Headquarters' Orderly Book
At his headquarters, General Washington dictated his general orders for the day, which were taken down in the Headquarters’ Orderly Book. In turn these orders were dictated and copied down by regimental adjutants. Valley Forge National Historical Park is honored to be the repository of the Headquarters’ Orderly Book for the time period January 1 to April 15 of 1778. Documents such as this provide greater insight and understanding of how the Continental Army operated and how the soldiers lived and behaved, and must be preserved for future generations.
When the park received the Headquarters’ Orderly Book was in pieces. The cover was extremely worn with extensive losses of both the leather spine covering and the paper boards. The cover was detached from the text pages. The laid paper was flexible, but brittle. There was a brown discoloration associated with aging that was throughout the text pages. Also, there were a few tears in the pages. It was critical that this document receive treatment in order to ensure its future.
Did You Know?
Precision marching was the key to victory on the 18th century battlefield. Inspector General Baron von Steuben made marching the central element of his training program at Valley Forge. By May the army was able to stay in formation while advancing and retreating over all types of ground.