• The Highlands War: Civilians, Soldiers, and Environment in Northern New Jersey, 1777-1781

      Urwin, Gregory J. W., 1955-; Roney, Jessica C. (Jessica Choppin), 1978-; Isenberg, Andrew C. (Andrew Christian); Lender, Mark Edward, 1947- (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      This dissertations studies the problem of military shelter and its impact on the Continental Army’s conduct during the War of American Independence. It examines ideas and practices about military housing during the eighteenth century; how Continental officers sought and obtained lodging for themselves and their men, refinements in military camp administration; how military decisions regarding shelter affected strategy, logistics, and social relationships within the army; as well as how quartering practices structured relations between civilians and the military. This dissertation maintains a geographic focus on Northwestern New Jersey, a region it defines as the Highlands, because this area witnessed a Continental Army presence of greater size and duration than anywhere else in the rebelling Thirteen Colonies. Using official military correspondence, orderly books, diaries, memoirs, civilian damage claims, and archaeological studies, this dissertation reveals that developments in military shelter formed a crucial yet overlooked component of Continental strategy. Patriot soldiers began the war with inadequate housing for operations in the field as well as winter quarters, and their health and morale suffered accordingly. In the second half of the war, Continental officers devised a new method of accommodating their men, the log-hut city. This complex of hastily-built timber huts provided cover for Patriot troops from the winter of 1777-1778 through the end of the war. This method, unknown in Europe, represented an innovation in the art of war. By providing accommodations secure from enemy attack for thousands of soldiers at little cost to the government and little inconvenience to civilians, the log-hut city made a decisive contribution to the success of the Continental Army’s war effort.