George Washington Papers

General Orders, 31 July 1775

General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, July 31st 1775.

Parole, Falkland.Countersign Edenton.

The Continental Congress having been pleased to appoint Joseph Trumbull Esqr. to be Commissary General, to the army of the United Colonies:1 All Commissaries heretofore appointed by any of the distinct Colony Congresses, or by particular Authority of any particular district or colony, are forthwith to make an exact Return of the provisions, and all the different Species of provisions, they have in, or near the Camps, at Cambridge and Roxbury; thereupon Commissary Genl Trumbull being assured by the report of his Clerk, assistant, or from his own examination, that such Return is just and true, is to give his Receipt for the quantity deliver’d into his hands, which receipt will be a good Voucher, in the passing the accompt of the different Colony Commissaries, heretofore appointed, and will be allowed as such.

The Commissaries, at present appointed by the several Colonies; are forthwith to make up their Accounts unto the third of August inclusive; ready to be laid before the Commander in Chief, and by him transmitted to the Continental Congress; or to be adjusted and finally settled by him, as the Continental Congress shall think proper to direct.

A Return signed by the Commanding Officers of regiments and Corps, to be delivered to the Adjutant General to morrow morning, at general orderly time, of the Names, Ranks & Dates of the Officer’s Commissions, in their respective Regiments and Corps, mentioning also the Vacancies, and how occasioned.

A General Court Martial to sit immediately, to try Captain Christopher Gardner, of Col. Varnums Regiment for “Cowardice, abandoning his post and deserting his men.” All Evidences and persons concern’d to attend the court.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Congress appointed Trumbull to this office on 19 July (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 2:190).

2Christopher Gardner, Jr., of Rhode Island became a captain in Col. James Mitchell Varnum’s regiment on 3 May 1775. The incident for which Gardner was court-martialed occurred on the night of 30 July 1775. “The [British] regulars about 60 of them,” James Warren wrote to John Adams the next day, “pushed out suddenly on Boston Neck, drove back a few of our Centinels, and by the Negligence of our Main Guard, and the Cowardice of the Captain [Gardner], Burnt the George Tavirn, and retired without loss. This is Esteemed the greatest disgrace we have suffered” (Taylor, Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977—. description ends , 3:108–12). Gardner was cashiered on 2 Aug. (General Orders, that date).

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