heard was true -- I Taried at the said fort all the Whole Day & we soldiers that was Left Behind was imployed to Gather the Ammunition & Stores that was left Behind in the fort -- I taried the Whole Day at sd. fort untill 3 O Clock when we halted a while [?] & then marched forward & a Searjt. & twelve men went Down to stay at the fort Untill the Enemy Advancd & then to blow Up the fort -- then we marchd on over Timber Creek & Forajd [i.e., foraged] the Remain[d]er of the Night

[November 20] -- the Next Day we marchd to hatten feild & took up Quarters their where we Drew Provision & Cookd the whole & the Same Day we met Capt. Lewis Going Down on a scout & about Sun Set we saw the fort blow up -- we Taried all Night & [...

...November 21] Next Morning Early we marchd for mount Holley -- we marchd about a half mile & heard a Cannonade & Saw a Great fire in the River which Provd to Be our Shipping that was set on fire by our own People, etc. -- we marchd the whole army to mount Holley where we arrivd befor Night where we took our Quarters in houses for that Night -- we Taried that Night

[November 22] -- Next morning we Receivd Clothing & Shoes & was turnd in to our Quarters that Night

[November 23] -- Next Night we Lay on our Armes & [...

...November 24] the Next morning we Paraded upon the Parade to see who was sick & found so many they Dismisd us for that Night and we Lay on our arms

[November 25] -- Next morning we Paraded for a march with our Packs But was Dismisd again for a while & Paraded again & turnd in & Rested all Night & Lay on our arms

[November 26] -- turnd out by Sun Rise & marchd up to our Incampment [?]

The 25th [27th] Day in the afternoon toward Night the whole Division Paraded with there Blankets & Provisions & marchd about Sun Down for Hatten feild to where we arrivd about two O clock in the morning & went through the Town & Loged in the woods on the Ground without any Covering Except our Blankets

[November 28] -- we turnd out at Day Break [???] -- Soon after we had orders to march back again to mount holley for the Enemy had Left the Jerseys & Gone to Philadelphia --we marchd on as far as mores town & made a Short halt & then went on to mount holley where we arrivd in the afternoon & Drew Provisions For one Day & Cooked it -- the Next morning by Day Break we Struck our tents& Loaded them in waggons & after sun [????]

[November 29] -- we marchd befor Day from these woods & traveled all Day In the Storme & the worst traveling I Ever saw -- the Rhodes was mostly Clay which was Like morter -- we traveld to a Small town Cald Crooked Bil[l]et wheir Some of us took Loging in a shop that had a Stove in it -- here we was to Draw something to Drink but by the Carelessness of the waggoner who stove the cask & Lost most of the Liquor we Could Get But half a Gill of whiskey Pr. man -- here we Drawd some flower & No meat for their was none in this town to be had -- our Company Loged in their Shop all Night & [...

...November 30] arose Early in the morning & marchd on a mile & half further to the Regemt. where we found them Quartered in houses shops & mills -- we marchd into the woods & built a fire for our Company & Drew Provisions & Cookd -- this day was wet & Rainey -- this was Sunday the 30th of Novemr. -- we Drew a Gill of Rum Pr. -- after that I went out into the Country about a mile to Get Quarters & Came back about the Suns Going Down -- then we Receivd orders to march forward which we Did in the Dark thro mud & mire into the woods wheir I Lost my Blanket & was Obliged to Sleep on the Cold wet Ground without Covering that Night -- it was Cold & frosty -- I Suffered Verey much with Cold

[December 1] -- we marchd Early from this wood about one mile further & halted & Cookd Some Victuals & brake our fast -- munday Decemr. the 1st -- we marchd again after Breakfast about two miles thro the mud & Incampt in a wood [i.e., at the Whitemarsh encampment] & built our Selves huts with Rails & Leaves & had a Gill of whiskey Pr. man -- here we Taried the Remain[d]er of this Day -- befor Night Levi Cole Came up with the Compy. & brought us Tidings that 40 Regulars had Diserted to us & had brought away several Hesians Prisoners to Head Quarters with them -- we Lay on the Cold Ground this Night

the 2d -- Nothing Remarkabel this Day

the 3d -- we turnd out Befor Day & Paraded with the whole Brigade & a Nother Brigade marchd off to head Quarters -- then we was Dismisd & Sent home to our tents again & Loged this night in our huts in the Cold

[December 4] -- the Next morning we turnd out again Early & Paraded our Regemt. & Marchd into the feild & tareyd awhile & Returnd Back to our huts where we Taried all Day & Loged in our huts untill [...

...December 5] [al]most Day when we was alarmd by 3 feild Peces being fired -- the whole Briggade Paraded & marchd into our Lines where was our armes & went into Quarters & Cookd some Brakfast & Paraded again & Exercisd a while & then were Dismisd

the 6th Day -- we turnd out again & Paraded at the General Parade & was Dismisd for farther orders which was not long Befor their was another Alarm -- we heard the Enemy was advancing again -- we went to our Lines again -- we tareyd Some time & then was Dismisd untill farther orders -- this Day Lt. Casey went home Being Dismisd from the Service -- this Day it Looked Like a storme verey much & after sun set we was Dismisd & had orders to turn out at half a hour befor Day which we did & Paraded -- it Raind a Little in the Night & [...

...] Part of Next Day which was the 7th of Decemr. -- the Enemy took a Part of our Picquet & three Light horse -- one Young Disserted from the Regulars to us who formerly did Belong to Col. Angels Regemt. & says he was teaken by the toreys at Linco[l]ns Gap & Caried into [New] Brunswick Last Sumer -- he informd us that the Enemy had left Philadelphia & were a Coming to attact us -- we were Paraded in the feild a while & then Sent to our huts & Loged [i.e., stored] our arms & the whole went to work to Clean up the Ground Laying brush & Logs in the way to Retard the Enemys march -- in the afternoon they advancd within a mile and a half on our Left wing and was attacked by our Rifle Battalion who Killd a Number of them -- a major of the Rifle Regemt. was wounded -- we heard that the Enemy had two feild Peces teaken from them to Day by our troops -- Lt. Brown was on Picquet & had Like to have Been teaken by the Enemy -- he Lost his Pack which Broke off from his shoulders which Left Behind as he Ran -- Michal Stafford & Daniel Maxfeild were on Picquet the Same time & are not yet Returnd

Munday the 8th Day -- in the morning Early we Paraded again at our Lines & taried awhile then Grounded our arms & went to Breakfast -- after that we went to work to build up a Breast work for to Cover us -- Munday the 8th was a Pleasant warm Day & the Enemy has not Given us any Disturbance yet 11 o clock -- Michal Stafford & Daniel Maxfeild Returnd home again -- we heard that the Enemy were Gone Back to Philadelphia again -- they set out about 1: o Clock -- they began their Retreat & we have heard they Plundred all the farms of Sheep & hoggs & Every thing that was Valuabel that they Could Cary with them -- this Intelegence we have from Lt. Thomson who was out on this Night & Returnd home in the morning

tusday 9th of Decemr. -- we turnd out to our Alarm Post & Cald the Rolls & was Dismisd and Sent home to our huts where we Taried all Day -- this afternoon Col. Morgan with his Rifle men came Back from folowing the Enemy & brought with him two Prisoners one Hesian & an Englishman -- they took from the Inhabitants Every thing they Come at of Provision Kind & a woman Came out the Same time who says that the Kings Troops were a Loading their Vesels with all Expidition Imaginable Speed

Wensday 10th -- we turnd out Early to our Alarm Post & was Dismissd it Being Verey Cold -- this Day Thos. Ormsby Came to the Camp and informed me of Caleb Sissons Death -- he Died at Prince town [i.e., Princeton, New Jersey] Last wensday or thirsday -- Nothing Remarkable yet Except we had genll. orders for to Draw two Days Provisions & Cook it all A for [i.e., before] Dark when their was none for us to be had & about midnight we was ordered to Parade at 3 o clock for a march

[December 11] -- we turned out at the time & marchd forward about Day Break towards Schullkill where the Kings Troops was who had Ingaged a Briggade of militia Commanded by Genll. Potter & had took or Killed the Cheif [i.e., most] of the men Belonging to it -- we turnd Back a Little way & halted a while when an Express came & orderd us to march forward -- we turnd about & took another Rhoad which Led towards the Schullkill River & took up our lodging in the woods on the Ground without Covering -- this Day Coln. Greens Regemt. had nothing to eat as there was no Provisions when the others did -- after we halted we Killed two Beavs & Drew something for our Selves to eat -- this was a Verey Cold Day But Clear & Pleasant for the season -- this night Sleept Something Comfortable

[December 12] -- We turnd out Early by three o clock in order for a march but Did not -- I saw Several Prisoners brought by here about Day & towards Night 6 more Came by which made 19 in all which I saw -- we Paraded at Night to march in the Storme & was Dismissd to Parade at the Shortest Notice -- it began to Snow after noon & Snowd all Night -- Mollencollyly [i.e., melancholy] we marchd to Sweeds ford & built fires in the woods & so we Lay Down on the wet Ground by our fires & Sleept untill [...

...[December 13] Day Light [?] the army had to be Pad’d. [paraded] -- befor then [?] marched beyond Gulfe Mills about one mile from the ford -- went into the woods & built us fires -- Refreshed ourselves with what we had with us & Drew half a gill of whiskey Pr. Man -- it Cleared off this Morning & was Pleasant for Decemr. -- Last Night our Horse took 11 Hesians & brought them here to this Place -- we heard that the Enemy Plun[dere]d. a House of Every thing they Could find at the mills & that they took Prisoners 3 horse men Last Night belonging to the Continental Army here -- This is Saturday the 13th of Decemr. in the morning etc. -- we tarried here all Day & the Night falowing we sleept in huts made with Bushes & Leaves -- here we Drew more Provisions & Cooked it

Sunday morning the 14th -- we all Turnd out Early to march & had time to Cook More Provisions where we Drew half gill of whiskey Pr. man -- we turnd out whith the Briggade to Devine Service at four o clock PM -- we had a Short Discourse from these words in Deuternomy [:] for the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy Camp to give up thy Enemys befor the[e] etc. -- we Returnd to our tents again in the Evening -- we Receivd orders to Lay on arms to Turn out at the Shortest Notice for we heard the Enemy were advancing towards our Camp but had no Disturbance from them

[December 15] -- we all Turnd out at 4: O clock in the morning & Paraded & after Sun Rise we was all Dismisd again -- Nothing worthy to Remark

this Day the 16th -- in the morning it Raind all Day & all night & froze as it fell which made it Verey tedious to Live without tents for we had orders to march by 10 O clock & as soon as we got [them] we had Counter Orders -- then was obliged to build us Another hut & which we Did big Enough for the Whole Company to Sleep in -- it Raind all Night & [...

...] by morning we turnd out to march again but did not -- this is the 17th of Decemr. -- it was Cloudy and cold

the 18th was wet & Dirty -- in the afternoon the Briggade Paraded to Prayers & had a Short Sermon

the 19th -- in the morning we marchd to our winter Quarters [i.e., at Valley Forge] -- we marchd all Day without Victuals having nothing to Eat -- we went into the woods & Sleept in huts as usual

[December 20] -- we found a Corn feild where was Corn which we took & Eat after we Roasted it in the fire some -- we Pounded with two stones & made Samp [i.e., “soupon”, or corn porridge] to thicken our Broth -- Some we Carried to mill & Got it Ground into meal -- towards Night we Drew Some Poor Beef & one Days flower -- this Decembr 20th 1777

the 21st Sunday -- we had warm Pleasant weather & Nothing to Eat but a Little flower made with Coarse Indian meal & a Little Flower mixd with it -- at Night the fortune of war [i.e., foraging] Put into our hands a Poor Sheep which we Roasted & boild which Gave the Company a Good Super which we Eat & turnd in

[December 22] -- Sleept Qietly untill morning when we Receivd orders to march in fifteen minits -- we Paraded the Regt. & Grounded our arms & Drew flower for one day & Baked it But no meat as yet but a Party of Volenteers turnd out to Goe to get Some Cattle from Toreys -- we had nothing to Eat Untill 10 o clock at Night when we had a Ram Cooked roast & boild which 3 of our Company took & killd as they traveld on their way -- about 10 o clock A Detachment went from here to Goe Down towards the Enemy etc.

23d -- we turnd out a Party of men to Build huts for our winter Quarters -- in the afternoon had some mutton Served out to us for one day & Drumd a whore out of Camp & set her over Schullkill River for theaft -- this night Capt. Lee took 13 Light horse & 8 Riders of the Enemy & Brought them in

24th -- we turnd out to worke on our huts again

the 25th -- Nothing Remarkable Except it Snowd a Little at Night

26th -- Nothing Remarkable Except it Snowd again at Night & turnd to Rain befor Day & Cleared away befor Sun Rise -- Wind N:West

27th -- Clowday weather -- in the Night it began to Snow Verey fast & Continued Snowing untill Day -- this was the Second Snow we had this winter -- we heard that Genll. Gates was in Possesion of New york & had took 700 Prisoners

[Note: Entries for December 28-30 are in pencil and mostly indecipherable from the microfilm.]

31st -- Clear & Cold -- we Lay Last Night in huts without any Roofs & on the frost & Snow -- we Suffered Much with Cold this Night

in the morning Janry. the 1st was Pleasant for the Season & Nothing Remarkable -- the General orderd a Gill of Spirits to Every man but we Could not Get any untill fryday

the 2d of Janry -- [?] -- Day it was warm & Pleasant -- the Snow went off -- toward Night it Began to Rain & Raind all Night untill morning then Cleared off the wind N:west & was Pleasant –Last Night thirty men belonging to Genl. [?] Reget. New Jersey troops went off without Leave -- this Day some Deserters from the Brittish Army Came here who Informed Us that they have but 6000 troops at Philadelphia -- the remainder are gone to New york to winter & that a french war is Expected to Be soon & that they have sent for the troops home this Spring

Saturday 3d -- a Party of Light Draggoons was sent off to teake the above sd. farhams Men -- we further heard that 9 of the Brittish Ships was teaken & Destroyed By part of our Army at Billings Port where they were froze in the ice -- two was Loaded with Clothing which was Plunderd By the Continental Troops & Burnt

Sunday 4th -- Nothing Remarkable

Monday 5th -- Col. Comstock set out for home & the two Rhode Island Battalions was mustered -- this Day was warme & Pleasant

Tusday the 6th -- this Day was Pleasant warm Weather for the Season -- Col. Greene & Philip Drown set out for home & in the Beginning of the evening the Party of Light horse Came Back with the Red Coat Soldiers Belonging to farnhams Reget. & Confined them in the Guard house here -- this night Col. Olney fell from his horse & hurt himself.

Wensday the 7th -- Pleasant warm morning But Began to Snow in the afternoon & Snowd untill Night & then Began to Rain -- this Day a Searjeant Belon[g]ing to the Brittish Army & 4 Soldiers Deserted to our Camp & took up three toreys who was Purchasing Provisions for the Brittish army & Brought them here & Confind them Under Guard -- we also heard the Indians had teaken fort Pitt & Killd Every man that was in the Garrison -- our Officers Baggage Came into Camp from Morristown -- it Raind all Night & Cleard off

[January 8] -- Pleasant in the Morning & Capt. Arnold & Several other Officers Set out [for] Rhode Island State in the after Part of the Day -- this was thirsday

Fryday the 9th -- I Set off from Valley forge for Rhode Island State -- this Day I heard that a Picqquet guard of the Brittish troops Deserted to our Camp to day.



Company muster and pay rolls document Sergeant Smith being on detached command in Rhode Island from January 1778 through September 1779. He continued in service with the First Rhode Island Regiment until the expiration of his three-year enlistment, being discharged May 1, 1780. His diary recording apparently ended with his departure from Valley Forge or subsequent volumes have been lost.

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