From time to time, I come across a really important record source that I had never seen or heard of previously. This particular website falls into that category. This website is the Papers of the War Department. Here is a brief explanation of these records taken from the Website:
On the night of November 8, 1800, fire devastated the War Office, consuming the papers, records, and books stored there. Two weeks later, Secretary of War Samuel Dexter lamented in a letter that “All the papers in my office [have] been destroyed.” For the past two centuries, the official records of the War Department effectively began with Dexter’s letter. Papers of the War Department 1784-1800, an innovative digital editorial project, will change that by making some 55,000 documents of the early War Department many long thought irretrievable but now reconstructed through a painstaking, multi-year research effort available online to scholars, students, and the general public.All of the documents are freely accessible with high resolution digital images and transcriptions. The project is eliciting the public to help in the transcription process.
This is a priceless collection and can be a great resource to some researchers who happen to have ancestors that could have been involved in the military activities of that time period.