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Order of Encampment and Order of Battle, Newburgh, August 29, 1782

Order of Encampment, Newburgh, NY

Order of Encampment, Newburgh, NY

Other, NYHS_MSMisc_002
Document Description
The order of battle for the campaign of 1782. Includes major generals Heath and Gates.
“Headquarters Newburgh August 29th, 1782
“The general order of encampment and order of battle for the main army this campaign will be in one line, with a reserve organised and commanded as follows

(See Document for Chart)

“The reserve for the present to consist of the 2 Connecticut and 8 Massachusetts brigades, commanded as above, they are to encamp when the ground will admit of it, two hundred paces in the rear of the line.
            “Major General Lord Stirling will be pleased to repair to Albany and take the immediate command of that brigade of his division which is to the northward together with the State troops in that quarter.”
What is the overall purpose of this document?
How were the soldiers organized?  What in the document shows you this? What would be the reasons for this organization?
What is meant by the term “reserve” in the document?  What does the document show about the use of the “reserve”?
How might the geography impact the determined order of encampment?  What evidence in the document shows this impact? 
Historical Challenges
Research the order of encampment of other regiments of the Continental Army.  How does this one compare?
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Imagine you are a soldier at the encampment.  Write a journal entry describing your experiences, what you are observing and your feelings prior to battle.
Art: Using information from the document, draw a picture that would represent the order of encampment, including what you believe the geography of the land would look like.

Historical Context
As the impending war drew closer, the newly independent states needed to raise and supply an army capable of defeating a major world power: Great Britain. Originally defended by the local militia, the former colonies established the Continental Army in April of 1775. George Washington was named the Commander-in-Chief and the leaders set out to build an army that could defeat England.
Despite major obstacles, the former colonies were able to build an army. The major advantage for the Americans came from their knowledge of geographical features within the colonies. Geography played a major role in many of the battles of the American Revolution.
The Continental Army was headquartered at Newburgh, NY during much of 1782 and 1783.  Newburgh is located along the Hudson River approximately 60 miles north of New York City. 
Essential Question
How did geographical features affect military strategy during the Revolutionary War?
Check for Understanding
Students should answer the following questions with evidence from the document.
What considerations about order of encampment and battle would military commanders need to make based on the geography of the land?  How is this shown in the document?