View terms and definitions to help read The Davenport Letters.

A young person who is learning a trade or skill during a years-long work period.

Battle of Monmouth
A large battle in New Jersey on June 28, 177, where the winner was unclear.

Battles of Saratoga
A series of battles in September and October 1777 which led to the surrender of a British army.

Baylor Massacre
A surprise, nighttime attack by British soldiers of Continental cavalrymen in New Jersey on Sept. 27, 1778, in which Isaac How Davenport was killed.

A series of military battles or engagements in a certain area, sometimes over several months.

A large metal gun, usually on a wooden carriage with wheels, sometimes called "artillery, that took several people to operate.

Soldiers who travel and fight on horseback.

Connecticut Line
Regiments from Connecticut. The Continental Army consisted of "Lines," often groups of regiments from the same states.

A low military rank. Corporals were one rank above privates and one rank below sergeants.

The written letters sent between people.

Both the document and the process by which a soldier is released from service in an army, usually at the end of a certain length of time or the end of a war.

The hometown of the Davenport brothers, outside Boston.

Dorchester Pears
A specific variety of pear developed in Dorchester.

To receive, as in receiving pay or food rations.

A short period of leave or vacation from military service, usually set in days or weeks.

A liquid measure equal to four ounces, or half a cup, commonly used to measure alcohol in the Continental Army.

An alcoholic beverage, usually a mixture of rum and water.

A town in New Jersey north and west of New York City.

Someone who builds wooden houses and buildings.

Small log cabins constructed by Continental soldiers as their winter homes, often with twelve soldiers per hut.

James André
A British officer who was captured and executed as a spy, revealing Benedict Arnold's treason.

A special celebration, sometimes of newfound freedom.

Light Infantry/Light Company
Soldiers who were supposed to be especially active, intelligent, and prepared for the sort of common small engagements and dispersed fighting called skirmishing.

Lunts Creek
A creek that feeds into the Hudson River near Peekskill, New York.

Molls/Molls and Jos/Dicks and Jos
Slang terms used by James Davenport for young, single women and men.

A town in New Jersey that was also the location of Continental Army winter encampments.

New Windsor
A town in the Hudson Valley of New York that was also the location of the 1782-1783 Continental Army winter encampment.

A town along the Hudson River north of New York City.

Paulus Hook
A town in New Jersey, across from New York City, where Jersey City is today.

A town in the Hudson Valley of New York.

A military police and/or military jail.

An amount of food and drink given to a soldier.

An event or ceremony, often in honor of a specific person or event.

A group of several hundred soldiers made up of smaller groups called companies. In The Revolutionary War, regiments were often named after the state where the soldiers were from, such as the 8th Massachusetts.

A military rank. Sergeants were part of a level called "non-commissioned officers," and ranked above privates and corporals but below officers like lieutenants, captains, and generals.

A type of fish that travelled up rivers in certain seasons.

A small amount of money in the British and early American systems.

A specific alcoholic drink and/or any kind of alcoholic drink.

A nickname for Loyalists, people who remained loyal to the British government.

A copy of another document, sometimes where handwriting is converted to typewriting.

Valley Forge
A location outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that was also the location of Continental Army's 1777-1778 winter encampment.

West Point
A location in the Hudson Valley of New York, now the site of the United States Military Academy.

A town in Virginia that was the site of the siege and surrender of a British army in 1781.

The Davenport Letters

Explore Revolutionary War letters written by brothers and Continental Army soldiers James and Isaac Davenport between 1778-1783.