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"We... got ourselves cleverly settled for the night...

"
Soldiers' Shelter on Campaign During the War for Independence:
Part 1.
“Oznabrig tabernacles”
Tents in the Armies of the Revolution
John U. Rees

Detail from Pierre Charles L'Enfant (1754-1825) panoramic painting of West Point and
dependencies. View is from the east side of the Hudson River, across the water on the right is the
lower part of Constitution Island, with a tent camp on the plateau. This was done after August
1782, as service chevrons, worn on the saluting soldier’s left sleeve, were first authorized on the 7th
of that month. Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004678934/
Contents

1. “Put our Men into barns …”: The Vagaries of Shelter
2. "We Lay in the open world": Troops Without Shelter on Campaign
3. "State of Marquees and Tents delivered to the Army...": Varieties of Tentage
a. British Common Tents
b. American Common Tents
c. Horseman’s and Cavalry Tents
d. Wall Tents
e. Marquees
f. Bell Tents for Sheltering Arms
g. Dome, Square, and Hospital Tents
h. French Tents
4. "Return of Camp Equipage": More on Tents.

Appendices
A. Illustrations of French Tents
B. The Common Tent as Illustrated in a German Treatise
C. How to Fold a Common Tent for Transport (from a German Treatise)
D. Interior Views of Common Tents: Sleeping Arrangements in Three Armies
E. A Melange of Marquees: Additional Images of Officers’ Tents
F. Encampment Plans: Continental Army, Hessian, and British
1. Friedrich Wilhelm de Steuben, Regulations for the Order and Discipline of
the Troops of the United States Part I. (Philadelphia, Pa.: Styner and Cist,
1779)
2. “A Correct View of the Hessian Camp on Barton Farm near Winchester …
by Willm. Godson, Land Surveyor to the Right Worshipful the Corporation
of Winchester occupé le 16 Juillet 1756”
3. Lewis Lochee, An Essay on Castrametation (London, 1778)
(British treatise on tents and encampments.)
4. Humphrey Bland, A treatise of military discipline: in which is laid down and
explained the duty of the officer and soldier, through the several branches of
the service. The 8th edition revised, corrected, and altered to the present
practice of the army (London: B. Law and T. Caslon, 1762).

Putting up General Washington’s sleeping tent, November 2014, Williamsburg, Virginia,
For an excellent study of common tent construction and a project to recreate them see:
“’To Shelter the Enlisted Man’: A Study of the Construction of Other Ranks’ Tents During the
American War for Independence” by James Mullins, Todd Post, Steven Rayner and Gregory
Theberge http://www.scribd.com/doc/140788111/The-Tent-Article
Reproduction of Gen. George Washington’s sleeping marquee, joint project of Colonial
Williamsburg and the Museum of the American Revolution.
The First Oval Office, https://www.facebook.com/FirstOvalOffice?fref=ts
___________________

"Tents being the most expensive & essential article of camp equipage, I extracted from the
returns then in my hands the numbers on w[hi]ch. we might rely on for the ensuing
campaign." Timothy Pickering to George Washington, 8 February 17821
“Thirsday, 4th Sept. [1760, six miles from Chamblee, Canada.] Last night I had my tent pitcht
& fixed so that I lay quite well... we shall soon I hope, be moveing homeward, for it begins to
be cold nights, & our oznabrig tabernacles is but poor shelter for this cold climate.” Capt.
Samuel Jenks2
“It would be pretty tolerable, if it was fair weather all the time, but these oznabrig houses are
not so clever in rainy weather.” Henry Hudson, a soldier from Newburyport, Massachusetts,
writing from Rhode Island, October 14, 17783
___________________

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of studying the armies of the "American War" (1775-1783)
is to gain a fresh appreciation of soldiers' experiences. And when new information contributes to
demythologizing the conflict and the lives of those who fought, so much the better. Well-known
misconceptions such as the inflexibility of British tactics, and selfless, patriotic yeomen forming
the backbone of the Continental Army, mask the accomplishments of its participants and the
war's true nature.
A study of soldiers' shelter follows in this train, bringing into focus the hardships suffered by
both combatants and noncombatants, and practices common to both sides. During the war
American, British, and German troops used different types of lodging to cover themselves while
campaigning. Tents were preferred, with large numbers and several varieties being used, but
temporary structures were frequently built when need arose. Tent shortages, loss of supplies, or
lack of transportation often made makeshift shelters necessary. At other times their use was
prompted by a decision to divest the troops of unnecessary baggage in order to disencumber their
movements. Ad hoc coverings were also resorted to in fixed posts or winter cantonments when
barracks were not available, or soldiers' log huts had not been completed. Makeshift shelters
were of differing construction and varied nomenclature, "wigwams," "brush huts," "booths" and
"bowers" being but a few of the names. Tentage in the armies, transport, the forerunners and
descendants of ad hoc shelters, the circumstances and frequency of shelter use and their design,
will all be explored in this study.

“Put our Men into barns …”
The Vagaries of Shelter

Shelter types could vary greatly over a short time period. In the spring of 1782 the 2nd Rhode
Island Regiment marched from Philadelphia, where they resided in barracks, to join the main
army at West Point, New York. Towards the end of the first day they encamped at Bensalem,
Pennsylvania. The next day, 30 May, Lieutenant Jeremiah Greenman wrote, "the General Beat at
day Break when the Tents was struck and loaded into the Waggons ... [after a series of marches
and halts] crossed the Delaware, when 6 Companys incamped. the other 3 in barns &c, for want
of Tents." 31 May: "....proceeded to Rockey hill where incamped by Millstone River." The
regiment continued on through New Jersey and into New York, during which time they
"incamped" every night. After reaching the Hudson River on 8 June the troops "incamped in
Order to wait [for]... Orders wether to cross the River or tarry on the West Side — at two oClock
received Orders to cross the river. at 4 oClock the Genl. beat when we struck our Tents &
proceeded on Our March to Kings Ferry where we crossed the North [Hudson] River. Sent our
Bagage up by Water / came one Mile & lay in the Woods / very Cold."4
On 24 June 1782 the 2nd Rhode Island's light company was "ordered from the Regiment to go
on the Lines"; five days later Lieutenant Greenman was ordered to join the company to replace a
sick officer.5 The twelve days he served with the detachment give an idea of the light infantry's
living conditions during this period of the war.
S 30. [June 1782] This Morning at day break sett off from Camp ... [and] join'd... the Light
Company from our Regiment — the whole Detachment under Command of Major Knap from the
Massachusetts Line tarried near the River 'till 8 oClock in the Evening when marched half a Mile
& took post oposite a ford ... laying on our Arms—
M 1. [July. On this day Greenman was] order'd to take a party of Men and go down towards the
Enemies lines to get what inteligence lay in my Power... proceeded on to Tarry Town Meating
House where arrived at 12 oClock at Night... and lay on our arms.
T 2... .came to Phillipsburrough ... from where came 6 miles & took post in a field nigh the
Road laying on our arms where continued all night—
W 3. ...came to Pines Bridge where join'd my Company and continued 'till Evening, when ...
took post on a hill in froont of the Bridge ... on a hill in a thicket of woods.
T 4. [After crossing the river] took Post on a hight... where continued all Night...
F 5. [After being on guard] join'd the Detachment ... one mile up river from the bridge where
tarryed (laying on our arms) till 8. oClock in the Evening when took post on a Hill in a thicket of
woods ... where continued (laying on our arms) all night...
S 6... .marched to the Bridge ... made a halt, (on account of a sivear squall of wrain)... marched
toward the White Plains ... hear put our Men into barns and made a halt on account of the rain.
S 7. .. .proceeded to North Caswell where took post in an Orchard—
M 8. ... we proceeded on for pines Bridge ... put our Men into a Barn on account of rain, where
they continued till Sun set, when came 3 milesup the road towards Crumbpond Meatinghouse,
where took post in an Orchard but ... [it] began to rain...
T 9. the Detachment continuing at the same post 'till the evening when came half a Mile & took
post in an orchard...
W 10. ...in the Evening marched a quater of a Mile & took post on a hill in a thicket of woods
when lay on our arms...
T 11... .Major Darby... came with a Detachment to releive us. after being releived proceeded on
our march towards Camp as far as Crumb Pond where halted & lay in an Orchard.
F 12. ... came to our Regiment [near West Point] in the after noon when I joined my
Company.6

On 21 August Greenman's regiment received orders "to relieve the Troops on the Lines at
Dobbs Ferry, Stonny and Virplanks Point." Next day, "...the Tents were struck and carried to the
Shore to be put into a Vessel which I pr[o]cureed yesterday to carry the bagage down the river in
— the Assembly beet at 5 & soon after the March commenced... we left two Companys one at
Virplanks & the other at Stonny Point, we then proceeded on with 6 companys as far as Kearkiat
where halted & put our men into Barns." On the 23rd, "Soon after [5 o'clock] ... began our march
... proceeded ... within a half mile of the Block House [at Dobbs Ferry] where halted & lay in an
orchard all night." 24 August: ".. .came to the Block house at Dobbs ferry, where releiv'd the 1st.
Connecticut Regiment."7
"We Lay in the open world"8
Troops Without Shelter on Campaign
Campaign living conditions in North America were rigorous and often primitive. Terrain and
weather varied greatly in areas where military operations occurred and rudimentary road systems
made transport of army supplies difficult at best. From the hills and coastal plains of New Jersey
to the wilderness of northern New York and Canada, through the cultivated fields and woodlands
of Pennsylvania and the Carolina forests and swamps the armies fought, marched, and camped.
Over crude byways, farmers paths, and dirt roads the troops moved with their baggage trains,
carrying, in the best of times, much of what they needed.
Because of the need for rapid movement or other exigencies, soldiers often had to do without
tents and make do with what was available. For officers and privates alike this often meant
sleeping in the open. On the frontier this occurred frequently. Lieutenant Samuel Shute noted one
such occasion in July 1779: "We marched to Shawney flatts [near Wyoming, Pennsylvania], got
a little dinner, took a sociable buck dance, then proceeded to the falls.... At 8.P.M. took a bite of
beef & bread a drink of grog and retired to rest. Colo. DeHart, Genl. Hand & myself slept
together in the open air, but with a canteen of spirits at our head."9
Even in settled areas there were times when no shelter was possible or even desirable. In
September 1777, Virginian John Chilton noted, "This day I was Capt. of the Rere Guard." After
passing through Christiana, Delaware, he and his men "Marched not more than a Mile, when we
stopt till after sunset, when we were relieved and joined the regt. [and] lay in the woods without
Pitching Tents." During the 1778 New Jersey campaign one of Washington's aides related, "I
cannot say that the fatigues of our late march has been of any disservice to my constitution — in
sleeping in the open fields — under trees exposed to the night air and all changes of the weather
I only followed the example of our General.... When I joined his Excellency's suite I gave up soft
beds — undisturbed repose — and the habits of ease and indulgence... for a single blanket — the
hard floor — or the softer sod of the fields — early rising and almost perpetual duty." Near
Morrisania, New York, in May or June 1781, Sergeant Joseph Martin and his men "lay all night
upon the ground which we had occupied during the day. I was exceedingly tired, not having had
a wink of sleep the preceding night, and had been on my feet during the last twenty-four hours,
and this night, to add to my comfort, I had to take charge of the quarter guard. I was allowed to
get what rest I could consistently with our safety. I fixed my guard, placed two sentinels, and the
remainder of us laid down. We were with our corps, who were all by dark snug in the arms of
Morpheus. The officers slept under a tree near us."10
Detachments of soldiers in close proximity to the enemy, especially those serving as light
infantry, usually traveled with little baggage, and often lacked shelter. In September 1777, two
nights after the Battle of Brandywine, as the rest of the army moved towards the Schuylkill
River, Captain Enoch Anderson was with a detachment shadowing the British army north of
Darby Creek in Pennsylvania. "Night came on [13 or 14 September], there was no house we dare
go into; — we had no tents. I had no blanket even and must make no fire. Some had blankets
however. The night was very cold. I kept myself tolerably comfortable by walking about, but
was very sleepy and could not sleep for the cold."11
Soldiers' living conditions were never more difficult than during a cold-weather campaign.
Lack of shelter caused Lieutenant James McMichael and his company to suffer on several
occasions in October 1776. On the night of the 28th they "marched from White Plains, New
York, about four miles and encamped on a hill near Hudson's River ... Being without our
baggage and cooking utensils, (they being sent to North Castle) we were very uncomfortable."
Four days later he wrote, "We encamp in the woods, have no tents, frost and cold severe." After
retreating across New Jersey in December they "paraded in Trenton at 4 A.M. [on the 8th], and
at dawn crossed the Ferry into Pennsylvania ... Here we remained in the woods, having neither
blankets or tents."12
Other troops suffered similarly. In December 1776, after marching south from Fort
Ticonderoga to join General George Washington in Pennsylvania, Fifer John Greenwood "had
the itch so bad that my breeches stuck to my thighs, all the skin being off, and there were
hundreds of vermin upon me, owing to a whole month's march and having been obliged, for the
sake of keeping warm, to lie down at night among the soldiers who were huddled close together
like hogs." He continued, "what I suffered on the march cannot be described. With no tents to
shelter us from the snow and rain, we were obliged to get through it as well as we could."13
Washington's army won the crucial battle of Trenton on 26 December, crossing back to
Pennsylvania later the same day. They returned to New Jersey on the 29th. Lieutenant
McMichael:"... at 10 P.M. crossed at Yardley's Ferry, where we lodged. Weather very cold, snow
6 inches deep, no tents, and no houses to lodge in!" The night before the Battle of Princeton in
January 1777, the lieutenant described his circumstances at Trenton: "We continued firing bombs
up to seven o'clock P.M., when we were ordered to rest, which we very commodiously did upon
a number of rails for a bed. Thus my friend Capt. Marshall and I passed the night until two after
twelve o'clock." This last mode of sleeping was nicely echoed by an instance during the
American Civil War. At Gaylesville, Alabama, in October 1864 a Union soldier remarked on
keeping warm and dry despite the cold weather: "Where there is plenty of rail fences there is no
trouble keeping warm... The first thing [we do] after going into camp and stacking arms is to pile
rails for a fire, and [gather] boards to sleep on. We make the houses and barns suffer."14
An American officer noted the men's condition at Somerset Court House, the evening after the
Battle of Princeton (3 January 1777): "Our army was now extremely fatigued, not having had
any refreshment since yesterday morning, and our baggage had all been sent away the morning
of the action at Trenton, yet they are in good health and in high spirits." A Rhode Island soldier
wrote at the same time, "It will be remembered that this was the third night's marching, and
under arms or marching all day. There were barely houses sufficient for the quarters of the
Generals and their attendants. The troops took up their abode for the rest of the night on frozen
ground. All the fences and everything that would burn was piled in different heaps and burnt, and
he was the most fortunate who could get nigh enough to smell the fire or smoke."15
Even the sick suffered from lack of shelter at times. Shortly after the Battle of White Plains in
1776, Joseph Martin became ill and "was sent back to the baggage to get well again, if I could....
When I arrived at the baggage, which was not more than a mile or two, I had the canopy of
leaves for my hospital and the ground for my hammock. I found a spot where the dry leaves had
collected between the knolls. I made up a bed of these and nestled in it.... I had nothing to eat or
drink, not even water, and was unable to go for any myself, for I was sick indeed."16
A few years later in New Jersey, Sergeant Andrew Kettell had a series of such experiences. 22
June 1780,".. .I was taken sick at night I Lay sick all night on the Ground." (On 23 June the
Battle of Connecticut Farms was fought.) 24 June, "I was very sick but Better then I was before /
it began to Rain Very hard Thunderd and Lightned untill night." 25 June, ".. .I was so well that I
went to the Regt. / the Brigade Marched at 9 OClock I kept in the Rear. I was very unwell But I
endeavoured to Cheer up my hart untill Meridian Sun [when] the Brigade halted I was Obliege to
Lay on the Ground by the water side wereby I took Could [cold] and was worst again than I was
before." 26 June, "[it] was thick & heavy and Like to rain. I Proceeded with the Brigade till
Night and then Halted at Ramapo in the Woods. I laid Down On the Ground the Rain Came on
[and] I was obliged to lay in it as I Could not Git to any house." 27 June, "it was Pleasant... I
remained in a poor Condision our Docr, was behind I had nothing Don for me this Day." 28
June, ".. .the Doctr. Came to see Me he Give me [a] Puke which I took / it help me Greatly But
Left me Weake." 29 June, ".. .I was some Better than I was the Day before." 30 June, ".. .this
Day Receivd orders to march to morrow morning. the Sick was to be sent to the Flying Hospital.
I had no mind to Go as I never had been at one. But the Docr. told me I had Better Go or I was in
a poor weake Condision." 1 July, ".. .the Army marched this morning at 3 OCok I whent to the
Hospital."17
Continental troops lay without shelter or in buildings more often than in brush huts, booths, or
other makeshift shelters. By comparison British and German soldiers made widespread and
almost constant use of wigwams during at least two campaigns, in addition to using them on a
smaller scale throughout the war. In December 1777 eight thousand British soldiers crossed the
Schuylkill River, in Pennsylvania, to cover foraging operations. A German officer wrote, "Our
men constructed temporary cover as well as they could. We did not have tents with us, as we
almost never did during this whole campaign [i.e., the autumn Philadelphia campaign]." This is
echoed by Captain John Peebles of the 42nd Regiment who noted during the 1778 Monmouth
Campaign: "Thursday 18th [1778] ... the Troops march'd to within 2 miles of Haddonfield where
they Encampd in the usual manner, vizt. Wigwams." Three years later an officer in the 76th
Regiment of Foot described shelters used by Lord Cornwallis's army in Virginia during the
spring and summer of 1781. "Our encampments were always chosen on the banks of a stream,
and were extremely picturesque, as we had no tents, and were obliged to construct wigwams of
fresh boughs to keep off the rays of the sun during the day."18
The American narratives above make rare mention of tents and none of makeshift shelters,
though both were used frequently during the war. Many questions remain. Under what
conditions were tents used? What types of tents were supplied, and of what size? How often
were makeshift shelters used by Continental troops and American militia; by British troops and
their allies? What were the circumstances under which such shelters were built and why were
they used in one instance while in another similar situation the troops bedded down in the open
for the night. These and other factors concerning soldiers' lodging on campaign will be examined
in this series.
"State of Marquees and Tents delivered to the Army..."
Varieties of Tentage
The preferred method of sheltering troops during moderate weather was tents, or as one Seven
Years' War Massachusetts soldier called them, "osnaburg tabernacles." Described by
Quartermaster General Timothy Pickering in 1781 as "the most expensive & essential article of
camp equipage," tent size, quality, and availability were important considerations for both sides
throughout the war.19
British Common Tents. British Army tent design was more or less standardized, as was the
number of common soldiers apportioned to each tent. Lewis Lochee's An Essay on
Castrametation (London, 1778) related that, "the tents which are of various sorts and forms,
serve to lodge and protect the troops against the inclemency of the weather … [and] are made of
strong cloth ..." Lochee also noted that British tents "for the private men ... are large enough to
lodge 5 men," the "standard poles ... are about 6 feet high" and the "ridge pole ... is about 7 feet
long"; these tents were six or seven feet wide. In giving the layout of a camp he indicated the tent
length to be nine feet; perhaps adding two extra feet because of an extension at the rear of the
tent, two feet longer than the upper support.20

(Above) "The plan of a tent for private men" (common tent). Lewis Lochee, An
Essay on Castrametation (London, 1778), 1-2, 20. (Redrawn by Ross Hamel.)
(Below) Copy of original plate.
"The plan of a tent for private men" (common tent). Lewis Lochee, An Essay on
Castrametation (London, 1778), 1-2, 20.
(Above) Interior showing supporting poles.
(Below) View from above, showing the shape of the rear extension.
American Common Tents. The simple wedge-shaped shelter known as a common (or soldier's)
tent was the most numerous type. Intended primarily for the army's rank and file, these tents
were sometimes used by officers as well. Common tents could be made in a square or
rectangular form (as viewed from above) with flat-faced ends at both front and back, or with a
semicircular extension at the back to allow for equipment storage. Information on early-war
American tents is sketchy at best. Though equipment was modeled on British usage,
standardization was not a strong suit of the fledgling American army and tentage provided by
different states and contractors were of varying sizes. As the war continued, matters did not
improve. In March 1779 an officer commented on the plan of encampment found in the new
manual of discipline, noting that "the [common] Tents should be all of one size," instead of being
"larger than usual as has been the case with us." Three years later, in August 1781, Timothy
Pickering recorded, "Since the army took the field I have heard great complaints of the smallness
of the tents. The new common tents are not too big for four Men." No specific American sizes
are known for the war’s first six years. In January 1781 Continental Army "Soldiers Tent"
dimensions were set at "7 Feet Square [and] 7 Feet Height." In July 1781 Quartermaster General
Pickering stated, “Some old common tents were from 7 to 7 ½ feet square on the ground.” He
also related that, "A common, or soldier's tent should be at least 7 feet square, larger a little if it
happens to suit the brea[d]th of the cloath."21
For materials needed to construct such a tent we have three differing accounts: On 10 October
1776 the Connecticut Assembly resolved "That each Tent ordered to be made by this Assembly...
shall contain the quantity of twenty-seven yards of cloth, one yard wide, or equal thereto in cloth
of different width, well manufactured of yarn not coarser than thirty knots to the pound;" a
January 1781 document listed "18 yards Duck," "2 1/2 D[itt]o Oznaburgs," and "2 1/2 Fathoms
Cord"; six months later the fabric required was given as twenty-four yards of linen duck. The "2
1/2 Fathoms" (15 feet) of cord in the January 1781 document may have been used for tent peg
loops or flap (doorway) ties.22
Despite chronic problems, by 1781 standards had been set for the sizes and types of tents to be
used by the Continental Army. The most commonly used were common tents for the rank and
file, horseman's and wall tents (usually for staff and company officers), and marquee tents (for
generals and field officers). Several other variations, such as bell, half-wall, and square tents,
were used to a lesser degree.23
Horseman’s and Cavalry Tents. Horseman's tents were preferred for late-war company officers,
and second in numbers used. They were described in July 1781 as "about 9 feet broad [and]
contains four breaths of cloth so as to make it about ten feet or upwards, in length, & the walls
are from three to three & a half & four feet high." Again we have two different material lists.
One required "56 Yards Duck," "13 D[itt]o Webb," "4 1/2 Do Oznaburgs," "28 Fathom Cord,"
"30 Hooks & Eyes," and "1 lb Twine;" the other document merely stipulated thirty-three yards of
duck. Writing in summer 1781, Timothy Pickering made suggestions concerning the size of
these tents. "Perhaps this information may come too late, but so far as it shall be practicable to
conform to it, without a waste of materials ... should any of the Cloth be of such breath as
advantageously to make Horseman's tents of any size, from eight to ten feet in length, and from
eight to nine feet in breath, they may be so made. One such tent will serve a Captain, & his two
subalterns, as well as a full size'd one will four Officers. Many (I believe most) of the walls of
the new wall & horseman's tents, & even some of the Marque's have been made of one breath of
Cloth running all round: but this is much disapproved of: they never look well when pitched nor
are they so strong as when the length of the Cloth is up & down — the numerous seams gives
strength to the tent."24
Before continuing, one point requires clarification. Figure 4 shows a British cavalry tent, while
Figure 5 pictures the end view of an American horseman's tent. These are actually two different tent
types. When Lochee stipulated "dimensions for the infantry [tents]” he noted, “those for the cavalry
are of the same form, but more spacious, especially behind, to contain the fire arms, accoutrements,
saddles, bridles, &c." Cavalry tents held five troopers. In calculating the ground needed for two
rows of soldiers' tents Lochee stated, "the length of a tent is 9 feet," thus allowing two feet for the
extension or "bell" at the rear of the tent, used for equipment storage. He also notes under camps for
cavalry that the depth needed "for pitching a horseman's tent" is three yards, i.e., the length of
cavalry tents is also nine feet, the difference likely being a greater width and more commodious
storage area at the rear. Here is where the intermixing of terms poses a problem. Lochee uses both
"cavalry tent" and "horseman's tent" to describe what is essentially a slightly larger soldier's tent.
Continental Army horseman's tents were actually larger, rectangular in shape, with three to four foot
vertical walls at the sides.25
Tents "for the cavalry are of the same form [as common tents], but are more
spacious, especially behind, to contain the fire arms, accoutrements, saddles,
bridles, &c." British “cavalry” tents differed greatly from horseman’s tents
used in the War for Independence.
View of a “cavalry” tent from above. Lewis Lochee, An Essay on
Castrametation (London, 1778), 2-3.

Drawing and dimensions of a horseman's tent, 7 1/2 feet high by 9 feet wide with a
3-foot wall. "Construction of Tents Dimensions & [height?] Jany. 1. 1781,"
Miscellaneous Numbered Records (The Manuscript File) in the War Department
Collection of Revolutionary War Records 1775-1790s, no. 31492 (National Archives
Microfilm Publication M859, reel 111), U.S. War Department Collection of
Revolutionary War Records, Record Group 93, National Archives.
Wall Tents. Wall tents were sometimes used in lieu of horseman's tents. Described as "a soldiers
tent with walls from 2 1/2 to 3 feet high," they were manufactured from fifty yards of linen duck.
In July 1781 Pickering explained that "in ordering so many wall tents, & so few horseman's
tents, I intended to have provided for the better accommodation of the Officers, by giving a
Captain one to himself, & his subalterns one between them but many wall tents have been made
so small the Officers disapprove of them exceedingly & say they had rather have one horseman's
tent among four than two wall tents to three Officers." The "half wall tent" was similar, being "a
soldiers tent with low walls, say 18 or 20 Inches high." A January 1781 document called this a
"Noncommissioned Officers tent," noting it to be "the same as a soldiers, only with a 14 inch
wall."26

Illustration of a wall tent from Francis Grose's Military Antiquities, Respecting
a History of the British Army. Four tents used during the war were similar:
Horseman's tents had "walls ... from three to three & a half [to]... four feet
high."; The wall tent was "a soldiers tent with walls from 2 1/2 to 3 feet high...";
A "half wall tent" was "a soldiers tent with low walls, say 18 or 20 Inches high.";
and the "Noncommissioned Officers tent" was "the same as a soldiers, only with
a 14 inch wall." Harold L. Peterson, The Book of the Continental Soldier
(Harrisburg: Stackpole, 1968), 154. Francis Grose, Military Antiquities,
Respecting a History of the British Army (London, 1801), 2: 11, 28-40.
Coldstream Guards sergeant’s wall tent, Netherlands, circa 1748 (Thomas Sandby, artist. Courtesy of George
Woodbridge; description from Sandby Drawings at Windsor Castle, A.P. Oppe (London, 1947) 47, item 156.)
The ridge scallops are painted alternating colors (2 red, 2 blue, 2 red, etc.). Not shown are the privates’ tents
behind this wall tent; those are numbered 1 B No. 2, 1 B No.3, etc.

Marquees. A marquee was a large tent reserved for the use of regimental field officers (colonel,
lieutenant colonel, and major) and general officers, and made in many different sizes. Humphrey
Bland suggested the following dimensions for marquees (“Captains and Subalterns tents”) in his
1762 manual Treatise of Military Discipline:27

Feet. Inch.
Len[g]th of the ridge pole 7 8
Height of the standard poles 8
Length from front to rear between the half-walls of 14
the marquise
Breadth of the marquise between the half-walls 10 6
Height of the half-walls of a marquise 4

Bland also noted that "The Lieutenant-Colonel's, and Major's tents, [to be] about a foot
larger.... The dimensions here given for the Officers tents, may be thought by some too small;
and if they were only to encamp in Hide-Park, I should be of the same opinion; but let those
gentlemen who think so, only make one real campaign, and I am convinced, they will wish them
rather of a less size than a greater.” Both senior and some junior officers used small marquees.
Resorting to field modification, in June 1776 New Jersey Captain Joseph Bloomfield was,
"engaged in altering my Tent to a Markee." Four days later: "Pitched my Tent now converted
into a Markee." Although the captain did not say, his new marquee had probably started out as a
horseman’s or wall tent.28
An officer's marquee. Peterson, The Book of the Continental Soldier. Originally
found in Francis Grose, Military Antiquities, Respecting a History of the British
Army (London, 1801), 11, 28-40.

Continental Army specifications (January 1781) show a large marquee tent, nine feet four
inches in height, with a center section (ridge) of nine feet four inches. A semicircular extension
at either end measured eight feet six inches, sloping from the end of the ridge at the top down to
a four-foot-high wall. The depth of the tent (front to back) was nine feet four inches. Materials
needed were given as "50 yards Duck," "6 D[itt]o. Oznaburgs," "26 Do. Webb," "36 Fathom
Cord," ten or eighteen "Doz[en] Hooks & Eyes," and "1 1/4 lb Twine." A June 1781 "Acct. of
Duck deliver'd the Tent Makers & of Tents received" listed one marquee as requiring one
hundred and seventy one yards of linen duck.29
Quartermaster General Thomas Mifflin stated in May 1777 that 4,035 tents had been
manufactured (probably common tents), but only thirty-three marquees. He noted, "It is
impossible to gratify the Officers with Marquees at this Time—they must fair as British Officers
frequently fair—ie—put up with good [horseman's or common] Tents." While supplies of these
tents improved in the ensuing years, it is likely demand was never fully satisfied. Timothy
Pickering to Aaron Forman, June 1781, "I wrote you on the 12th. to forward with the utmost
dispatch to Kings ferry all the tents and camp kettles at Morristown, except so many as were
requisite for the Jersey troops. At the same time mentioning the allowance to be made them. I
now find that there is at present with the 1st. [New Jersey] Regt. only a Major, the other field
officers being at the southward. This being the case no marquee is to be issued for that regt. and
only one for the other: an expected supply of tents may hereafter enable me to make a farther
allowance." Just prior to the 1782 campaigning season, the quartermaster general informed Peter
Anspach of the tents available to the army, including marquees. 26 June 1782, "The number of
tents which... appear to be on hand is greatly short of last winters estimate ... By the returns of
Col. Hughes and the Q.Masters of brigades (exclusive of the York & Jersey lines & all the corps
southward of them) there appeared to be 24 marquees—5 horseman's tents —147 wall tents — &
2613 common tents — all returned good or repairable, including, besides, in these numbers, only
2 marquees — 5 horseman's tents — & 17 common tents at Rhode Island & Morristown....
Those tents which the York & Jersey lines turned into Mr. Forman are not included in the
above." It is notable that this is one of the few returns showing considerably more wall tents that
horseman’s tents.30
Reproduction of Gen. George Washington’s sleeping marquee, joint project of Colonial
Williamsburg and the Museum of the American Revolution.
The First Oval Office, https://www.facebook.com/FirstOvalOffice?fref=ts
Below: Showing the interior sleeping chamber.
A February 1783 accounting "of Marquees and Tents delivered to the Army for the Campaign
[of] 1782" gives a good idea of shelters used by Washington's army at Verplanck's Point, New
York, their last large encampment (Table 1).31

Table 1. (February 1783)
Horseman's Common
Marquees & Wall Tents Tents
Unit Delivered Delivered Delivered
New Jersey Brigade 3 34 126
New York Brigade 1 37 171
1st Connecticut Brigade 6 68 310
2nd Connecticut Brigade 3 46 314
1st Massachusetts Brigade 6 84 327
2nd Massachusetts Brigade 7 58 288
3rd Massachusetts Brigade 5 52 295
10th Massachusetts Regiment 2 25 149
New Hampshire Brigade 3 19 149
Corps of Light Infantry - 20 43
Artillery 3 50 182
Maryland Detachment - 6 52
Sappers & Miners - 4 28
Commander in Chief and Guards 6 - 19
Totals 45 503 2453

Bell Tents for Sheltering Arms. Bell tents were among the least-used in the Continental Army.
Intermittently issued, their basic purpose was "to shelter the fire arms of the infantry from rain."
The absence of bell tents meant that soldiers had to house "their Arms Accoutts. Knapsacks &c."
with them in their own tents, or leave them exposed to the elements. Exact numbers used during
the war are not known, but they are intermittently mentioned. In the summer of 1775 each
company of two Virginia Continental regiments were to be issued "one bell tent." Regimental
orders for the 2nd Georgia Battalion at Savannah, 7 July 1777 required the “Quarter Master …
Immediately to procure as much raven duck as will make a Bell Tent for each Company large
enough to contain all their Arms, those [tents, along] with a Light Ammunition waggon and two
handy Chests for Cartridges he is to have made without loss of time.”32
Top and side views of a bell tent used "to shelter the fire arms of the infantry
from rain." On the right is the supporting pole or "standard." Lewis Lochee, An
Essay on Castrametation (London, 1778), 5; Harold L. Peterson, The Book of the
Continental Soldier (Harrisburg: Stackpole, 1968), 155. Illustration by Ross
Hamel. Image below from Francis Grose, Military Antiquities respecting a History
of the English Army, from the Conquest to the present Time, (London: For T.
Egerton. 1801; first edition published 1786)

One year later, the General Washington's 13 June 1778 army order stipulated that,
"Commanding Officers of Regiments are to pay particular attention that the Arms be properly
disposed in the Bell-Tents. The Musquets by being leaned against the Canvas covering instead of
the Rack wear it out and are exposed to the Rain." The same day Brigadier General William
Maxwell was informed of a shipment of supplies for his New Jersey brigade. Not all the
promised equipment would be forthcoming, however, since "Mr. Meiss had packed up some bell
tents in a large box, but they could not be carried." These tents may have been part of a general
issue to the army at Valley Forge. That autumn orders for the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment
directed "the soldiers ... to Put their arms in the best order Possible by evening, the Major expects
the Bill [bell] tents will be Properly pitched, & Sticks put across to keep the arms from Laying
against the tent." A May 1781 letter shows that providing cover for the men's arms was not a
primary concern. "The Distant prospect of a supply of new Tents for the army and the near
Approach of the Campaign require the greatest Oconomy as well as Dispatch in causing as many
as possible of the old Tents to be repaired. To enable you to accomplish this the more extensively
the QM Genl. directs that the Bell Tents may be applied in repairing the common [tents], the
whole of them if wanted for that purpose."33

Interior of a bell tent. Was ist jedem Off icier waehrend eines Feldzugs zu wissen
noethig (trans., "What it is necessary for each officer to know during a
campaign") (Carlsruhe, 1788).

Dome, Square, and Hospital Tents. Several other tents merit description, despite the
infrequency of their use. The first is an oddly shaped structure, rarely, if ever, used. Called a
"Doome [dome] Tent" in the one document where it is pictured, no other documentary
information is available concerning this specimen. There is at least one painting that seems to
show dome tents. Joseph Blackburn’s portrait of British Guards colonel Thomas Dowdeswell
pictures two likely looking tents to the subject’s left background.34
Another type, probably used for a special purpose, was the "Square Tent." Materials required
for this tent included, "46 yards Duck," "3 1/2 D[itt]o Webb," "3 1/2 Do Oznaburgs," "18 1/2
Fathom Cord," "2/3 lb Twine," and "12 Hooks & Eyes." According to the only known
illustration a square tent was merely the center section of a marquee with a flat canvas face at
each end (i.e., minus the sloped extensions on the ends of a marquee tent). As per January 1781
specifications dimensions were be nine feet four inches in height, a length of fourteen feet six
inches, with a four foot high wall front and back. The depth of the tent (front to back) was nine
feet four inches.35
The shelter referred to as a "Hospital" tent in an "Estimate of Articles Necessary for 6000 Men
for 12 Months" (2 March 1779) may have been a square tent. A 1781 "Estimate of Tents and
Knapsacks for the Main Army" noted the need for five hospital tents to serve the army overall.
Two 1781 camp equipage estimates for infantry and artillery regiments stipulated three wall tents
for each "Regimental Hospital." (Another estimate for a regiment of cavalry allowed two wall
tents for that purpose.) Thus, regimental hospital tentage and that used for the general hospital
were different.36
"Doome [dome] Tent," an unusual tent which probably saw little, if any, service.
"Construction of Tents Dimensions & [height?] Jany. 1. 1781," Miscellaneous Numbered
Records (The Manuscript File) in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War
Records 1775-1790s, no. 31492 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M859, reel
111), U.S. War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, Record Group 93,
NA.

Colonel Thomas Dowdeswell, 1776–1777, by Joseph Blackburn.
Guards Museum, London. What appear to be dome tents may be seen in the background.
In 1782 standards were set concerning tents for the general hospital. The "Estimate for a
hospital tent 26 feet long and 15 feet wide" stipulated they be "made of Raven's duck, in the
fashion of horseman's tents, with walls." Materials required were, "155 yards duck," "12 lbs
line," “4 lbs twine," an unknown quantity of "buttons," and "slippers 2 1/2 dozen." "If a fly of
Ravens duck be added to the tent above described it will require 84 yds." and extra twine. "If the
tent above described be shortened 6 feet, & made without a fly, it will require 125 yds. of
Raven's duck."37
Timothy Pickering discussed hospital tents in July 1782, reiterating that those "required by Dr.
Craik for the general hospital, were 26 feet in length, and 15 feet in width, made in the fashion of
American horseman's tents." Pickering then gave the cost of "1 tent made of Raven's duck of the
above dimensions" and "the same tent made with a fly," noting that "if the tent cloth be of
Ravens duck, flies may be omitted." The quarter master general then evaluated a 26 foot long
hospital tent, "1 such tent only 20 feet in length... [and] 1 such tent only 16 feet long." "A tent of
the first dimensions [26 feet] will cover 20 sick men — a tent of the second dimensions will
cover 16 sick men, and a tent of the last dimensions will cover 12 sick men. It remains to be
determined what species shall be chosen, or whether tents of any other dimensions will be
preferable for the regimental hospitals."38

Drawing and dimensions of a marquee and "Square Tent." On the left is shown
the extension for the marquee; to the right is a representation and dimensions for
the end of a square tent. Also included in this document are material lists and
dimensions for horseman's, soldier's, and noncommissioned officer's tents.
"Construction of Tents Dimensions & [height?] Jany. 1. 1781," Miscellaneous
Numbered Records (The Manuscript File) in the War Department Collection of
Revolutionary War Records 1775-1790s, no. 31492 (National Archives Microfilm
Publication M859, reel 111), U.S. War Department Collection of Revolutionary
War Records, Record Group 93, NA.
Fly tents. This illustrates the form of the flys mentioned for hospital tents in
1782. Peterson, The Book of the Continental Soldier, 154. Originally found in
Francis Grose, Military Antiquities, Respecting a History of the British Army
(London, 1801), 2: 11, 28-40.

French Tents. Two other types were "French common" and "French horseman's" tents, numbers
of the former having been used to cover American troops in 1782. By examining French tents we
can place into context the complement of soldiers assigned to a tent in British and American
armies of the period. According to Lochee's Essay, "In the French and German service, each tent
serves for seven or eight men, and sometimes even for nine." We shall see below uncertainty
expressed over the number they held.39
Quartermaster General Thomas Mifflin first mentioned French tents in a 27 May 1777
recounting of supplies. He noted having "on hand at Philada 500 Tents exclusive of 500 Tents
imported from France & hourly expected from [Senepuxent?]." Nothing is known of the size of
these tents or the number of men they sheltered. Five years later "Extracts from the latest returns
relative to the number of Tents & ca on hand for the campaign 1782" (8 February), listed 200
horseman's tents and 800 common tents "arrived with Colo. Laurens from France." 40
As to the 1782 horseman’s tents, Quartermaster General Pickering wrote Peter Anspach on 6
April, “If the French horseman's tents have no walls, they can be added when they get here." By
June 14th Pickering had received certain word that the tents did indeed lack walls: "… Mr. Morris
has consented to the purchase of ticklenburgh or other coarse linen to make walls for the French
Horseman's tents, of which I reckon you have & will have 109, and if an additional quantity of
suitable stuff can be met with, it shall be forwarded to make walls to a number of the French
common tents, which is my resource to supply the unexpected deficiency of horseman's tents."
Several days later he assured Anspach, “You will also be in some measure relieved in respect to
horseman's tents, when linen for walls shall reach you to alter the French [common] tents."41
French common tents served a large portion of the Continental Army in 1782, some
particulars of which were discussed in a series of correspondence. A document concerning the
"Establishment of the legion commanded by Coll. Armand Marquis de la Rouerie" (13 February
1782) listed camp equipage necessary for thirty-three commissioned and staff officers, and 362
noncommissioned officers and privates. Armand included in his requirements one marquee, ten
horseman's tents, and thirty common tents. He remarked, "This estimate is indeed very moderate.
The 30 common tents will be insufficient unless they are made very large, like the French
soldiers tents. An advantage will arise from hence. Two large tents that will cover 18 men [at
nine men per tent] will take a less quantity of materials than three small tents that will only cover
the same number of men [at six men to a tent]... Half the legion is to consist of dragoons, who
must have cover for their saddles & accoutrements; which circumstances renders it still more
necessary to make the common tents very large." The estimate was approved on 16 February
1782.42
Interior view of a mid-eighteenth century French nine-man common tent showing soldiers'
sleeping arrangements. Late in the war Continental Army units used numbers of similar
size French tents. (Note that the men sleep covered by their regimental coats, and with their
feet inside their knapsacks. Unlike those operating in North America, European armies
were often not issued blankets.) M. le Maréchal de Puysegur, Art de la guerre par principes
et par regles (Paris, 1748). Courtesy of André Gousse, Military Curator, Parks Canada.

The actual size of French soldier’s tents remains unclear. Quartermaster General Pickering
added to the uncertainty, noting on April 6th, "Three marquees, seventy horseman's tents, and
two hundred common tents, are wanted to be sent to the southern army but none ought to be
transported so far that are not new or as good as new.... If the French tents are arrived from
Boston, I apprehend there will be no difficulty in getting the number of horseman's tents
required: and if 200 good common tents equal, or nearly equal to new ones, cannot be found, the
deficiency may be made of the French common tents, allowing one of the latter (which will
cover twelve men [in fact they held eight]) as equal to two of ours.” Unfortunately Pickering had
been misinformed as to the size of the tents: 26 June 1782, "… Col. Hughes informed me that the
repairable tents in his stores would fall short of his return: but still depending on Genl. Lincoln's
information respecting the French tents (that each would cover 12 men) I presumed we should
have enough ... when I found he had mistook their size, I could not for want of money attempt to
remedy any deficiency.”43
A 12 August 1782 "Return of Camp Equipage" listed the tents actually on hand, as well as
numbers wanting to complete several brigades and small units of Washington's main army. The
units listed were: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Massachusetts Brigades; 1st and 2nd Connecticut Brigades; the
New York and New Jersey Brigades; and the 10th Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Crane's 3rd
Artillery Regiment, Moodie's Artillery Company, and the Corps of Sappers and Miners. Most
commands had standard common tents as well as French tents to house the enlisted men. All units
had more of the former tent than the latter; the 2nd Massachusetts Brigade was typical, with ninety-
nine common tents holding six soldiers each and eighty-three French tents with an eight-man
capacity. 44
So, what was the likely size of the late-war Continental Army French soldier’s tents? Colonel
Armand stated such tents would cover nine men, while those listed in the August 1782 American
return held eight. These figures agrees with Lewis Lochee's statement that in "the French and
German service, each tent serves for seven or eight men, and sometimes even for nine." 45
By contrast historian André Gousse informs us the 1753 French army regulations give
soldier’s tent dimensions as 83 inches wide, 72.5 inches high, 86 inches long at the sides, and
with a bell 46 inches deep. Mr. Gousse goes on to say the “regulations specified that there would
be 5 tents for each fusilier company of 40 men, and 6 tents for each grenadier company of 45
men. This works to about 8 men per tent. Earlier tents were made to accommodate 9 men … In
New France, there were 8 and 10 men tents.” He also notes that tent dimensions may have been
altered by the time of the American Revolution.46
Overview. To round out this installment of campaign shelter we will look at tents available to the
army in 1780 and 1782 and try to discern late-war trends. This exercise is especially interesting
since by that time in the war commanders had settled on the tent types most useful to the field army.
A "Return of Marquees and Tents in the Q[uarte]r. M[aste]r. Genl. Department," dated 1 March
1780, notes numbers and condition of tents at various repositories under the auspices of Deputy
Quarter Master General Udney Hay. Listed as fit for service were four marquees, one hundred forty
nine horseman's tents, four wall tents, one thousand seven hundred fifty common tents, eighty-four
bell tents, and seven "Hospital Tents." Repairable were one marquee, forty-nine horseman's tents,
twelve wall tents, and three hundred eighty two common tents. Condemned articles totaled five
horseman's tents, three wall tents, and one hundred forty common tents. The largest numbers were
held at Fishkill and Fishkill landing, with smaller quantities at Newburg, West Point, Continental
Village, and Kings Ferry.47
Five days later another return was generated listing "Tents in possession of James Abeel, Esqr.
D.Q.Mr.G." Abeel noted as "Repaired and fit for service," twenty five horseman's tents, six wall
tents, one hundred thirty two bell tents, and three hundred and four common tents. One hundred
seventeen horseman's tents, twenty six wall tents, and one thousand and twenty common tents were
repairable. Listed as "Rotten and condemned" were five marquees, twelve wall tents, eleven
horseman's tents, and five hundred eighty seven common tents. James Abeel remarked on the
bottom of this document, "The Tents we repair will serve one Campaign, as I have given orders to
repair none but such as will serve a Campaign. The above Tents have been delivered and received
[into storage] from the Army."48
To provide a context for the above returns let us look at records for two tent types from other
periods of the war. Spring 1777 saw one of the first attempts to address American officers'
campaign housing on a large scale. From Morristown, General Washington wrote Brigadier General
Alexander McDougall on 25 April, "I am so well convinced of the Justice of your remark upon the
necessity of Officers being constantly in the Field with their Men, that I shall order a Sufficient
Number of Horseman's Tents or small Marque[e]s for the Officers, they will then have no excuse
for absence, except want of Health." While British company and field officers likely continued to
use small marquee tents throughout the American Revolution, horseman's tents remained the
preferred shelter for Continental Army officers below field grade after 1777. It is also interesting to
note that in 1779-80 bell tents, used to house firearms, were present in relatively large numbers. Bell
tents were often superfluous items in an army facing supply difficulties; in 1781 they were being
sacrificed to repair other tentage, "the whole of them if wanted for that purpose."49
We have seen that canvas covering for the troops, from simple common tents to ornate
officers' marquees, formed an important part of an army's military equipage. As with dimensions
and design, the distribution of tents within a military force could vary from country to country.
Further, supply of camp equipage was affected by the economy, the competence (or ineptitude)
of the quartermaster's department and contractors, proximity to the enemy, and general military
situation, and soldiers suffered or benefited accordingly. Tent apportionment, supply, and
transportation will be examined in the next chapter of this series.
Gen. George Washington’s sleeping marquee, set up at Valley Forge in the early 20th century. It is
now in the collections of the Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Commanding officer’s marquee at the spring 1781 camp of the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment. Detail
from Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of Col. Walter Stewart. Edward W. Richardson, Standards
and Colors of the American Revolution (Philadelphia, Pa., 1982), 219.
For Continental Army tent returns:
Resource File: Examples of Continental Army Camp Equipage and Vehicle Returns, 1775-1781
(John U. Rees) http://www.scribd.com/doc/223095304/Resource-File-Examples-of-Continental-
Army-Camp-Equipage-and-Vehicle-Returns-1776-1781-John-U-Rees

For more articles by this author see:
World of the Common Soldier
https://www.scribd.com/doc/236104178/World-of-the-Common-Soldier-Comprehensive-list-of-
articles-and-monographs-by-John-U-Rees-updated-August-6-2014
Acknowledgements
A number of people deserve recognition for their contributions to this study. Linnea Bass, Chuck Beale,
Ted Filer, Stephen Gilbert, Justin Grabowski, Don N. Hagist, Charles LeCount, Donald Londahl-Smidt,
Roy Najecki, Steve Rayner, John K. Robertson, Will Tatum, and Gregory Theberge all supplied
important information, images, or much-needed advice. André Gousse, Military Curator, Parks Canada,
kindly gave me information on, and period illustrations of, 18th century French tents. James Kochan first
made me aware of Timothy Pickering's 1781 letter concerning problems with tents and size
specifications, and contributed other pertinent documents. Illustrations are always important but
sometimes difficult to obtain. Ross Hamel has been a good and patient friend as well as a superb artist,
and Marko Zlatich provided the 1781 sketches and specifications for several types of tents used by the
Continental Army as well as additional primary material on the subject. Finally, Dr. David Fowler and the
David Library of the American Revolution have again proven to be an invaluable resource, providing
crucial support and encouragement for my research and writing. My thanks to all.

Two of four Continental soldiers drawn in 1781 by French Sublieutenant Jean-Baptiste-Antoine de Verger,
Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment. The soldier on the left has long been thought to be from the Rhode Island
Regiment of 1781, that on the right of Hazen’s Canadian Regiment. Another version, found in French officer
Baron Ludwig von Closen’s journal, is headed “Costumer de l’Armé Américaine en 1782.” Closen’s copy
notes that the left-hand soldier belongs to a Massachusetts Continental regiment, that on the right a New
Jersey regiment. Howard C. Rice and Anne S.K. Brown, eds. and trans., The American Campaigns of
Rochambeau's Army 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, vol. I (Princeton, N.J. and Providence, R.I.,: Princeton University
Press, 1972), between pages 142-143 (description on page xxi). Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown
University.
A. Illustrations of French Tents

Side, overhead, and quarter views. The illustrations showing the tent from three sides, the tent pole
and the tent peg are from: M. de la Porterie, Institutions militaires (Paris, 1754).
Denis Diderot, Encyclopédie, Ou Dictionnaire Raisonné Des Sciences, Des Arts et Des Métier, 428

Using the scale (each French pied or “foot” is 12.86 English inches), the length of the pictured tent
is roughly 10.7 feet, bell to door.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_of_measurement_in_France_before_the_French_Revolution
French tents with an eight or nine man capacity were used by the Continental Army in 1782. “Plan
pour faire voir la manier dont neuf Soldats sont couchez sous une tente.”(Translation, "A plan to
show the way in which nine soldiers sleep in a tent."), M. le Maréchal de Puysegur, Art de la guerre
par principes et par regles (Paris, 1748), plate 10. Approximate tent dimensions: width, 9 feet 11
inches; length (from door to beginning of rear extension), 9 feet 8 inches; extension (bell) depth, 3
feet 5 ½ inches (1 pied = 12 7/8 inches). French tent illustrations and information courtesy of André
Gousse, Military Curator, Parks Canada. Plate description translation and French measurements
courtesy of Robert A. Selig.
B. The Common Tent as Illustrated in a German Treatise
Illustrations from Was ist jedem Officier waehrend eines Feldzugs zu wissen noethig (trans., "What it
is necessary for each officer to know during a campaign") (Carlsruhe, 1788) Mit zehen
Kupferplatten (trans. "with ten copper plates"), plan 5.

Side view---

Front view—
Plan (Overhead ) view—

Common tent interior showing sleeping arrangements for six soldiers and camp
equipage (kettle, canteen and hatchet) at the rear.

Supporting poles—
C. How to fold a Common Tent for Transport (from a German Treatise)
Illustrations from Heinrich Medicus, Was ist jedem Officier waehrend eines Feldzugs zu wissen
noethig. Mit zehen Kupferplatten (Carlsruhe, 1788). (Trans., "What it is necessary for each officer to
know during a campaign") (Carlsruhe, 1788) Mit zehen Kupferplatten (trans. "with ten copper
plates"), plan 5. See also, Stephen Gilbert and Radford Polinsky, “Applying Tent Markings,” The
Brigade Dispatch, vol. XXIX, no. 3 (Autumn 1999).

Step 1: Lay the tent flat, bell to the left, front flaps to the right-

Step 2: Fold the bell from the left, and flaps from the right, making a rectangle—

Step 3: Fold the bottom edge to the middle, and top edge down to meet the bottom edge—
Step 4: fold the left and right ends into the middle—

Step 5: disassemble the tent poles—

Step 6: bundle the poles and ropes--

Step 7: place the bundled poles in the center of the tent and roll, tying with one of the ropes--
D. Interior Views of Common Tents: Sleeping Arrangements in Three Armies

"A Scene of the Camp on Hampden Green,” 1731 (unattributed, Scottish United Services
Museum). The image above depicts two men erecting a wedge tent. A set of upright and ridgepoles
stand in the background, showing the tent’s supporting structure. The interior view (below) shows
four men lying on a bed of straw. Their hats are visible in tent’s rear extension.

Interior view of a mid-eighteenth century French nine-man common tent showing soldiers'
sleeping arrangements. Late in the war Continental Army units used numbers of similar
size French tents. (Note that the men sleep covered by their regimental coats, and with their
feet inside their knapsacks. Unlike those operating in North America, European armies
were often not issued blankets.) M. le Maréchal de Puysegur, Art de la guerre par principes
et par regles (Paris, 1748). Courtesy of André Gousse, Military Curator, Parks Canada.
Overhead view of common tent interior from a German military manual, showing sleeping
arrangements for six soldiers and camp equipage (kettle, canteen and hatchet) at the rear. Heinrich
Medicus, Was ist jedem Officier waehrend eines Feldzugs zu wissen noethig. Mit zehen Kupferplatten
(Carlsruhe, 1788) (trans., "What it is necessary for each officer to know during a campaign. With ten
copper plates")
E. A Melange of Marquees: Additional Images of Officers’ Tents

From Lewis Lochee, An Essay on Castrametation (London, 1778).
Plate description below.
From Lewis Lochee, An Essay on Castrametation (London, 1778).
Plate description above.

"An officer's marquis," Francis Grose, Military Antiquities respecting a History of the English Army,
from the Conquest to the present Time, (London: For T. Egerton. 1801; first edition published 1786)
"A field officer's marquis. His servant's tent in the rear."

"One of a very modern construction, chiefly calculated for subalterns; the door by being placed in
the centre of the side, leaves an area between the beds which are placed at each end."
"A captain's tent or marquis with a chimney."

"A captain's marquis shewn in a different point of view."
Laboratory tent for artillery. While not an officer’s tent, this has been included as a form of
“square tent,” similar to those used as Continental Army hospital tents. Francis Grose,
"Military Antiquities Respecting a History of the British Army". First published 1786, this
is from the 1801 edition.

Marquee and common soldiers’ tent, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Detail from Edward Hicks,
"North Aspect of Halifax," 1781. The marquee could have indeed been small, or the artist
may have had difficulty with perspective and scale. (Courtesy of Steve Rayner)
http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayEcopies
&lang=eng&rec_nbr=2837514&rec_nbr_list=2896531%2C2896558%2C2837921%2C28375
14%2C2895892&title=North+Aspect+of+Halifax%2C.+&ecopy=c011213k
F. Encampment Plans: Continental Army, Hessian, and British
1. Friedrich Wilhelm de Steuben, Regulations for the Order and Discipline of
the Troops of the United States Part I. (Philadelphia, Pa.: Styner and Cist,
1779)
PLATE VII
(Above and below) Continental Army encampment from Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of
Pennsylvania Col. Walter Stewart. The pictured camp was likely sketched in spring 1781, when the
Pennsylvania regiments were stationed in Lancaster, Pa. (Peale’s bill for the camp sketch was dated
23 May 1781). Edward W. Richardson, Standards and Colors of the American Revolution
(Philadelphia, Pa., 1982), 219.
2. “A Correct View of the Hessian Camp on Barton Farm near Winchester …
by Willm. Godson, Land Surveyor to the Right Worshipful the Corporation of
Winchester occupé le 16 Juillet 1756”
Below are images of the Hessian encampment near Winchester, England, 1756-1757. Hessian
troops, 7,323 strong, were brought to England in 1756 as auxiliary forces guarding against a
feared French invasion, and stayed through the winter. As noted in Robert Wright’s Life of
Major-General James Wolfe,

Eight regiments of Hessian auxiliaries, commanded by Count d'Isembourg, landed at
Southampton on the 15th of May [1756]. They are described as making "a fine appearance, being
generally straight, tall, and slender. Their uniform is blue, turned up with red and laced with
white; and their hair, plaited behind, hangs down to the waist. They are quartered in all the
neighbouring towns, and observe the most exact discipline." (Scots Magazine, May, 1756.) Later
in the year, the innkeepers refusing to give them quarters, the Hessians built huts to contain sixty
men each, and in the middle of every hut was a large fire, around which they sat. In December,
however, they were again quartered in various parts of the country. ('Gentleman's Magazine'
(1756), pp. 544,592.)

Robert Wright, The Life of Major-General James Wolfe: Founded on Original Documents and
Illustrated by his Correspondence (London: Chapman and Hall, 1864), 348-349.

Mark Wishon, German Forces and the British Army: Interactions and Perceptions, 1742-1815
(Basingstoke, U.K.: Palgrave Macmilllan, 2013), 87-88.

The engravings with explanations appear on the following pages.
“An Explanation of the Regiment of Granadiers”
A The Quarter Guard P The Colonel’s Tent
B The Lines of Parade Q The Major’s Tent
C The Bells of Armes R The Adjutant
D The Colours and Drums S The Quarter Master’s Tent
EFGH The whole Incampment of the Serjeants & Privates Tents T The Chaplain’s Tent
I The Streets of the Battalion U The Band of Music’s Tent with Tents
KL The Line of Subaltern’s Tents, viz. Ensigns & Lieutenants for servants in the same line
M The Street between ye Subaltern and Captains’ Tents W The Line of Waggons with
N The Line of Captain’s Tents Horses between the Waggons
O The Lieutenant Colonel’s Tent X The Rear Guard
Y Kitchens cutt in the Ground
NB. The Tents in the other Regiment are the same therefore
need no further Explanation
“An Explanation of the Corps of Artillery”
a The Quarter Guard
b The Line of Parade
c The Bell of Armes
efgh The whole Incampment of Serjeant’s & Private Men’s Tent
with Two Lines of Waggons & 16 Cannon in the Front
i The Street
kl The Line of Subaltern Tents
m The Captain’s Tents
n The Colonels Tent and o the Kitchens

pqrst are sites used for Sunday morning religious services
uwxyz are where daily evening religious services were held
3. Lewis Lochee, An Essay on Castrametation (London, 1778)
(British treatise on tents and encampments.)
https://www.scribd.com/doc/262114106/Lewis-Lochee-An-Essay-on-Castrametation-
London-1778
PLATE V
Artillery Park, Fort Ligonier, Ligonier, Pennsylvania
PLATE VII
4. Humphrey Bland, A treatise of military discipline: in which is laid down and
explained the duty of the officer and soldier, through the several branches of the
service. The 8th edition revised, corrected, and altered to the present practice of
the army (London: B. Law and T. Caslon, 1762), 291-294.
“… the particulars form the encamping of a Battalion of foot of nine Companies, of
seventy-three men each, rank and file …
Yards
For pitching three double rows of tents, at six 18
yards each
For pitching three single rows, at three yards each 9
For the breadth of the grand street 25
For the breadth of the four lesser streets, at seventeen 68
yards each
Total front 120

Yards
From the side of Serjeants tent, to the 4
center of the first gun
From the center of the first gun, to the 6
center of the second
From the center of the second gun, to 20
the left of the next Regiment
Total interval 30
Total front and interval 150

Depth 320 yards, divided as follows:
Yards
From the front pole of Officer’s tent of quarter- 8
guard, to the center of the bell of arms of ditto
From the center of the bell of arms, to the parade 4
of the quarter-guard
From the parade of the quarter-guard, to the first 50
line of the parade of the Battalion
From the first line of the parade, to the center of 30
the bells of arms
From the center of the bells of arms, to the front 4
of Serjeants tents
For pitching fifteen tents, with their intervals, at 45
three yards each
From the rear of the Battalion-tents, to the front 32
of the Subalterns
From the front of the Subalterns, to the front of 21
the Captains
From the front of the Captains, to the front of 16
the Lieutenant-Colonel’s and Major’s
From the front of the Lieutenant-Colonel’s and 5
Major’s, to the front of the Colonel’s
From the front of the Colonel’s, to the front of 11
the Staff-Officers
From the front of the Staff-Officers, to the front 14
of the first row of batmen’s tents
Yards
From the first row of batmen’s tents, to the first 2
row of pickets
From the first row of pickets, to the second 12
From the second row of pickets, to the second 2
row of batmen’s tents
From the second row of batmen’s tents, to the 14
front of the grand sutler
From the front of the grand sutler, to the center 20
of the kitchens
From the center of the kitchens, to the front of 15
ordinary sutlers
From the front of ordinary sutlers, to the center of 15
the bell of arms, of the rear-guard
Total depth 320

The muzzles of the Battalion-guns, are in a line with the front of the Serjeants tents.
The rearmost of the gunners tents, are in a line with the rear of the Battalion-tents.
The Subaltern of the artillery, is in a line with the Subalterns of the Battalion.
The front-poles of the quarter-guard tents, are in a line with the front-poles of the center-
companies, and in a line with the center of their bell of arms.
The bells of arms front the poles of the Serjeants tents.
The Colours and Drums are to be placed at the head of the grand or center street of the
Battalion, and in a line with the bells of arms.
The two Companies on the right, and the Company on the left, form the three single rows; the
other Companies form the double rows.
The Lieutenant-Colonel’s, and Major’s tents, fron t the center of the streets, on the right and left
of the Battalion.
The Colonel’s tent is in the line of the grand street, facing the Colours.
The Staff-Officers front the centers of the streets, on the right and left of the grand street.
The batmens tents front towards the horses.
The grand sutler is in the rear of the Colonel.
The inner diameter of the kitchen is sixteen feet, surrounded with a trench three feet broad, and
the earth thrown inwards. – The two kitchens on the flanks, touch the outside line of the
encampment. The center kitchen is in the center of the encampment, and distant sixteen yards and
a half, from those on the right and left of it. The other kitchens are thirteen yards from center to
center.
The front-poles of the ordinary sutlers tents, or huts, are in a line with the centers of the kitchens,
allowing to each ordinary sutler, six yards in front, and eight in depth; enclosed with a trench one
foot broad, and the earth thrown inwards.
The rear-guard fronts outwards.
The front poles are in a line with the center of their bell of arms, and distant from each other six
yards.
The parade of the rear-guard is four yards from the bell of arms.
The houses of Office [i.e., sinks or latrines] for the front line, must be advanced beyond the
quarter-guard, at least fifty yards; and those for the rear line about the same distance in the rear of
the petty sutlers, and butchers.
This plan being only calculated for the encampment of a Battalion, whose Companies are
composed of no more than seventy-three rank and file, according to their usual strength in time of
peace: I shall add another, to shew the method of encampment, made use of during the present
[Seven Years] war, whil. They remain augmented to a hundred each: and as the difference between
them consists only in the quantity and division of the ground, it will be seen very plainly in the said
plan, without any repetition of the preceding explanation, which, in all other respects, will answer
for both.”
“A Battalion of foot of nine Companies, of seventy-three men each, rank and file …”
The Encampment Below is for a Battalion of Nine Companies of 100 men each
Thomas Davies, "Encampment of Guards in St. James' Park", 1780. The front of the camp
is to the left. (Courtesy of Steve Rayner)

Notes____________________________

1. Pickering to Washington, 8 February 1782, vol. 83, 72-73, Numbered Record Books
Concerning Military Operations and Service, Pay and Settlement Accounts, and Supplies in the
War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records (National Archives Microfilm
Publication M853, reel 26), Record Group 93, National Archives, Washington.
2. “Samuel Jenks, His Journall of the Campaign in 1760,” Massachusetts Historical Society,
Proceedings, XXIV (1889), 387-409, cited in Fred Anderson, A People's Army: Massachusetts
Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years' War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
1984), 95, 250. Excerpt courtesy of Steve Rayner: Captain Samuel Jenks of Chelsea,
Massachusetts, “Thirsday, 4th Sept. [1760. Six miles from Chamblee, Canada.] Last night I had
my tent pitcht & fixed so that I lay quite well... we shall soon I hope, be moueing [sic]
homeward, for it begins to be cold nights, & our oznabrig tabernacles is but poor shelter for this
cold climate.” Jenks Journal, 375.
3. Joshua Coffin, A Sketch of Newbury, Newburyport, and West Newbury, from 1625 to 1845
(Boston: Samuel G. Drake, 1845), 409.
4. Robert C. Bray and Paul E. Bushnell, eds., Diary of a Common Soldier in the American
Revolution: An Annotated Edition of the Military Journal of Jeremiah Greenman, (DeKalb:
Northern Illinois University Press, 1978), 250-251.
5. Ibid., 252.
6. Ibid., 252-254.
7. Ibid., 256-257.
8. “Saterday 15 [July 1780] we Came to the River Opersit to West point / got their at Noon [ ] /
we Lay in the open world / Sunday 16 [July] we Crosd the River to the Point / Dra[we]d
Prov[isions] and went into Tents,” 15 July 1780 journal entry, near West Point, New York,
Journal of Nahum Parker for six months service, 15th Massachusetts Regiment, 1780,
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty—Land— Warrant Application Files, (National
Archives Microfilm Publication M804, reel 1874), Records of the Veterans Administration,
Record Group 15, NA.
9. Journal of Lieutenant Samuel Shute, 2nd New Jersey Regiment, 23 July 1779, Journals of the
Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan Against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779
(Glendale, NY: Benchmark Publishing, 1970), 268-269.
10. 28 September 1777 entry, John Chilton's Diary (captain, 3rd Virginia Regiment), Keith
Family Papers, 1710-1916, Virginia Historical Societ. Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and
Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland, 1907), 23-24; Joseph Plumb Martin, Private
Yankee Doodle: A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a
Revolutionary Soldier (Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown, 1962), 217-218. For Martin's other
descriptions of sleeping without shelter see pages 47-48, 74-75, and 217-218 of his memoir.
11. Enoch Anderson, Personal Recollections of Captain Enoch Anderson, an Officer of the
Delaware Regiments in the Revolutionary War (New York: Arno Press, 1971), 39.
12. "Diary of Lieutenant James McMichael, of the Pennsylvania Line, 1776-1778," Pennsylvania
Magazine of History and Biography, 16, no. 2 (1892): 137-139.
13. William M. Dwyer, The Day is Ours! (New York: Viking, 1983), 207. Original source: The
Revolutionary Services of John Greenwood of Boston and New York, 1775-1783 (New York,
1922).
14. "Diary of Lieutenant James McMichael ... 1776-1778," PMHB, 140; Wiley Sword, Embrace
an Angry Wind—The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville (New
York: Harper Collins, 1992), 62.
15. Dwyer, The Day is Ours!, 367-368.
16. Martin, Private Yankee Doodle, 55.
17. Journal of Sergeant Andrew Kettell of Massachusetts, May 1780-March 1781, Pension Files,
NA, reel 1477.
18. Ernst Kipping and Samuel Stelle Smith, At General Howe's Side, 1776-1778 (Monmouth
Beach, NJ: Philip Freneau Press, 1974), 46; Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh, Cunninghame of
Thorntoun Papers (GD 21); Papers of Lt., later Capt, John Peebles of the 42d. Foot. 1776-1782,
incl. 13 notebooks comprising his war journal; Book no. 6, 1778 Monmouth Campaign; Samuel
Graham, "An English Officer's Account of his Services in America—1779-1781. Memoirs of
Lt.-General Samuel Graham," Historical Magazine, 9 (1865): 269.
19. Pickering to Washington, 8 February 1782, Numbered Record Books, NA, vol. 83, 72-73,
reel 26.
20. Lewis Lochee, An Essay on Castrametation (London, 1778), 1-2, 20, 38.
21. Memorandum on additions to the new manual of instruction (de Steuben's Regulations), 10
March 1779, George Washington Papers, Presidential Papers Microfilm, (Washington: 1961),
series 4, reel 56. Timothy Pickering, memorandum to Col. Humphreys, August 1781, ibid., series
4, reel 80; Timothy Pickering to Jabez Hatch, 12 July 1781, Numbered Record Books, NA, vol.
127, reel 26, 134-136. "Construction of Tents Dimensions & [height?] Jany. 1.1781,"
Miscellaneous Numbered Records (The Manuscript File) in the War Department Collection of
Revolutionary War Records 1775-1790s, no. 31492, 1971, (National Archives Microfilm
Publication M859, reel 111), U.S. War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records,
Record Group 93, NA; Pickering to Hatch (two letters, same date), 12 July 1781, Numbered
Record Books, NA, vol. 127, reel 26, 134-136, 252-253.
22. Peter Force, American Archives, series 5, vol. 3 (Washington, 1853), 452; "An Acct. of Duck
deliver'd the Tent Makers & of Tents received therefor... of Mr. Bradford to June 19, 1781,"
Misc. Numbered Records, NA, no. 22836, reel 79.
23. General orders, 27 May 1779, John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington
from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745-1799, vol. 15 (Washington: GPO, 1936), 162-163).
24. Pickering to Hatch, 12 July 1781, Numbered Record Books, NA, vol. 127, reel 26, 134-136;
"Construction of Tents ... Jany. 1. 1781," Misc. Numbered Records, NA, ,reel 111, item no.
31492. "An Acct. of Duck deliver'd the Tent Makers & of Tents ... to June 19, 1781," reel 79, no.
22836.
25. Lochee, An Essay on Castrametation, 1-2, 20, 38.
26. Pickering to Hatch, 12 July 1781, Numbered Record Books, NA, vol. 127, reel 26, 134-136;
"An Acct. of Duck deliver'd the Tent Makers & of Tents... to June 19, 1781," Misc. Numbered
Records, NA, reel 79, no. 22836.
27. Humphrey Bland, Treatise of Military Discipline (London, 1762), 289.
28. Ibid., 289; Mark E. Lender and James Kirby Martin, eds., Citizen Soldier: The Revolutionary
War Journal of Joseph Bloomfield (Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1982), 64.
29. "Construction of Tents ...Jany. 1,1781," Misc. Numbered Records, NA, reel 111, item no.
31492; "An Acct. of Duck deliver' d the Tent Makers & of Tents ... to June 19. 1781," ibid., reel
79, no. 22836.
30. Thomas Mifflin to Washington, 27 May 1777, GW Papers, series 4, reel 41; Timothy
Pickering to Aaron Forman, 16 June 1781, Numbered Record Books, NA, vol. 127, reel 26, 83-
85; Timothy Pickering to Peter Anspach, 26 June 1782, Misc. Numbered Records, NA, reel 87,
no. 25345.
31. "State of Marquees and Tents delivered to the Army for the Campaign [of] 1782" (enclosed
in Timothy Pickering to Washington, 10 February 1783), GW Papers, series 4, reel 90.
32. Lochee, Essay on Castrametation, 5; Walter Stewart, Inspection Report, Continental Army,
June 1782, no. LWS 155, Lloyd W. Smith Collection, Morristown National Historical Park
Library; Mary R.M. Goodwin, "Clothing and Accoutrements of the Officers and Soldiers of the
Virginia Forces 1775-1780 From the Records of the Public Store at Williamsburg," ms. copy,
June 1962, 4-5, Yorktown Victory Center, Yorktown, VA. 2nd Georgia Order Book, William
Harden, ed. "Order Book of Samuel Elbert, Colonel and Brigadier General in the Continental
Army, Oct 1776 to November 1778." Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 5, pt. 2
(1902), 5-191 (courtesy of John K. Robertson).
33. John Conway to William Maxwell, 12 June 1778, Israel Shreve Papers, Buxton Collection,
Prescott Memorial Library, Louisiana Tech University. Regimental orders, 15 November 1778,
Orderly Book of the First Pennsylvania Regiment, 26 July 1778-6 December 1778, John Blair
Linn and William H. Egle, Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution, Battalions and Line 1775-
1783, vol. 2 (Harrisburg, 1880), 383; Richard [Platt?] to Mr. Forman, 26 May 1781, Numbered
Record Books, NA, vol. 127, reel 26, 41.
34. "Construction of Tents ...Jany. 1,1781,"Misc.Numbered Records, NA, reel 111, no. 31492;
Joseph Blackburn, Colonel Thomas Dowdeswell, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1776 on
reverse. A color reproduction hangs in the Guards Museum, London. See also, William W.
Burke and Linnea M. Bass, “Preparing a British Unit for Service in America: The Brigade of
Foot Guards, 1776,” Military Collector & Historian, vol. XLVII, no. 1 (Spring 1995), 7; and Ian
Bennet, A History of American Painting (London: Hamlyn, 1973), plate 13. The article
“Preparing a British Unit for Service in America” can be viewed online at http://www.military-
historians.org/Journal/Guards/guards.htm
35. "Construction of Tents ...Jany. 1,1781,"Misc.Numbered Records, NA, reel 111, no. 31492.
36. "Estimate of Articles Necessary for 6000 Men for 12 Months March 2d. 1779," The Papers
of the Continental Congress 1774-1789, (National Archives Microfilm Publication M247, reel
192, 61, 1958), NA; "Estimate of Tents and Knapsacks for the Main Army 1781," Numbered
Record Books, NA, reel 29, target 4. "Estimate of Camp Equipage to be provided by
Massachusetts," 1781, ibid., vol. 103, reel 29, 4-5, 6.
37. "Estimate for a hospital tent...," 23 July 1782, ibid., vol. 103, reel 29, 122.
38. Timothy Pickering to Benjamin Lincoln, 24 July 1782, ibid., vol. 103, reel 29, 124.
39. "Construction of Tents ... Jany. 1. 1781," Misc. Numbered Records, NA, reel 111, no. 31492.
40. Thomas Mifflin to Washington, 27 May 1777, GW Papers, series 4, reel 41; Timothy
Pickering, "Extracts from the latest returns relative to the number of Tents &ca on hand for the
campaign 1782," 8 February 1782, ibid., series 4, reel 83.
41. Timothy Pickering, "Extracts from the latest returns relative to the number of Tents &ca on
hand for the campaign 1782," 8 February 1782, ibid., series 4, reel 83; Timothy Pickering to
Peter Anspach, 6 April, 14 June, 26 June 1782, Misc. Numbered Records, NA, reel 87, nos.
25345, 25349, 25352.
42. "Establishment of the legion commanded by Coll. Armand Marquis de la Rouerie," 13
February 1782, Numbered Record Books, NA, reel 29, 35-37.
43. Timothy Pickering to Peter Anspach, 6 April, 14 June, 26 June 1782, Misc. Numbered
Records, NA, reel 87, nos. 25345, 25349, 25352.
44. Hugh Hughes, New York state deputy quartermaster general, "Return of Camp Equipage,"
12 August 1782, Misc. Nod. Records, NA, reel 94, no. 27352. The final page of this document
gives the optimum "Allowance of Camp Equipage" as follows:
Brigadier or Colonel Commandant, 1 marquee, 1 officer's tent,
2 common tents, 4 camp kettles, 2 canteens, 1 axe.
Brigade Major, 1 officer's tent, 1 camp kettle, 1 canteen.
Brigade Quarter Master, 1 officer's tent, 1 camp kettle,
1 canteen, 1 axe.
Wagon Conductor, 1 common tent, 1 camp kettle, 1 canteen, 1 axe.
Forage Master, 1 common tent, 1 camp kettle, 1 canteen.
Conductor of Military Stores, 1 common tent, 1 camp kettle,
1 canteen.
Field Officer of each Regiment, 1 marquee, 1 officer's tent,
1 common tents, 3 camp kettles, 3 canteens, 1 axe.
Staff Officers of each Regiment, 3 officer's tents,
3 camp kettles, 4 canteens, 1 axe.
Officers of each Company, 1 officer's tent, 2 camp kettles,
3 canteens.
Officers' Servants of each Regiment, 1 common tent.
Non Commissioned Staff of each Regiment, 2 common tents,
4 knapsacks, 2 camp kettles, 4 canteens.
Non Commissioned Officers and Privates each, 1 knapsack,
1 canteen.
Each six Men, 1 common tent, 1 camp kettle.
Each Company, 1 axe.
Each Artillery Company, 2 officer's tents.
45. Lochee, Essay on Castrametation, 1.
46. André Gousse, "French Soldier's Tent in 1753" (1997); handout produced for the Fort
Ticonderoga War College, Parks Canada, Ottawa, 1 page. The French soldier’s tents were “made
of linen canvas that was approximately 46 inches wide. There were 20 stake loops around the
tent. The top of the tent was reinforced by a band of canvas that was almost 13 inches wide.
There was an overlap of slightly more than 6 inches for the door flap. There were mud flaps all
around the bottom of the tent.” Regulations governing tent size are from, "Ordonnance du Roi,
du 17 fevrier 1753, Portant Reglement sur le Service de l'Infanterie en Campagne" published in
M. de Briquet, Code Militaire, ou Compilations des Ordonnances des Rois de France
Concernant les Gens de Guerre; volume 5, pp. 12-14, Paris, 1761. Illustrations showing the tent
from three sides, the tent pole and the tent peg are from, M. de la Porterie, Institutions militaires;
Paris, 1754; Illustration of nine men sleeping in a tent is from, M. le Maréchal de Puysegur, Art
de la guerre par principes et par regles; Paris, 1748.
47. Udney Hay, D.Q.M.G., "Return of Marquees and Tents in the Q[uarte]r. M[aste]r. Genl.
Department," 1 March 1780, Misc. No. Records, NA, reel 94, no. 27344.
48. "Tents in possession of James Abeel, Esqr. D.Q.Mr.G.," 6 March 1780, ibid., reel 94, no. 27344.
49. Washington to Alexander McDougall, 25 April 1777, Fitzpatrick, WGW, 7 (1932), 466. Richard
[Platt?] to Mr. Forman, 26 May 1781, Numbered Record Books, NA, reel 26, vol. 127, 41.