Monday, December 12, 2016

Morristown by the Numbers

⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫ ⏫

Troops Strength


December 1779 total Present and Fit for Duty [able to fight] – 10,785

December 1779 total Present and Fit and Present Sick – 11,788

Total Deaths December 1779 to May 1780 - 96

Valley Forge 1777-1778 had 1478 deaths

Total Desertions Dec. to May - 974

A desertion rate of about 10%. Normal desertion rate during war was 25%

Total Discharges Dec to May - 2610

This would be soldiers whose enlistments had expired.

Total Enlistments Dec to May – 748

Total of troops sent away to other locations before encampment ends - 2530

1815 men of the Maryland line and artillery depart in April to reinforce southern army.

715 men of the NY Brigade leave in June for NY Frontier.

Total Troop Left in June 1780 - 5578

Total Troops Lost from December 1779 to June 1780 - 6210

Includes deaths, desertions, discharges and troops sent to other locations.

Subtract the 748 enlistments then overall loss is 5462

Provision return, May 2, 1777, Capt. George Bush

Men and Huts Jockey Hollow 1779-1780

The army’s peak number of men in Morristown was in December 1779. In December:

there were 10,785 men present and fit for duty they would have required 1039 huts.

But if you include soldiers who were present but also sick, there were a total of 11,788 men.

11,788 men would have required 1131 huts.




LWS70-100, provisions request for 

beef and potatoes. Attribited to the 2nd NJ (1777).
  • A group of six men, known as a “Mess” shared a tent and a kettle for cooking their food.
  • Each hut held 12 men [two messes], who cooked, ate and slept in their hut.
  • Each hut was built by the 12 men who lived in it.
  • On average it took 9 to 14 days to build a hut.
  • General Orders required the huts to be 14 feet wide and 16 feet long, six ½ feet high at the eves and built in a straight line with the other huts. Huts that did not meet this standard were to be torn down.

  • Regiments, Brigades and Divisions varied greatly in the number of men and number of huts they built. Looking at the December 1779 when the army was at is largest [during this encampment], here are the numbers of men who were present a fit for duty.
  • The smallest regiment was the 1st Canadian Regt, with 115 men and approximately 12 huts.
  • The largest regiment was the 6th Connecticut Regt. with 411 men and approx. 37 huts.
  • The smallest brigade was Hand’s with 739 men and approximately 71 huts.
  • The largest brigade was the 2nd Connecticut Brigade with 1237 men and approx. 114 huts.
  • The smallest division [2 brigades] was Hand’s and NJ with 1760 men and approx.. 101 huts.
  • The largest division was the Connecticut Line with 2273 men and approx. 212 huts.

Land Used for Camps

The area of One Brigade was supposed to be:
320 yards across the front,
100 yards deep plus a 40 yard parade ground.
A total of 32,000 square yards or 6.61 acres.
Archaeology done at the site of the Second Connecticut Brigade showed a slightly larger area, with a total area of 7.3 acres. Not surprising since this was the largest brigade.

If you use an average of 7 acres for a brigade and multiply it by 11 brigades:
The entire camp took up 77 acres of land just for the camp areas. Trees removed for hut construction and firewood would have cleared much more land.

How Much Wood?

At a minimum a soldier’s hut probably used two cords of firewood a month during the winter weather for a total of 12 cords during the winter. Multiply 1112 huts by 12 cords, then during the winter encampment the army burned 13,344 cords of wood. A brigade probably needed at least 1125 cords of firewood for a winter encampment of approximately 6 months. If you multiply 1125 cords times 11 brigades then the army burned 12,375 cords of wood during the encampment. Between firewood and wood used for building huts and other needs, the army used well over 30,300 cords of wood during the 1779-1780 Morristown encampment.


Sinews of Independence: Monthly Strength Reports of the Continental Army, by Charles H. Lesser, University of Chicago Press, 1976

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745-1799,
Volume 17 October 21, 1779-February 9, 1780, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, printed May, 1937, United States Government Printing Office, Washington

The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. Volume V, 1 November 1779-31 May 1780.
Richard K. Showman, editor, Robert E. McCarthy, Senior Associate Editor, Dennis M. Conrad and E. Wayne Carp, Associate Editors, c. 1989 The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, Published for the Rhode Island Historical Society

Regulations For The Order and Discipline Of The Troops Of The United States. Part I. [Von Steuben], Philadelphia, Printed by Styner and Cist, in Second-street, 1779

“Forty Years of Archaeological Research at Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, New Jersey” by Edward S. Rutsch and Kim M. Peters, Historical Archaeology, Vol. 11, 1977

A Survey of the Historical Archaeology of Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, New Jersey, by Edward S. Rutsch and Kim M. Peters, Historic Conservation and Interpretation, Inc., 17 Van Houten Street, Paterson, N.J., for U.S. Dept. of Interior, National Park Service, Professional Services Contract No. CX-2000-4-0029, Archaeological Investigations and Excavations, Morristown National Historical Park, New Jersey, 1976

“Excavations in the First Brigade Site, Connecticut Division Area, Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J.”, J, Duncan Campbell, 1963, January 8, 1964

“Hutsite Survey, Stark’s Brigade, Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N. J., by J. Duncan Campbell, NER-968, NER-950-321 Supp.

Laws of the Royal Colony of New Jersey, 1760-1769, New Jersey Archives, Third series, Vol. IV, compiled by Bernard Bush, Bureau of Archives and History, New Jersey State Library, c. 1982

Laws of the Royal Colony of New Jersey, 1770-1775, New Jersey Archives, Third series, Vol. V, compiled by Bernard Bush, Division of Archives and Records, New Jersey State Library, c. 1986

Quartering, Disciplining, and Supplying the Army at Morristown, 1779-1780 , by George J. Svejda, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C., National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia, February 23, 1970

Summer Soldiers: A Survey and Index of Revolutionary War Courts-Martial, by James C. Neagles, Ancestry Incorporated, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1986

 This Blog Post by Park Ranger, Eric Oslen.

No comments:

Post a Comment