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General Orders, 22 July 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, July 22nd 1775

Parole Nantasket.Countersign Mississipi.

A Court of Enquiry to sit forthwith, President Doctor Foster, Doctor Warren, and Doctor Eustace, Members, to examine into a Complaint exhibited by Mr John Spalding, surgeon to General Putnams regiment against Mr Penuel Chiney—Surgeon’s Mate of the said regiment: All Evidences to attend the Court.1

Capt. Israel Putnam and Lieut. Samuel Webb, being appointed Aids-de-Camp to Major General Putnam; they are to be obey’d as such.2

Regularity and due Subordination, being so essentially necessary, to the good Order and Government of an Army, and without it, the whole must soon become a Scene of disorder and confusion. The General finds it indispensibly necessary, without waiting any longer for dispatches from the General Continental Congress, immediately to form the Army into three Grand Divisions, and of dividing each of those Grand Divisions into two Brigades: He therefore orders that the following Regiments vizt

Genl Wards Col. Cottons
Gen. Thomas’s Col. Danielsons
Col. Fellows Col. Dad Brewer’s
compose one Brigade, and be under the Command of Brigadier Genral Thomas; that
Genl Spencers. Col. Walkers
Col. Parsons. Col. J: Reads.
Col. Learneards. Independents.3
compose another Brigade, to be commanded by Brigadier Genl Spencer: That these two Brigades compose the right wing or division of the army; and be under the command of Major General Ward, and remain at Roxbury, and its southern dependencies. That
Col. Starks } New
Col. Nixons. } Massachusetts.
Col. Poors Col. Mansfield.
Col. Reeds Col. Doolittles.
be formed into another Brigade under the Command of Brigadier General Sullivan, and posted on Winter-hill. That
Col. Varnums } Rhode
Col. Whitecombes } Massachusetts.
Col. Hitchcocks Col. Gardners
Col. Churchs Col. J. Brewers
Col. Littles.
be formed into another Brigade, and commanded by Brigadier Genl Green, and posted upon Prospect Hill; and these two Brigades compose the left wing or second division of the army under the Command of Major Genl Lee.

[That General Heath’s, Colonel Patterson’s, Colonel Scammons’s, Colonel Gerrish’s, Colonel Phinney’s, Colonel Prescott’s, be formed into another brigade, and commanded by Brigadier-General Heath, and be posted between Cambridge River and Prospect Hill.]4 That

Genl Putnams Col. Bridges
Col. Glovers Col. Woodbridges
Col. Fryes. Col. Serjeants.
be formed into another Brigade, under the Command of the Senior Officer therein, and until the pleasure of the Continental Congress be known:5 These two Brigades to be under the Command of Major General Putnam, also a Corps-de-reserve, for the defence of the several posts, north of Roxbury, not already named.

The Arrangement now ordered to take place, is to be made as speedily as possible, and the Majors General are to see it done accordingly, some inconveniencies may arise to certain Individuals by this change, but as the good of the service requires it to be made an alert and ready compliance is expected.

All applications from henceforward, by Officers or Soldiers for leave of absence, are to be made to the Major General commanding each division, who is to judge of the propriety of the application and grant Furloughs where they see cause, without applying to the Commander in Chief, provided it be not contrary to General orders.

General Heaths Regiment is to take post at No. 2 in lieu of General Wards, Col. Patterson’s remains at No. 3: Col. Scammons to occupy No. 1: and the Redoubt between that and No. 2:6 Col. Prescotts regiment to take post at the redoubt upon Sewells point, Col. Gerrishes Regiment to furnish the Companies for Chelsea, Malden, and medford.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Penuel Cheney (Cheeney), who became a surgeon’s mate in the 3d Connecticut Regiment on 1 May 1775, was accused by John Spalding of making “fraudulent Draughts upon the Commissary’s Store and other malpractices” (GW to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 29 Oct. 1775). Instead of being court-martialed, Cheney was allowed to leave the army (Cheney to GW, 4 Sept. 1775), but on 4 Oct. the Connecticut council appointed him surgeon of his old regiment. New charges were subsequently raised against Cheney, and he was cashiered on 21 Nov. 1775 (Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., to GW, 6 Nov. 1775; General Orders, 21 Nov. 1775). Spalding continued as a surgeon in the Continental army until 31 Dec. 1776. Isaac Foster (d. 1781), John Warren (1753–1815), and William Eustis (1753–1825) were all Massachusetts surgeons. Foster served as deputy director general of the hospital for the eastern department from 1777 to 1780, when he retired from the army. Warren, who was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and Eustis remained as surgeons until the end of the war.

2Israel Putnam, Jr., a son of Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam, was commissioned a captain in the 3d Connecticut Regiment on 1 May 1775. He served his father as an aide-de-camp until 3 June 1783. Samuel Blachley Webb (1753–1807), of Wethersfield, Conn., was the stepson and private secretary of Silas Deane, who took credit for obtaining this appointment for him. Webb remained with General Putnam until 21 June 1776, when he was appointed aide-de-camp to GW with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill while leading a Wethersfield militia company, Webb was twice more wounded during his service with GW, first at the Battle of White Plains and later at the Battle of Trenton. In January 1777 Webb became colonel of one of the additional Continental regiments. He was captured during an attack on Long Island in December 1777 and was exchanged a year later. Resuming command of his regiment, he served until the end of the war.

3These four independent infantry companies were from Massachusetts.

4This paragraph, omitted in the Varick transcript, is taken from William Henshaw, “Orderly Book,” in Mass. Hist. Soc., Proceedings description begins Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Boston, 1859—. description ends , 1st ser., 15 (1876–77), 129.

5Col. James Frye (1709–1776) of Andover, Mass., apparently commanded this Cambridge brigade as senior colonel until his death on 8 Jan. 1776. His cousin Brig. Gen. Joseph Frye was given command of the brigade on 17 Feb. 1776. See GW to Hancock, 31 Aug. 1775, and General Orders, 17 Feb. 1776.

6The redoubts were between the Charles River and the foot of Prospect Hill to protect Cambridge from attacks coming from Boston. Redoubt number one stood near the Charles; number three was near Prospect Hill; and number two lay in the middle. William Heath’s regiment, which was moved from Roxbury to Cambridge by these orders, replaced Artemas Ward’s regiment at redoubt number two because Ward’s regiment was transferred to Roxbury.

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