Thomas Bartholomew Bowen Orderly Book


Date: October 12, 1780 - November 11, 1780 | Size: 1 volume(s), 52 p.


A company-level orderly book for the 9th Pennsylvania Infantry kept by Sgt. John McGriff under the command of Capt. Thomas Bartholomew Bowen. The orderly book details the activities of the regiment during the late fall, 1780, while stationed at Totoway, New Jersey.

Background note

The 9th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment was raised in late October 1776, serving in the Pennsylvania Line of the Continental Army under the command of Colonels James Irvine, Anthony J. Morris and Richard Butler (June 7, 1777-January 15, 1781). The regiment was present during the winter of 1776-1777 at Valley Forge and participated in the Philadelphia Campaign (Brandywine and Germantown), subsequently playing an important role at Monmouth. One of the units that resisted the mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line, the regiment was merged with the 5th Pennsylvania during the reorganization of the Continental Army in January, 1781.

Scope and content

An orderly book for Capt. Thomas Bartholomew Bowen's company of the 9th Pennsylvania Infantry while stationed at Totoway, New Jersey, October 12-November 11, 1780. The book, which appears to have been kept by Sgt. John McGriff, contains a roster of soldiers in Bowen's company, copies of regimental and divisional orders, returns of arms and equipment, lists of officers and their duties, and several interesting records of courts martial.

Collection Information



Preferred citation

Cite as: Thomas Bartholomew Bowen Orderly Book, American Philosophical Society.

Processing information

Catalogued by rsc, 2001.

Related material

Additional regimental orderly books for the 9th Pennsylvania include:

Orderly book kept by Cols. Anthony Morris and Richard Butler, 1777-1778, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Collection 1884). Orderly book kept at Morristown, N.J., December 28, 1779-April 10, 1780, Society of the Cincinnati (MSS L1998F206.5).

Early American History Note

This orderly book tracks the orders, actions, and status of the Thomas Bowen's Company of the Pennsylvania Ninth Regiment, which was part of the Continental Army, from October 12 to November 11, 1780. The book contains a daily record of orders and movements the company took while in New Jersey. There are many references to courts martial trials. The orderly book also records actions taken by Commander-in-Chief, meaning George Washington. Finally, in the front and rear of the book are records on troop strength and supply levels.

This orderly book compliments the other records the APS has on the military aspects of the American Revolution. The APS also has other orderly books, including the records of the Valley Forge winter, the papers of Nathaniel Greene, and the Journal of Thomas Sullivan during his campaign in Pennsylvania.

Thomas Bartholomew Bowen was born in Ireland in 1741, emigrated to Pennsylvania, where he served in the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment as an officer, and then moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where he established himself as a prominent and successful printer.

Bowen appears to have lived in Philadelphia. He was active in the Philadelphia Masonic Lodge. He entered the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He was appointed a Captain by the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council on November 26, 1776 and retired in 1783 with the rank of major. In 1785, he moved to Charleston where he published the Columbian Herald and the South Carolina Weekly Messenger.

John McGriff served as a sergeant under Bowen's command. He may have been a resident of York County before the war. After the war, he received depreciation lands from the state for his service.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Continental Army. Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, 9th (


  • Military Records
  • Orderly books

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States -- History -- Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

Personal Name(s)

  • Bowen, Thomas Bartholomew, 1741-1805
  • McGriff, John


  • American Revolution
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  • Military History